The Q&A Archives: Geranium Care

Question: My plants face the morning sun and are now looking like they need to be cut back. They stay in the ground all year long. They appear to be frost bitten or for a better description some of the leaves on each plant are turning brown. Should I cut them back and how far?

Answer: Geraniums benefit from regular pinching back which encourages new flowering stems. If your plants are looking a bit tired, it's probably due to the cooler winter temperatures. If your area experiences a frost in February, wait to prune your plants. If the weather usually remains mild from now until spring officially arrives, you can pinch you plants back now.

To renew an overgrown geranium, pinch or cut back the leggy stems to the place where you want new stems to grow. Once you've cut the tops of the stems back, new shoots will develop anywhere there's a leaf scar along the remaining part of the stem.

Just to be on the safe side, you can wait until you see new growth on the plant and then pinch or cut back the old stems. If you wait, the plant will indicate when it's ready to put out new growth and you can capitalize on its renewed strength and springtime energy.

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