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Jul 8, 2021 11:21 AM CST
Name: Vicky Thompson
Michigan (Zone 5b)
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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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Jul 8, 2021 3:01 PM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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.
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Jul 8, 2021 3:15 PM CST
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
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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.
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Jul 9, 2021 6:30 AM CST
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
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 Icon for preview
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Jul 9, 2021 10:32 AM CST
Name: Peggy
Temple, TX (Zone 8b)
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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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Jul 9, 2021 8:16 PM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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.
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Jul 17, 2021 10:07 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
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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 Icon for preview
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Jul 17, 2021 11:46 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
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@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.”
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Jul 17, 2021 11:56 PM CST
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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Although called "Geraniums" these are actually Pelargoniums. I think you may be overfeeding them.
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Jul 18, 2021 7:45 AM CST
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
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Region: New Mexico Salvias Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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.
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Jul 18, 2021 8:47 PM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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 Icon for preview
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Jul 18, 2021 9:39 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
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@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.”
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Jul 19, 2021 11:39 AM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
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.
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Jul 20, 2021 5:30 PM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
I did run over to Well Sweep today. They had two Crocodiles left and both reverted, so that source is out.
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Jul 20, 2021 11:19 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
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@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.”
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Jul 21, 2021 6:31 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Bulbs Native Plants and Wildflowers Spiders! Solar Power Hibiscus Hydrangeas
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@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.”
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Jul 21, 2021 6:36 PM CST
Northern NJ (Zone 6b)
Glasshouse works has it. I almost ordered it but figured let them overwinter it.
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Jul 22, 2021 6:22 AM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
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@LorettaNJ Thank You! Will take a look.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
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Jul 22, 2021 7:53 PM CST
Name: Steven
Ontario, Canada (Zone 5b)
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.
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Jul 22, 2021 11:30 PM CST
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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.
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