Gardening tips, advice and ideas

How to prune and deadhead geraniums

Last updated on August 21st, 2020

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If you have geraniums either in your garden or in your home, two of the most important actions you can take to improve the gross and floriferous qualities include pruning and deadheading, the two of which are very different things.

Deadheading simply is a process to remove flowers that have finished to help promote continuous flowering. Pruning can be used to cut back the actual plant including the foliage stems to help encourage the plant branch out more and more a better plant.

Deadheading geraniums

When you are deadheading your geraniums you have a couple of options. Pinching out geraniums is one of the easiest and fastest. This simply means that you pinch off old blooms or weaker blooms throughout the season so that fresh, new flowers can appear. It’s a process that takes a matter of minutes to complete and it’s something you can do every few weeks usually on younger geraniums where the foliage and stems are not established. Of course, if you have the time when you walked by your geranium and you can just pinch off a few flowers here and there.

Most people when deadheading will simply pull off the top flowers but with a geranium you have to actually snap the stem right below the node or the joint at the same point where the new growth begins. You can use gardening secateurs or simply use a pair of scissors that have been properly sanitized or simply use your hands by pulling down on the flower stem sharply. 

Pruning geraniums

Pruning geraniums

When you are pruning there are many reasons to prune and therefore different steps you should take. First and foremost you can prune your geranium throughout the year every so often if you want to maintain a certain shape or size. If your geraniums, for example, are grown in a pot as a centrepiece, you might want to prevent them from encroaching upon nearby flowers or plants so that airflow isn’t compromised.

Alternatively, you might need to prune branches or stems if they succumb to diseases or pests. This process can be done at any time whenever it is warranted.

After the season is over and your geranium has started to die back you can also trim it back approximately 6cm or 9cm above the soil cutting specifically at new growth points if possible. Should your geranium have any additional flowers or leaves you should remove these. The results will be an unattractive display of thick stems but when spring comes around so too will beautiful flowers. This process can also be used when bringing geraniums indoors to encourage new growth to ensure they look amazing in the home over winter or into a cold greenhouse over winter to send them into dormancy.

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