Growing Geranium in Pots Indoors: Simple Care Tips & Tricks
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Last Updated on June 25, 2022 by Gary Stephen
Geraniums are always on the top of the list of favorites among gardeners. This flowering plant ticks all the things that you would want for in a houseplant. They look fancy in vibrant colors, they smell amazingly fragrant, and yes they are fairly easy to care for. In this article, we will go through some indoors care tips and tricks for geranium.
- 1 How to Grow and Care for Geranium Indoors
- 1.1 Tip #1: Choose the right variety
- 1.2 Tip#2: Soilless is the best for geranium care indoors
- 1.3 Tip #3: Water thoroughly as needed
- 1.4 Tip #4: Find the perfect spot for the perfect light
- 1.5 Tip #5: Set a comfy and stable room temperature
- 1.6 Tip #6: Feed to make it flourish
- 1.7 Tip #7: Provide the perfect pot to complete the look
- 1.8 Tip #8: Regular maintenance to encourage abundance
- 2 Wrapping Up about Geranium Care Indoors
How to Grow and Care for Geranium Indoors
Geraniums though are more commonly grown outdoors. Nevertheless, placing them indoors in a pot is also not an impossibility. With just the right setting of the environment, you can definitely enjoy growing this beauty right inside your home.
In this article, we will teach you exactly just how to do that. We will share with you simple yet effective tips and tricks to make your geraniums grow happily indoors. Plus, we also gladly included the links on some of our top pick products to use for gardening.
Tip #1: Choose the right variety
Geraniums, or the Pelargonium genus, is a large group of flowering plants with over 200 species. Finding the right variety allows you to grow the specific kind of plant you would really want. I mean, do you rather prefer it in a pot or grow draping in a basket? Do you want the flowers to be in a certain color? Or, do you like it to smell a particular fragrant?
Anyway, here are some of the best geranium varieties that are just perfect to grow and care indoors:
Zonal Geraniums – It is scientifically called the Pelargonium x hortorum. However, most people also refer to them as the common geraniums. This variety features distinct leaf markings. This can include variegations in white, silver, and tri-color. Its flowers also often bloom in either white, pink, or red shades.
Ivy-leafed Geraniums – Scientifically named Pelargonium peltatum, is a vining type of geranium. Meaning, this plant grows with trailing stems similar to that of an ivy. Hence, this specific variety is perfect to display on hanging baskets where it can freely drape.
Martha Washington Geraniums – Also known as lady geraniums. This variety probably is the epitome of an indoor variety. Basically, because they don’t tend to fair well when grown outdoors. They are not heat-tolerant. Hence, suitably thrives best in an indoor environment instead.
Scented Geraniums – This particular species is cultivated to mimic certain aromas. They come in a wide array of fragrances. But the most common ones have scents similar to pine, rose, mint, fruits, and spices. Scented geraniums are essentially valued for their leaves’ fragrant aroma rather than the vivid flowers other varieties produce.
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Tip#2: Soilless is the best for geranium care indoors
Yup, geraniums are best planted in a soilless growing medium. This type of plant prefers a light and loamy potting mix. It should be well-draining enough to prevent overwatering. At the same time, mitigate its likelihood to develop soil-borne diseases.
On that account, the typical garden soil is unlikely a favorable choice for geraniums. Instead, it is a better idea to create a potting mix that is aerating and rich in organic matter. This can include components such as garden loam, peat moss, coarse sand, and perlite.
If you want to keep it completely convenient and hassle-free, you can opt to buy the commercial soilless potting mixes. They are clean and easy to use right off the bag. Just make sure it contains the same key components.
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Tip #3: Water thoroughly as needed
Geraniums are generally a drought-tolerant type of plant. Unlike other houseplants, this does not demand to be watered on a daily basis. Rather, it prefers to be hydrated only as deemed necessary. Thus, keen observation here is an important skill to acquire.
Geraniums should be watered only when about 4 inches of its topsoil already feels dry to touch. So, be ready to dig your fingers into the soil from time to time. Your fingers and your instincts are the best tools you can ever have.
When watering, make sure to deliver it deeply and thoroughly. It should be sufficient enough to allow some amount of water to flow out from the drain holes. After this, give your plant some time to rest and dry out until the next watering activities.
Avoid overwatering! This is one thing you should be very cautious of when it comes to geranium care indoors. The flowers are prone to diseases including gray molds, blossom blight, and rust. Hence, make sure never to leave your plant soaking wet for too long.
If by any chance you feel not too confident yet with your watering instincts, it might be safer to use a moisture meter instead. This handy tool comes with sensor probes you can poke down into the soil. It will conveniently measure out the level of moisture for you without getting your fingers dirty.
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Tip #4: Find the perfect spot for the perfect light
Be always reminded that geraniums are sun-loving plants. In fact, they need about 6 to 8 hours of direct sun exposure. So, even when they are confined inside your house, they would still demand some level of sunbathing on a daily basis.
On that note, it is best to place them near south or west-facing windows. These spots tend to receive the most amount of natural lighting. So, you better keep this area available if you want to increase your geraniums chances to bloom and survive.
However, if your place happens to lack access to a south or west-facing window, worry not yet as there’s a great solution for that. An artificial grow light system is the perfect alternative for sunlight. You can alternatively use a 40-watt fluorescent tube lighting to supplement the lack of sun thereof. Set the lamp at least 12 inches above the plant canopy. Allow it to enjoy the light for at least 14 hours each day.
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Tip #5: Set a comfy and stable room temperature
Geraniums are not much of a fan of heat. Instead, they find a cool indoor temperature more comfy and favorable. To be precise, a temperature between 55°F to 70°F is its sweet spot.
Prolonged exposures to temperatures outside of this range can disrupt its ability to bloom. Aside from that, keep it away from hot or cold drafts too. Unstable temperature conditions are another factor that can affect its health.
On that account, it would be wise to install an indoor thermometer. This device will help you keep track of the room temperature within your space. Thus, ensuring you can regulate it accordingly.
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Tip #6: Feed to make it flourish
Geraniums are low-maintenance types of houseplants. They don’t need much fertilizer to thrive. Nonetheless, it would benefit more to feed it once in a while to support healthier growth.
Fertilizing geraniums are best done during the spring to summer seasons. This period is where the plant is actively growing. Hence, it would be the most appropriate time to give it a little boost in nutrients.
Indoor geraniums can get by just fine using an all-purpose liquid plant food. This provides a balanced NPK ratio that would suffice its basic nutrient requirements. It is also ideal to opt for a water-soluble formulation to make it more readily available for the plant to absorb.
Alternatively, you can also use a slow-release fertilizer. This preparation delivers small and consistent amounts of plant food over an extended period of time. With that, it is less likely to cause over fertilization and plant burns.
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Tip #7: Provide the perfect pot to complete the look
When opting to grow geraniums in containers, make sure to provide it with the right kind of pot. First of all, you need to use the correct size. Geraniums love to be pot-bound. This is a clear sign for you not to overpot them. Ideally, a container size around 10 to 12 inches should be good enough for geranium plants.
The second thing to bear in mind is drainage holes. Whichever container you choose, always make sure it comes with at least one or two holes at the bottom. These holes are meant to allow the excess water to flow out of the container. Thus, preventing the soil from getting soggy and prone to diseases.
Lastly, pots are one great way to amp up the visual interest of your plant. Geraniums look pretty as they are. But, you can take it further by pairing it with equally gorgeous containers. You can use any type of pot be it made of clay, ceramics, glass, or even plastics. Have fun matching the pot to blend or contrast the vibrancy of its flowers and foliage.
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Tip #8: Regular maintenance to encourage abundance
Bushy and well-balanced foliage is what most gardeners aim for with their geraniums. To make this possible, you may need to do a few tweaks and snips here and there. Pinching or pruning is a common technique you can use to enforce the plant to develop side shoots. Thus, producing bushier and more compact stems rather than becoming unsightly leggy.
Pinching is best done as soon as the spring season starts. Once the geranium stem reaches 7.5cm to 10cm long, try to pinch out about 0.5cm to 1.5cm from the tip. You can use your bare fingers or a garden pruner. The end of this cut part will then be encouraged to grow two new stems. Hence, later on, giving you dense foliage with greater chances to bloom more vibrant flowers.
Pruning is also a great way for you to achieve a certain shape of the foliage. By trimming off the unkempt parts of the plant, you can create a neat and well-groomed geranium. You can do this as often as you wish throughout the springtime.
When pinching or pruning, make sure to use a sharp garden pruner. This will give a smoother cut giving the stems less trauma. Moreover, it is also important to disinfect your tools. Cleaning your pruner before each use minimizes the risk of cross-contamination of diseases from one plant to another.
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Wrapping Up about Geranium Care Indoors
Geraniums are hands down one of the most gorgeous flowering plants. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, but some varieties are blissfully fragrant too. On top of all that, this plant is fairly easy to care for. You can sure bet it is a total package for the perfect indoor houseplant.