The Q&A Archives: Hardy Geraniums

Question: Three years ago I planted Hardy Geraniums (Geranium Ibericum Platypetalum) in my garden. I selected this variety because it was cold hardy to -25 degrees F, and because it said they would bloom from late spring through summer. Each year they bloom one time in late spring and that is it. I fertilize regularly and remove dead blooms. Do you have any other suggestions for me?

Answer: Geranium ibericum is one of the hardy geraniums and should flower all summer and into the fall. Pinching off the spent flowers should encourage more blossoms. The plants grow best in full sunshine and get along with only a little water and very little fertilizer. It's possible you're treating them too well and they're responding by producing new green growth and few blooms. Allow the first inch of soil to dry out before applying water to your geraniums, and use a low-nitrogen fertilizer in mid-summer. (5-10-10 is a complete fertilizer that's low in nitrogen). Stressing the plants just a little should result in more blooms. (The last thing a plant does before it dies is set seed to continue the species - it has to produce flowers in order to set seed.) Better luck with your geraniums this year!

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