Geraniums: Prune popular plant to ‘ground level’ – ‘encourages late summer flowers’

Gardeners' World: Monty outlines how to rearrange geraniums

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Many gardeners grow geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, as annuals which means they’re composted at the end of the summer. However, there are also early-flowering perennial geraniums that bloom in early to late spring. These varieties can then continue to flower through mid-summer.

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Some geraniums will also continue to flower into autumn.

Perennial geraniums are tough and easy to grow and can flower for months.

Examples of perennial geraniums include Geranium Roxanne, also known as “Jolly Bee”, Geranium renardii and Geranium “Mavis Simpson”.

Geraniums should be planted from April to May and will then flower from May onwards.

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Some will flower until October but others will stop after a couple of months of blooms.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), early-flowering perennials like geraniums and also delphiniums need to be pruned back to “ground level” after they flower.

This “encourages fresh foliage and late summer flowering”.

They will then need to be cut back again in autumn and spring.

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Geraniums have pretty flower heads which are made up of lots of tiny flowers.

The small flowers bloom in succession and need to all be removed once they’ve completely faded.

Only once the last few flowers have faded should the flower stem be removed from its base.

Deadheading the flowers will encourage new flower buds to form, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden.

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Plants that look long and straggly can be pruned back to encourage new branching, making it bushier rather than long and tall.

Some geraniums can grow earlier than expected in spring.

When this happens, rather than cutting down any new growth, just tidy up the plant.

Dead stems should be removed along with any unhealthy-looking growth.

Geraniums can be half-hardy or tender and like full sun.

People with cats and dogs should be aware that geraniums can be toxic to them.

Specific varieties of geranium may need slightly different conditions.

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