Annuals forum→Geranium issues

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Name: Vicky Thompson
Michigan (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member Sempervivums Roses Peonies Region: Michigan Lilies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Farmer Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Annuals Daylilies
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Cottage_Rose
Jul 8, 2021 11:21 AM CST
I've been gardening for 40 plus years and have good luck. I love Geraniums but they always fail to thrive for me. I know to not to over or under water, they get almost full sun and I feed with Miracle Grow every couple of weeks. What the secret to growing happy Geraniums?? 🤔
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"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck"
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Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Jul 8, 2021 3:01 PM CST
I'd like to see what people say to you. Sometimes I think it is the way those cuttings are sold, just one shapeless stem stuck in a pot. Some do take off, but I don't get geraniums to grow like I used to. They did better at my last house where I had a hot location in direct sun with reflective heat.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Jul 8, 2021 3:15 PM CST
Vicky, try cutting way back or eliminating the fertilizer if they are in the ground; if potted, dilute to about 1/4 strength. They don't like rich soil or excessive watering. They like lean, dry, and sun.

The reason I've stopped growing geraniums? Tobacco bud worms. They destroy the flowers before they open and if you're not searching for them, you won't see them.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 9, 2021 6:30 AM CST
Last fall I felt bad for a sad Geranium that failed to thrive so I dug it, stuck it in a 6" pot and kept it very dry on a windowsill all winter. As soon as temps were above freezing I put it outside in rain and flurries.

It's going crazy now with tons of blooms. I think because they are true perennials they really benefit from stark seasonal changes.
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Edited to add: I also agree with Loretta, it has a lot to do with the cutting. Or whether it's a seed Geranium vs Cutting Grown .

The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
[Last edited by sw_gardener - Jul 9, 2021 6:33 AM (+)]
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Name: Peggy
Temple, TX (Zone 8b)
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Peggy8b
Jul 9, 2021 10:32 AM CST
In Texas oppressive summer heat, I have never had luck with geraniums. They always burn off badly in full sun. Experience has taught me they do much better here in dappled sun, say underneath a thinly-branched tree. I suspect they would tolerate morning sun here, but burn up in midday and afternoon summer heat.
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Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Jul 9, 2021 8:16 PM CST
My aunt grows beautiful geraniums in Texas outside of Houston. She does keep them in containers under a porch roof, so they are not in direct sun if my memory serves me right. In the spring, she cuts them all the way back and they grow nice and bushy. Once and a while she loses them to the occasional frost.
Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
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bumplbea
Jul 17, 2021 10:07 PM CST
Some of the geranium collection. These guys are so easy to make starts and grow .
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I follow up with the half strength liquid fertilizer every watering since they are in pots a lot runs out the bottom.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
[Last edited by bumplbea - Jul 17, 2021 10:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
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bumplbea
Jul 17, 2021 11:46 PM CST
@LorettaNJ … do you still have your 'crocodile' geranium? Those pics from last year that you posted in the "Time to post variegated, gold, purple, spotted, all colors of the rainbow foliage".
Such a beautiful leaf variation. Just curious if you still have it .
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bulbs Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals
Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Bee Lover Region: United Kingdom I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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kniphofia
Jul 17, 2021 11:56 PM CST
Although called "Geraniums" these are actually Pelargoniums. I think you may be overfeeding them.
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Herbs Salvias Composter Bee Lover Container Gardener
Bookworm Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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NMoasis
Jul 18, 2021 7:45 AM CST
If that's the case, Bea is welcome to come and overfeed my potted ornamentals any time! Thumbs up
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Jul 18, 2021 8:47 PM CST
Bea, your geraniums look so healthy.
As for Crocodile, I had that one for a few years and still have it. However, by the end of last season, it started to revert. I kept cutting off the reverted stems but now it is almost completely solid. There may be a leaf or two that still shows some pale tracing.

[Last edited by LorettaNJ - Jul 18, 2021 8:51 PM (+)]
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Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
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bumplbea
Jul 18, 2021 9:39 PM CST
@LorettaNJ oh Sighing! sorry to hear that, however it's not unusual for many varieties as you know of variegated plants to revert. You always have so many lovely and very unique plants in you garden. Your garden is a treasure trove of how nature performs in a setting so balanced with textures and colors it's obvious that you love you plants and garden. I tip my hat to you.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Jul 19, 2021 11:39 AM CST
I do like my plants! haha! Anyway, I see Well Sweep Herb Farm has it in its catalog which is a nice ride in the country for me. They do sell out of things, but I'll keep an eye out for it. They have a vast collection of geraniums (pelargoniums), not always well grown but sometimes that is all you can get.
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Jul 20, 2021 5:30 PM CST
I did run over to Well Sweep today. They had two Crocodiles left and both reverted, so that source is out.
Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
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bumplbea
Jul 20, 2021 11:19 PM CST
@LorettaNJ… many nurseries are sold out here, and asked members in my garden club to keep a look out for the crocodile leaf geraniums when they are out and about. No sighting yet. We all trade cuttings of our geraniums/cranesbill at the end of each season.
They are so easy to start from cuttings.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Aquaponics Greenhouse Clematis Lilies Cut Flowers
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bumplbea
Jul 21, 2021 6:31 PM CST
@LorettaNJ… many nurseries are sold out here, and asked members in my garden club to keep a look out for the crocodile leaf geraniums when they are out and about. No sighting yet. We all trade cuttings of our geraniums/cranesbill at the end of each season.
They are so easy to start from cuttings.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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LorettaNJ
Jul 21, 2021 6:36 PM CST
Glasshouse works has it. I almost ordered it but figured let them overwinter it.
Name: Bea
(Zone 8b)
Ponds Hellebores Composter Herbs Keeper of Koi Keeps Horses
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Aquaponics Greenhouse Clematis Lilies Cut Flowers
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bumplbea
Jul 22, 2021 6:22 AM CST
@LorettaNJ Thank You! Will take a look.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
sw_gardener
Jul 22, 2021 7:53 PM CST
Aww you're all lucky, I'm in Canada and it's so hard to find anything like that here!
This year I did manage to get some scented geraniums.
The neighbor's lawn is always nicer.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 22, 2021 11:30 PM CST
In my experience, the difference between great geraniums and iffy ones is only full sun with daily watering.
Not saying it's your issue, but unless they had daily pre dawn watering and hot summer days they bloomed off and on.
The plural of anecdote is not data.

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