How To Plant Zonal Geranium

Utilize zonal geraniums to achieve your goals. Although most gardeners just refer to zonal geraniums as geraniums, they are a great garden favorite and one of the most readily recognized annuals on the market. The plant Pelargonium x hortorum, a relative of perennial geraniums like Geranium Rozanne, is known in botanical circles as the zonal geranium.

The leaves of a zonal geranium are round to practically kidney-shaped, and they may or may not have a darker circular mark on them. The mark could be a deep shade of green or perhaps burgundy. The popular name zonal geranium was given to the plant because of this mark or zone.

Zonal geraniums have sphere-like flowers that are supported by strong stems. Except for genuine blue, colors span almost the full spectrum of the rainbow. Modern hybrids of today give blooms in the traditional red as well as pink, purple, yellow, orange, rose, and other colors. Bicolor combinations and petals with contrasting whiskers or dots are some examples of flower colors. Some flowers have several petals, while others have petals that are ruffled or pointed. The constant among zonal geraniums is variety.

Zonal geraniums come in a wide variety thanks to plant breeders. Some hybrids are raised from seeds. These plants often have a reduced overall size, produce fewer solitary blooms, and mature at shorter heights. Typically, seed geraniums are more affordable. Cuttings are used to grow zonal geraniums that are vegetatively propagated. The price, bloom size, and plant size are all beefier on these plants. Cutting-grown zonal geraniums develop semi-double and double blooms.

Zonal geraniums are simple to grow. With the exception of the hottest regions of the nation, where the plants benefit from a little afternoon shade, these blooming beauties thrive in full sun. Zonal geraniums should be tucked into well-drained soil that has been amended with a lot of organic matter in planting beds. The floral display is maintained using a fertilizer with a gradual release bloom enhancer.

Use a commercial soilless mix created especially for use in pots when planting in containers, such as hay racks, hanging baskets, pots, and window boxes. In these mixtures, slow-release fertilizer is frequently used. This gives zonal geraniums a terrific start, but starting approximately four weeks after planting, it’s a good idea to feed plants a water-soluble bloom booster fertilizer. Throughout the summer, fertilize zonal geraniums with bloom booster every two weeks.

Snap the stems of fading flowers as closely as you can to the main plant. Even if all of the individual blossoms aren’t open, flowers should be removed if mold starts to grow on them during extended rainy periods. When botrytis mold infests a zonal geranium, it can be difficult to eradicate, especially if wet, rainy circumstances continue. Getting rid of any moldy leaves or blooms will help prevent the disease from spreading.

Does zonal geranium regrowth occur annually?

A Zone of Geraniums They are produced from clippings since they do not generate seeds. a typical sight in nurseries that is colorful and lively. to a height of 18 inches. Usually a one-season bloom, but if they enjoy where they are planted, they might come back.

How far apart should you put zonal geraniums?

The one we like best among them is Rozanne. She is a lot of fun to be around because she can adjust to many different situations. Place many Rozannes in the ground, separating them by a distance of between 30 and 106 cm. She tends to grow out and create excellent ground cover when planted in the ground. When planting Rozanne by herself in a container, choose one that is at least 40 cm in diameter.

Zonal geraniums (aka Pelargoniums)

These have patterns or zones on their leaves which give them their name. On top of their dark, zonal leaves, they create substantial, colorful flower heads. Planting zonal geraniums where they will receive six to eight hours of sun each day requires spacing them at least 30 cm apart. Zonal geraniums do well in cooler climates but cannot tolerate colder than freezing temperatures.


These are perfect for containers, troughs, and window boxes because of their ivy-like leaves and long, trailing branches. They require up to 91 cm of space when planted in the ground to accommodate their long branches. Below 27C, ivy geraniums thrive in full light (80F). Plant them in some shade during warmer weather.

Scented geraniums

The mint, citrus, apple, chocolate, and rose smells that are emitted when the leaves of these plants are gently pressed gave rise to their names. They feature thick, hairy leaves and little flowers. This fragrant plant prefers all-day direct sunlight and may thrive in all but the coldest climates. These aromatic indoor plants grow best in light areas and prefer to be placed in containers.

Martha Washington or Regal geraniums

These have lush, velvety flowers and brilliant green leaves. For these geraniums to blossom, lower temperatures are required. Plant these geraniums at least 30 cm apart because regals have a tendency to spread out and take up a lot of space.

I need help starting zonal geraniums.

In contrast to other geraniums, zonal geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) are distinguished by their enormous flower clusters and spherical, dark-green leaf patterns. In U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, they can survive outdoors and are frequently planted as annual bedding or potted plants. Both seeds and slips, or cuttings, obtained in the late summer or early spring, are used to grow zonal geraniums. However, because they won’t germinate from seed, some kinds must be propagated from slips.

Find a 4- to 6-inch-long slip that has grown from a robust zonal geranium stem. Select a plant that has at least three nodes, or leaves, and a thick stem that is free from defects or injury. Stems containing blooms should be avoided as they might not consistently root.

Use a sharp knife to cut the zonal geranium slip just below a pair of leaves. Remove the lower leaves from the slip’s bottom half. While making a pot, cover the slip with a wet paper towel.

A small plastic pot with at least two drainage holes at the bottom should be cleaned. Use a mixture of coarse sand and milled peat moss to fill it with a porous, sterile growing media, such as coarse vermiculite or perlite. Mist the surface.

Create a hole in the middle of the medium that is deep enough to accommodate the zonal geranium slip’s bottom half. Apply powdered rooting hormone to the defoliated area of the stem. Push the medium firmly on the stem after inserting it into the hole.

Put the pot inside a sizable plastic bag that can be sealed, like a 2-gallon freezer storage bag. If the bag hits the slip or rests against it, support it with two wooden skewers. Close the bag.

Put the pot somewhere warm and protected inside, where the temperature is kept above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Pick a location where the light is strong but indirect, such the sill of a window with a north or west face. Protect the cutting from the sun’s rays.

Every few days, check the growing medium’s moisture content. If the upper 2 inches feel almost dry beneath the surface, moisten them. Don’t allow the medium entirely dry up, but also don’t overwater it because a wet environment encourages bacterial growth.

After potting the zonal geranium slip, wait three to five weeks before looking for roots. Check to see if the stem has anchored to the growing media by tugging on its base. After the slip roots, remove the plastic bag partially but leave it in place for two to three days.

One week after it roots, transplant the zonal geranium slip into a 4-inch drainage-holed container filled with rich, neutral potting soil. It should be grown in an area that receives indirect sunlight, shelter from wind, and protection from drafts.

To stimulate branching and to foster a bushier, more robust appearance, pinch back the cutting by a third in January of the following year. When the soil feels almost dry beneath the surface, keep watering.

Do geraniums survive the cold outside?

  • Make sure you thoroughly inspect your geranium plants before bringing them inside for the winter. Look for symptoms of pests and illnesses like rust and remove any dead leaves or wilting blossoms. Only zonal pelargoniums are impacted by this, but it is becoming more widespread. It arrived in the nation for the first time in 1968, and it does best in the moist summer or fall months. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to spread to the plants quickly and is simple to treat, so merely plucking the afflicted leaves is an effective management. You might also consider using the fungicide Dithane 945 as a spray.
  • Placing your overwintering plants somewhere bright and sunny will help them retain their need for light throughout the winter. Your plants will receive 50% less light if they are placed more than three feet from a window!
  • Because your plants continue to thrive throughout the winter, keep the roots moist. While geraniums frequently survive droughts, they rarely flourish. Show plant growers take special care to keep the roots of their plants damp but never soggy during the winter.
  • Ventilate as frequently as you can to maintain a dry environment surrounding your plants. Your plants will turn into a moldy, rotting heap if you don’t allow the air to circulate. The greatest electric fan heaters are those that operate automatically since they circulate air while simultaneously raising air temperature.
  • Geraniums are fairly inexpensive to overwinter in the greenhouse because they only need to be kept frost-free. To keep temperatures above freezing, however, we do advise utilizing a heater. Set the thermostat on your heater to 5C, which is 41F. The plant will not survive if the stems become frosty! The winter months are a great time to store your delicate pelargoniums in porches, sunrooms, or conservatories.

We hope that we have provided you with enough of tips so that you can continue to enjoy your geraniums year after year. Visit our geraniums hub page, which is brimming with useful resources, for additional details on how to cultivate and take care of these well-liked plants. And do get in touch with us through our social media outlets to share your personal favorites; we’d love to hear from you.

What is the ideal location to plant geraniums?

To cultivate geraniums, you don’t have to be an expert gardener. Geraniums don’t require much in the way of particular care and don’t care much for expensive fertilizers or niche soils.

For geraniums, soil

A loose soil with lots of organic materials is ideal for geraniums. Add peat, compost, or perlite if your soil is on the heavier side. Vermiculite and manure are not advised.

Geranium Planting Locations

Nearly all gardening zones are suitable for geranium planting. Even after understanding this, you might still wonder if geraniums require full sun. Geraniums need a lot of light to bloom, although in regions with hot summers, some shade is advised. The answer to the question of how much sunlight geraniums require varies on the particular geranium and your gardening zone. The optimum position has well-draining soil, morning sun, and afternoon shade. Pick a spot that is the right size for your geranium flower beds. The risk of illness is decreased by maintaining the proper distance between plants.

Geranium Planting Season

Planting season shouldn’t be rushed because geraniums aren’t cold resistant. If you hold off too long, though, you run the risk of missing the low nighttime temperatures that promote budding. Planting at the right time is the first step in understanding how to cultivate geraniums outdoors. Wait till your soil reaches 60 degrees F and the threat of the last frost has passed.

Geranium-specific fertilizer

Light fertilizing is required for geraniums. If you overfeed them, the blossoms will suffer while the foliage thrives. You don’t need to buy a specialized geranium fertilizer, despite the fact that you may notice it in your local garden center. Combine 2 teaspoons of a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer with 1 gallon of water for a mild fertilization. Every three weeks during the growing season, apply this solution.

Geraniums in Containers

You may be wondering how to pot-plant geraniums. Actually, it’s as simple as putting them in the ground. You require a soil that is loose and well-draining, regular watering, and minimal fertilizing. As long as the container has drainage holes, geraniums thrive in various sizes and shapes of containers. The secret to growing geraniums in pots is to put them in sunny spots away from windy areas.

Geraniums grown in pots have the extra advantage that you may easily bring them indoors for the winter. Geraniums will flourish as a houseplant even in the coldest months if they are put in a sunny window. After the last frost, gently reintroduce them to the outside in the spring.

giving geraniums water

Take the time to leave an irrigation furrow around each plant to act as a watering reservoir since geraniums require deep, thorough watering. As a result, water can collect and then slowly percolate through the soil. Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings to prevent root rot. Using a soaker hose to water at ground level keeps water off the leaves and guards against illness. Geraniums need to be watered frequently because the soil in pots likes to get heated. You can water plants without waiting for the soil to dry up between applications since the drainage holes assist prevent root rot.

What volume of water do geraniums require? You’ll just need to keep an eye on your plants. Avoid allowing your geraniums to wilt for proper geranium plant care. Poor flower production and leaf shedding occur as a result of withering and revival cycles.

Geranium pruning

Outdoor-planted annual geraniums don’t require pruning, but routine deadheading can help reduce disease and boost growth. After the flowers have faded, simply pinch off the entire flower stalk and pick the plants’ dried leaves. The geranium houseplant frequently develops long, slender legs. Pinching the growth tips on a regular basis will promote branching.

Geranium Common Pests and Diseases

Geraniums are generally free of insects and other pests. Botrytis and other fungus attacks, however, can happen in cooler, rainier climates. Commercial fungicides offer some level of defense. Oedema and root rot are two issues that can result from overwatering.