Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 12:42 pm
Caring for geraniums on a balcony can be a rewarding experience, as these colorful and fragrant plants thrive in containers and can brighten up your outdoor space. Here are expert tips on how to care for geraniums on a balcony:
1. Container Selection:
- Choose the right container for your geraniums. Opt for pots or containers with good drainage to prevent waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot. A container with a size of at least 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter is ideal for one geranium plant.
2. Soil Mix:
- Use a well-draining potting mix that’s specifically formulated for container gardening. Geraniums prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 6.5.
- Geraniums thrive in full to part sun. Place your pots in a location where they receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. In hotter climates, some afternoon shade can be beneficial.
- Water your geraniums consistently, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause stress to the plants. Water at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry and reduce the risk of diseases.
- Feed your geraniums with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring through early fall). Follow the product’s instructions for proper dilution and application.
- Remove spent flowers (deadhead) regularly to encourage continuous blooming. Pinch or cut back the stem just above a set of leaves or a node.
- Prune leggy or overgrown geraniums to promote bushier growth. Trim back one-third of the plant, focusing on long, straggly stems.
8. Pest and Disease Management:
- Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. Inspect your geraniums regularly and address any issues promptly. Also, ensure good air circulation to prevent diseases like powdery mildew.
9. Winter Care:
- If you live in an area with cold winters, bring your geraniums indoors before the first frost. Store them in a cool, well-lit area, like a garage or a basement, and water sparingly. In warmer climates, geraniums may continue to bloom throughout the year.
10. Repotting: – Geraniums can become root-bound over time. Repot them every 2-3 years, typically in the spring. Choose a slightly larger container and refresh the soil mix.
11. Regular Inspections: – Routinely check the leaves and stems for signs of stress, disease, or pests. Early detection and intervention can prevent more severe problems.
Geranium care requires little effort, because the flowers are robust and easy to care for. But here’s what you should still keep in mind.
Geraniums are among the most popular balcony and garden plants. This is mainly due to the fact that they bloom tirelessly from spring until late autumn. The sturdy flowers come in shades of pink, pink, red, purple and white. Meanwhile, you can even buy bicolored specimens.
Geraniums not only bloom for a long time, but are also very easy to care for. In the next section you will learn what you need to consider when caring for your geraniums.
Geranium care: watering and fertilizing
As plants for full sun, geraniums are particularly suitable for sunny south-facing balconies. It is important that you water them regularly. They need a lot of water, but do not like waterlogging. It is best to water the plants in the morning or evening and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Tip: If the geraniums are in flower pots, these should have drainage holes. A drainage layer is also recommended (for example, made of expanded clay).
Geraniums belong to the so-called heavy feeders and need a lot of nutrients. You can fertilize them weekly during the main growing season from spring to midsummer. Simply add the recommended amount of fertilizer to the water.
Care for geraniums: Don’t forget to clean them out
Geranium care also includes regular cleaning of the plants. To do this, remove withered flowers and dead leaves with your hands. Important: You should never forget this step. Dead plant parts increase the risk of the plant becoming moldy or infected with a disease.
Tip: Dispose of the plant waste in your organic waste or compost it.
Diseases and pests are rare in geraniums. However, if you do notice an infestation, care for your geraniums with an organic pesticide.