When you want to plant an attractive bed of flowers that will spruce up any garden beautifully, geraniums are an excellent choice. Gardeners have been cultivating these flowers for their fragrant scent and attractive appearance for centuries, and it’s not difficult to see why it’s such a popular choice. However, it’s essential to know how these flowers fare in the sun.
Geraniums do like the hot afternoon sun. However, while geraniums do well when exposed to plenty of sunlight, they may need to be protected from the sun during especially warm weather. This partial protection from sunlight will create the best conditions for geraniums to thrive.
I’ll go over more information about the sort of lighting geraniums need to grow best below, as well as give you more tips on how to make the most out of this well-loved flower. Read on and you’ll have everything you need to add geraniums to your own garden.
What Lighting Is Ideal for Geraniums?
Plants have different requirements for the amount of sunlight that they require in order to thrive to their fullest potential.
Some plants may do best when exposed to six hours or more of direct sunlight (known as “full sun” plants), while others may require between four and six hours of direct sunlight and require protection from the hot afternoon sun. Geraniums fall into the former category.
The ideal lighting for geraniums is full sunlight for six or more hours per day. However, if you’re growing geraniums in an area that experiences particularly hot temperatures, you might need to offer the flowers some protection from the hot afternoon sun.
Planting the geraniums on the east side of your home can be a good way to prepare for intense heat. This will allow your plants to get the sunlight they need to grow while also protecting them from excessive heat.
Why Do Plants Require Sunlight?
To better judge how much sunlight you should allow your plants to be exposed to, it’s important to better understand the importance that sunlight plays in a plant’s essential processes. This will help you determine the best place to plant various different flowers depending on the amount of sunlight that they need.
Plants require sunlight because they use the energy from the sun to power photosynthesis, which is the process by which plants convert carbon dioxide and water into the nutrients they need to survive and grow. Sunlight is the energy that powers this process.
After gathering energy from sunlight, primarily through their leaves, plants are able to use that energy to power the chemical processes that they need to survive.
As well as creating the energy that plants need to survive in the form of sugar, photosynthesis releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Oxygen is an essential gas for sustaining life on our planet. In this way, plants and the photosynthesis process play a vital role in our global ecosystem and in giving us the air we breathe.
Tips for Growing Your Geraniums
Want more advice on how to make the most out of the geraniums you plant? Follow these tips to give this flower the best chance of success at growing healthy and strong.
Provide the Proper Amount of Water
When it comes to watering your geraniums, watching your plants and recognizing their natural cycles is the key. Allowing geraniums to go through cycles of wilting and blooming will decrease flower production, so you should keep your plants watered regularly so they don’t get to a stage where they’re wilting. Using mulch can help your soil retain moisture to avoid having your flowers wilt.
On the other hand, you also want to avoid overwatering your plants. If the soil your geraniums are growing in becomes saturated with water, that creates the perfect environment for issues like fungus or rot to set in. Digging drainage holes where you plant your geraniums can help drain this water out to avoid root rot and other problems.
Don’t Overcrowd Your Geraniums
You need to give your plants adequate space to gather the resources they need to continue growing. As you know, plants draw water and other nutrients from the soil and collect energy from the light they receive. If plants are growing too closely together, they will deprive each other of these resources, stunting the growth of both plants.
In order to avoid this, make sure to leave enough space when planting your geraniums. About eight to twelve inches (20-30 cm) between each plant should suffice. This will ensure all of your geraniums are able to gather the nutrients they need to survive.
Fertilize Your Geraniums Lightly
Fertilizer provides an extra boost of nutrients that helps your plants thrive. However, in the case of geraniums, using too much fertilizer can encourage the growth of the plant’s vegetation at the expense of the growth of the beautiful flowers you’re looking for. This is why it’s essential to strike a good balance when providing fertilizer for your geraniums.
To achieve this gentle fertilization, mix two tablespoons of water-soluble fertilizer into one gallon of water. You can then apply this solution every three weeks throughout the plant’s growing season. The Southern Ag PowerPak Water-Soluble Fertilizer, available through Amazon, will provide the right amount of fertilization your geraniums need without overfertilizing them and stimulating too much vegetation growth.
Use Pots To Move Indoors if Needed
Geraniums are hardy plants that can withstand most of what the elements throw at them. However, you may wish to move your geraniums inside to keep them safe from the cold of winter.
You might wish to move your plants for other reasons, too, such as extreme weather in the forecast or if the plants aren’t growing successfully with the amount of light they receive where they’re currently planted.
Geraniums can easily be moved by digging up the bulbs and placing them into a pot. Most any size or shape of the pot will do, so long as they have water drainage holes at the bottom. If you’re moving your potted geraniums inside, be sure to place them near a window where they’ll get plenty of sunlight to thrive properly.
Prune Old Flower Stalks To Increase Production
Annual geraniums planted outdoors don’t require pruning in order to grow successfully. However, pruning old-growth and deadheading spent blooms can help to discourage disease and increase flower production. This also stops the plant from growing into an overly long-legged shape.
Prune your geraniums by simply pinching the entire flower stalk off the plant once the flowers on it begin to fade. This will make way for new growth and keep your garden looking its best. You can also prune off old leaves once they begin to dry out and wilt.
Know Your Types of Geraniums
Not all geraniums are the same. This flower comes in dozens of varieties that each have their own unique appearance, scent, and other characteristics. The best way to care for this flower may vary depending on the type. For example, some geraniums may require more direct sun exposure, while others prefer the shade.
You can use this guide to learn about the different kinds of geraniums and identify which one you’re working with. This will let you know the exact care that a particular kind of geranium needs to thrive in your garden.
Knowing which plants thrive in what level of sunlight is an important part of mastering your garden. Geraniums do well when exposed to full sunlight throughout the day. However, in warmer climates, this flower does best with a little protection from the harsh afternoon sun.
Identifying what type of geranium you’re working with can give you some insight into how much sunlight is ideal for your particular flowers. Fertilizing properly will help your flowers grow to their fullest potential, and your geraniums will make your garden the talk of the neighborhood in no time.