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Geraniums in hanging baskets are often seen attached to upper supports of porches or hanging on a stake in the garden. The flowers and leaves flow over the side, giving the plant the appearance of draping towards the ground instead of standing upright.
History of the Geranium
A geranium (or pelargonium) is an “herbaceous plant” that is recognized by its lobed leaves and flowers that have five petals. While most of them are annuals, there are some variants that are perennials and some that even live as houseplants.
Their colorful flowers can add light to your house, garden bed, or porch. Geraniums were first discovered in South Africa, and in 1786 Thomas Jefferson had them shipped from France to America. Beloved varieties of geraniums were at one point passed down from family member to family member, and they once had to be grown from cuttings.
A specific type of geranium, the ivy Geranium (or pelargonium peltatum), is the best variety for hanging baskets. Unlike the ones that stand more upright, the ivy grows its flowers and leaves on vines that can be at least 18 inches long. ivy geraniums are available in a variety of colors, including white, rose, red, lavender, and shades of pink. While you can grow upright variants in hanging baskets, the ivy gives the effect that the flowers are overflowing and cascading toward the ground, adding a bit of flair to your home.
Growing a Hanging Geranium
You don't have to plant geraniums in hanging baskets, but people do love that cascading look. You can actually create an entire living wall of geraniums by hanging them from baskets and pots.
Growing a hanging geranium is fairly simple as they’re low-maintenance plants as long as you practice good watering habits. Hanging geraniums can be grown outdoors during the warmer weather and brought inside for over the winter if you have a place to keep them. There are over 75 different cultivars (or varieties) of ivy geraniums on their own, so you’ll have quite a list to pick and choose from as you create your garden home.
Planting in a Hanging Basket
Hanging baskets are a little bit different than pots or garden beds. You need to make sure you use a lightweight soil. Since the basket with the plant will be hanging from a hook, you don’t want anything weighing it down more than it needs to. Geraniums can rot in poorly drained soil, so make sure the basket you choose has at least one hole for drainage.
Whether indoors or outdoors, you should make sure you place the basket in an area that gets sunlight for between four to six hours a day. Ivy geraniums are more sensitive than other varieties, so if possible, make sure that get morning sunlight as opposed to the afternoon (that way the leaves and petals won’t suffer from any sunburn).
If you’re planting them directly outside—as opposed to hanging them indoors—you should wait until temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees. Even though geraniums are low-maintenance, they’re sensitive to sunlight and colder temperatures. On the opposite end, ivy geraniums should only remain in full sun areas as long as the temperatures are below 80 degrees. If they consistently reach higher points (say in the peak of summer), you’ll want to move them to partial shade areas as best you can to avoid overheating or damaging them.
And just in case it's not clear by now - you don't have to plant geraniums in hanging containers. Planting them in regular pots, or even right int he ground is perfectly ok in some setups. Check out this guide on creeping geranium to learn more about this gorgeous ground-covering plant.
In addition to needing morning sunlight, you’ll want to make sure you check on your hanging geraniums frequently during the hotter weather. They prefer somewhat moist soil but can survive in dry soil if you miss a day or two of water. Keep moisture content fairly even to ensure the best growth. Maintaining an even moisture (not too much or too little) will help prevent things like edema from weakening your plant. Because these specific geraniums are being planted in a basket, they don’t have a lot of soil to pull nutrients from. It’s recommended that you use a water-soluble fertilizer every ten days to help the growth, though many people have had success growing ivy geraniums without one.
Geraniums can grow to be 18 to 36 inches. As long as you care for them properly—ensuring proper sunlight, temperature, and watering—you can enjoy blooming flowers throughout the early fall. (Better yet, if you choose to bring them indoors over the winter, you may get to enjoy them then, too!) You just have to make sure you prune them and deadhead them as needed to encourage more growth. Deadheading is the process of removing faded/dead flowers from the plant. By removing the dead flowers, you help the plant divert energy to growing new flowers. Though, some say the flowers of the ivy geranium clean themselves, so you may not have to do as much deadheading as you would with other varieties.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Hanging Geraniums
If you don’t know where to start with your hanging geraniums, look no further! We’ve written a step-by-step guide for you below. It begins at the assembly of the basket and continues all the way until you have luscious, blooming geraniums hanging from your porch.
- Pick out a basket. Ensure that the basket you choose has at least one drainage hole. Many hanging baskets have a coco liner to help retain the soil and improve the draining efficiency.
- Pick out an ivy geranium. You want to make sure you’re getting the flowing effect that this variant can provide. While other geraniums will still look nice in baskets, they’ll grow up instead of out.
- Start to fill the basket with a lightweight soil that has a high-quality mixture. Since there isn’t an abundance of soil available for nutrients, you want to make sure you use a rich soil to plant your ivy geraniums.
- When it’s filled with enough soil, plant your ivy geranium in the basket. Make sure to add as much more soil as needed to keep it stable.
- Find a place to hang your basket. It should be in an area with full sun to partial shade, with direct sunlight coming in the morning. If you can, try to avoid heavy afternoon sunlight to keep the plant from getting damaged. This location can be indoors or outdoors.
- Once you’ve found a good location, hang up the basket and give it some water. You’ll want the soil to be moist—not so dry that the geranium doesn’t have enough to live, but not so wet that you risk plant rot. A good rule of thumb for watering ivy geraniums is to water them just until it starts to drip through the bottom of the basket.
- Water as needed to keep the plant nice and healthy. You should check on your ivy geranium every day to see how it’s doing. More water may be needed in hotter weather, as the soil will dry out faster. Note: If temperatures consistently reach over 80 degrees, you’ll want to move your geranium from a full sun location to somewhere with partial shade.
- You may or may not need to deadhead the plant throughout its growth. Some say it doesn’t need it, but if the flowers start to die, be sure to cut them off to encourage the plant to send nutrients and energy to healthier, growing flowers.
- If your plant does well, you may be able to bring it inside for overwintering. Most geraniums are annuals, though, so it’s likely you’ll have to buy a new one the next season.
Geranium Plant Gallery
These hanging basket geraniums are just starting to grow and bloom. You can see a mixture of fully bloomed flowers as well as new buds.
Geraniums come in a variety of colors. This mixture of solid pink and pink and white geraniums brings a pop of color to any garden, porch, or interior.
Window Boxes Work, Too
Even though many people choose to plant their ivy geraniums in hanging baskets, window boxes are great, too! They’re a prime choice for apartments, condos, or townhouses where you don’t have much room for an outdoor garden or for hanging planters.
An Underside View
From below, you can see how the ivy geraniums cascade over the edges of the basket.
Geraniums come in an array of colors, and they mix well together. Whether you’re looking for a purple, pink, red, or some combination, there’s sure to be a geranium to fit in with your garden.
This hanging geranium has luscious leaves already, and you can see the flowers are just starting to grow throughout the plant.
If you don’t have a place to hang your basket, don’t fret! Just get creative. You can set the baskets on the porch, on a plant stand, on a shelf, you name it. There are plenty of ways to still grow your ivy geraniums without hanging them from a hook.
Using Coco Liner
This hanging basket makes use of the coco liner for the geranium. The coco liner is designed to help retain the soil and encourage proper drainage.
Where Can I Buy Ivy Geraniums?
If you don’t have time to head out to the store to buy ivy geraniums (or maybe they’re out of season now), you can always get some online! From seeds to live plants, Amazon has a variety of options for you to choose from. You’ll even be able to pick and choose which colors you want!
Mixed Ivy Geraniums Seeds
This pack comes with ten seeds for you to plant. The colors are mixed, so you’ll have a variety of flowers in your bloom. This specific seed pack can get up to 12 to 15 inches, loves the sun, and only requires two to three seeds per plant (so you’ll be able to get at least three plants out of the pack).
If you’re interested in one solid color, this listing offers a ten-seed pack of white geraniums. They also require two to three seeds per plant and can grow up to 15 inches in height. This pack is perfect for an already colorful garden that’s looking for a more neutral tone.
If you’re only looking to grow one or two plants, this pack is perfect! It only comes with five high-quality seeds, so you won’t be overwhelmed with geraniums or have any extra seeds left over. It’s a perfect pack to create two beautiful hanging baskets.
Live Starter Plants
This four-pack of live starter plants are perfect if you’re looking to plant right away as opposed to growing from seeds. These specific blooms are a vibrant pink with subtle white stripes, which will surely add a bit of variety to any hanging basket or window box.
These starter plants are the opposite of those above, bearing primarily white flowers with a subtle pink accent. This four-pack of plants is perfect for those who want a more neutral tone to their baskets, but also want subtle, striking pops of color.
If you're looking for a plant in between stark white and vibrant pink, these subtle Contessa Pink live plants will do the trick. This four-pack of starter plants will get you one plant per hanging basket, adding a soft touch of color to your porch or garden.
Love that pink color? Check out our list of 15 types of pink geraniums for more options.
Finally, if you're still in the planning stages, here's a link to our detailed guide on how to grow geraniums. Read it first, to see what exactly you would need to setup for this project. And once you have your heart set out on the specific varieties, you can find the best online stores for buying geranium seeds right here.