My Geraniums Won’t Bloom

The two most common reasons for geraniums not blooming prolifically are too little light or too much fertilizer. Geraniums are a sun loving plant that need 4-6 hours of full sun a day, or perhaps longer in somewhat filtered light. South and west exposures are usually best.

How to Get Geraniums to Bloom

My Geraniums Won’t Bloom

As warm-weather bloomers that dont like too much hot or cold, geraniums prefer daytime temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They handle nighttime temperatures of around 60 degrees during the blooming season. Many begin blooming early in the spring and continue until the daytime temperatures get too hot for the plants to support the blooming cycle. If your geraniums arent blooming when you think they should, check the temperature; it could be a colder-than-normal spring, which would delay blooming until the temperature warms. If they dont bloom as long as you think they should, its possible the heat of summer set in earlier than expected. Indoor geraniums, however, can bloom all year.

With more than 200 species of geranium (Pelargonium) available, theres one to fit nearly every color scheme and landscaping style. Geraniums grow outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, but theyre often grown as houseplants or annuals in other zones. Their brilliant blooms give them their most attractive feature, and it doesnt take too much care to help the blooms appear.

Geraniums like moist soil, but giving them too much water can stop them from blooming. The roots need loose soil around them so they can breathe. When the soil becomes waterlogged, the roots cant take in the oxygen they need, and the plant suffers. Put your geraniums in pots with drainage holes, and dont water the plant unless the top layer of soil feels dry. With outdoor plants, make sure the soil isnt too dense, or add amendments such as compost and sand to help the soil drain more effectively.

Geraniums have moderate fertilization needs — usually adding a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10, every two to four weeks is plenty to keep the blooms going. Mix 1 tablespoon of water-soluble fertilizer in a gallon of water — or follow the manufacturers directions, if they differ — then add it during a normal watering time. If youve recently repotted your geranium or moved it from indoors to outdoors, it might just need time to adjust before it blooms.

Geraniums are greedy about sunlight; they need at least six hours per day to build enough energy to bloom. Without enough light, your plants might continue to grow, but its unlikely they will bloom. You might notice the stems getting longer than normal with a “leggy” appearance, which means they grow taller without necessarily adding new leaves — they look like thin legs reaching for the sunlight. Outdoors, move the plants to a sunnier location, perhaps one with south or west exposure. Indoors, find a window with more direct light to encourage blooming.

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