Geraniums Often Grow Best Alone

Geraniums have long been a staple in outdoor pots and planters. Their husky habit and prolific blossoms provide instant color to containers on decks, patios and doorsteps, and they’re usually planted in combination with other flowering plants. But have you ever noticed that by midsummer the geraniums have lost their luster a bit, squelched by the other plants?

Years ago we stopped including geraniums in our combination planters, because it seemed a shame that the beautiful plants in which we had invested weren’t as nice by fall, as they were when first planted. Instead, we’ve found that giving geraniums a container all their own let’s them thrive to their maximum.

Ideas about giving geraniums a pot all their own:

  • If grown in combination with other flowers, geraniums often seem to be overcome, as many other plants have more aggressive root systems and plant structure, which diminishes geranium growth.
  • Geraniums like to have their soil dry out between waterings. Many other container plants don’t care for this. If we water a mixed container to keep the other plants happy, it’s often more water than geraniums prefer, leading to diminished geranium growth.
  • Geraniums reach their maximum potential if given a container all their own, free from the competition of other plants. Large containers can be planted with multiple geraniums, and smaller pots might have room for one or two geraniums. Geraniums will round themselves out, and are beautiful with little need for other trailing or vining plants.
  • If a combination look is wanted, try planting a large container with the customary mix of a ‘thriller, spiller and filler’ annuals. Then pot the geraniums in a container of their own (maybe several) and locate to the front of the larger, mixed container. You can create a container grouping, while giving the geraniums containers of their own.
  • By growing geraniums in their own container, we can give them the watering and care requirements that are best suited.
  • Geraniums are heavy feeders to keep them blooming. Fertilize at least once a week with Miracle Gro type water-soluble fertilizer. They absorb nutrients efficiently through their leaves, so drench the foliage also when feeding. (Don’t get fertilizer on the blossoms, or they’ll show fertilizer spotting.)
  • If you’ve never tried a container with just geraniums, you might be pleasantly surprised at how much better they do when freed from the competition of other plants.

Happy Gardening!

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