How to care for geraniums on the balcony and windowsill
If you are looking for a houseplant that would be unpretentious and at the same time look beautiful in the interior, on the balcony and terrace, we advise you to pay attention to geranium (this plant is also called pelargonium). Geranium blooms very effectively and brightly and at the same time does not impose special requirements for care. Therefore, it can be argued that this plant will not disappoint even beginner flower growers. In our article you will find several recommendations on how to care for geraniums.
Where to put geranium pots
Geranium loves good lighting. The brighter the place chosen for its placement, the more abundantly it will bloom. It is best to place geraniums on those windows that face south. In winter and during cloudy periods of the year, it makes sense to organize additional lighting with the help of a special fitolamp. In summer, geraniums thrive on illuminated balconies, loggia terraces and patio gardens. Do not place a pot of pelargonium next to an air conditioner, fan, in a draft. However, the room where the plant is located should be well ventilated.
Geranium care tips
The frequency of watering geraniums varies depending on the season. In late autumn and all winter, pelargonium can be watered once every two weeks and even less often. In spring and summer, watering every 3-4 days is optimal.
Keep in mind that pelargonium does not like excess moisture. Therefore, before watering, it is necessary to assess whether the top layer of soil has dried out (for this you need to deepen a finger or a thin stick into the ground). If the ground is still damp, then watering should be postponed.
Do not water geraniums with cold water. For irrigation, only water at room temperature is suitable — boiled, passed through a filter, or at least just settled for several days.
soil for growing
Pelargonium is not among the plants that require a special soil regime. For planting, you can use the usual universal soil.
How often to transplant pelargonium
Geraniums should only be repotted as needed when the old pot is no longer the right size. It is bad if the new pot is too big. It is quite enough if its diameter is 2-3 cm larger than the old one. Otherwise, excessive growth of shoots may begin and flowering will slow down.
For transplanting, you need to prepare a new clean pot. At its bottom, a layer of expanded clay (1-3 cm) should be placed and slightly sprinkled with soil. The plant is carefully moved from the old pot to the new one, placed there naturally and filled with the necessary amount of fresh soil to secure the plant inside the pot.
Trim or not trim?
Pruning plays an important role, because it allows you to form a beautiful crown of geraniums, as well as prolong the flowering of the plant. This procedure is usually carried out in spring and autumn.
For pruning, it is better to use a special garden knife, rather than ordinary scissors. Before starting the procedure, the instrument must be disinfected with alcohol or doused with boiling water. Then the main trunk is trimmed to the required level. They also remove stems growing crookedly inside the crown, cut off dry leaves and old inflorescences. Activated charcoal can be used to treat the cut zone: it must be crushed into powder and gently sprinkled on the cuts.
Geraniums are fertilized from early March to mid-November. Complex fertilizers designed for flowering plants have proven themselves well. The composition of such fertilizers usually includes phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and some other essential trace elements. The optimal frequency of top dressing for geraniums is once every 10-20 days.
The use of iodine-based liquid top dressing also gives good results. It’s easy to make it yourself. To do this, it is necessary to prepare a liter of water at room temperature, after which a drop of iodine should be dissolved in this amount of liquid. For a one-time feeding of one plant, 50 ml of such a solution will be enough. Geranium is first watered in the usual way, and after an hour and a half, top dressing is poured in, trying to pour along the walls of the pot. Feeding with iodine should be done no more than once a month.