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Abundantly blooming geraniums give your home or garden brilliant color throughout the growing season. But, before you pot or plant geraniums, you probably want to know how big geraniums can grow. We’ve researched several varieties of this flowering plant to get the answer for you.
Geraniums can grow between 6 - 48 inches tall, depending on the variety.
Keep reading, and we will discuss how to care for geraniums to produce bushy plants with vibrant blooms.
Types of Geraniums (or Pelargonium)
Geraniums or Pelagonium are relatively low-maintenance plants that treat gardeners to a long blooming season, from early spring through summer. Vibrant flower colors and foliage are available depending on the variety. Sizes of geranium plants do vary. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common geranium varieties.
Ivy-Leaved Geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum)
Ivy-leaved geraniums are an attractive choice for ground coverage, window boxes, or hanging pots because of their trailing habit. Star-shaped, lobed leaves surround clusters of dainty flowers in mauve, purple, white, red, or pink. Ivy-leaved types of geraniums can sprawl up to 48-inches and grow to heights between 12 to 30-inches.
Zonal Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortum)
Zonal geraniums are the most common among homes and gardens. This type thrives either potted indoors/outdoors or planted in garden beds outdoors. Best known for lush foliage, the name ‘zonal’ refers to the darkened band of color (or zone) on variegated leaves. Zonal geranium varieties produce single, semi-double, and double flower clusters in colorful blooms, which include red, pink, purple, white, orange, and bicolor varieties. Zonal varieties grow up to 24-inches tall and wide. Dwarf zonal geraniums grow between 5 to 8-inches tall and wide.
Regal or Martha Washington Geraniums (Pelargonium x domesticum)
Regal geraniums are a larger, hybrid variety that grows upright and somewhat bushy. Foliage consists of rounded, semi-toothed leaves. Growing to heights between 12 to 48-inches, regal geraniums produce clusters of single flowers. Colorful blooms include purple, red, pink, white, and orange varieties. The dwarf variety, angel geranium (P. crispum), is slightly smaller, between 9 to 36-inches tall.
What is the growing season for geraniums? Check out our blog, “Are Geraniums Annuals or Perennials? [The Answer Will Surprise You!]”
Do Geraniums Spread?
Healthy geraniums can self-seed, and new plants have a tendency to spring up nearby, but they are not uncontrollable spreaders.
The ivy-leaved variety of geranium sprawls willingly, growing between 30 to 48-inches wide. If planted into the ground, space these geraniums roughly 36-inches apart. If planted into a pot, the trailing branches will extend over the sides, so the geranium has more room to grow.
Zonal geraniums typically grow tall, so they should be planted into the ground between 12 to 24-inches apart depending on how bushy the variety is.
How Do I Make My Geranium Bushy?
Prune geraniums regularly to achieve a bushy shape. Otherwise, unkempt geraniums will grow tall and leggy. Pruning helps geraniums to stay healthy by encouraging new, yet compact growth.
Prune overwintered geraniums during early spring, from May to April. Spring pruning will stimulate growth, so geraniums thrive as the weather becomes warmer.
Prepare geraniums for winter by pruning during mid-autumn. Autumn pruning helps geraniums to conserve energy, especially if geraniums are kept outdoors, dormant though winter season. Wait until flowers and foliage have died, then trim the plant.
How to Prune Geraniums
First, carefully examine the plant to determine how to prune it by looking for:
- Stems with fewer leaves or no leaves at all.
- Dead foliage.
- Dead flower heads.
- Lopsided areas.
Next, use pruning shears to snip off dead foliage, dead flowers, and sparse-leaved stems. Don’t worry about leaving a hole while shaping the plant because, within a few weeks, the geranium will develop lush new growth. Cut stems approximately 1/4” from the base, where the leggy stem meets the main stem. Cut dead flowers and foliage at the base of the bloom or leaf.
Pinching is a method of pruning by using your fingers to sever stems. During spring, pinch new young plants to the desired shape before potting or planting. Throughout the growing season, pinch dead flowers and dead foliage from geraniums.
How Do I Make My Geraniums Bloom Bigger?
Be sure to accommodate the growing conditions for the variety of geranium that you select. Most annual varieties thrive in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. Geraniums prefer full sun to partial shade, sandy soil, and ample watering as needed. To encourage bigger blooms that last throughout the growing season, try these tips:
Pruning Healthy Flower Stems
Remove healthy flower stems during the spring. Pruning helps to shape the geranium, and encourage more flowers to grow. Use a hedge clipper or scissor to snip healthy flower stems near the juncture where it joins the main stem.
Deadheading spent blooms by removing wilted or dead flowers will encourage new growth for another round of flowers during summer. Use a hedge clipper, scissor, or pinch to trim the flower stem off just below the bloom.
Feed geraniums with a 10-10-10 fertilizer, or blooming formula. Water-soluble fertilizers work well to incorporate into your watering routine every 2-weeks throughout the summer.
What Size Container Do You Need for Planting Geraniums?
The size of the pot largely depends on the variety of geranium. Smaller varieties grow well in a 6 to 8-inch pot. Larger varieties grow well in a 10-inch pot. Here are some of our top picks for geranium containers:
White 6-Inch Pot
Versatile pot has a modern look to coordinate with any interior or exterior space. The lightweight plastic container has ample room for a smaller variety of geraniums to grow with drainage.
Self-Watering 8-Inch Pot
Matte finish, brown pot coordinates with any interior decor or exterior landscape to let geraniums’ brilliant blooms take center stage. The self-watering feature with optional drainage holes keeps plants healthy.
White Ceramic 7-Inch Hanging Pot
Lovely, glazed porcelain pot beautifully displays ivy-leaved geraniums for indoor use. Nylon rope and two hooks included for hanging. Drainage provided via a hole with a removable plug.
Corinthian 10-Inch Pot
The perfect accent piece for geraniums on an outdoor patio or indoor sunroom, this Corinthian pot has a lovely blossom detail. It has ample room for larger variety geraniums to grow, with drainage holes. The lightweight blend of stone dust and silicone resin proves lightweight and weather resistant.
Countryside 30“ x 8” Window Planter
Durable plastic window planter has indoor or outdoor use. Overhanging ivy-leaved geraniums look great beneath the window or mount the planter on a patio or deck for dwarf varieties of zonal geraniums. Diverse colors include white, brown, terra-cotta, and sage to coordinate with your home. Removable drainage keeps plants healthy.
Now that you know how big geraniums can grow, you can be sure to pick the right variety for your container or garden. Before you plant geraniums, get all the necessary details at our blog, “How to Grow Geraniums [Care Tips, Pictures, and More!]”