Master the Art of Geranium Pruning: A Step-by-Step Guide


Growing geraniums can often result in spindly and leggy stems. To prevent this, it is important to prune geraniums regularly and correctly, especially when they have finished blooming. Pruning helps to promote healthier and bushier growth, prevent the plants from becoming too tall and floppy, and encourage more flowering throughout the growing season.

Pruning geraniums can be done in stages, starting in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. This is also a good time to prune any overwintered geraniums that have become leggy. By cutting back the plants by about half, it will stimulate new growth and help to rejuvenate the plants.

There are a few key steps to follow when pruning geraniums. First, look for any damaged or dead stems and remove them right at the base. Next, pinch off any weak or thin stems to encourage the stronger ones to grow. Take care not to remove too many stems, as this can result in a lopsided or unnatural shape.

For tender geraniums, such as pelargoniums, pruning can be done throughout the year as needed. These plants can be sheared back by about one-third to two-thirds in late summer or early autumn before bringing them indoors for overwintering.

Regular pruning not only keeps geraniums looking neat and tidy, but it also promotes air circulation between the leaves, which helps to prevent diseases. Additionally, removing old and woody growth allows new stems to grow and keeps the plants alive and thriving.

In summary, geraniums should be pruned regularly to maintain their shape and promote healthy growth. By following the steps outlined above, and pruning at the right time, geraniums can be kept looking lovely throughout the growing season. So don’t worry if your geraniums have become leggy or overgrown – simply give them a little pruning and watch them grow back stronger than ever.

How to Prune Geraniums – Growth Hacks

Pruning geraniums is an important task that helps to promote healthy growth and maintain the shape of your plants. By cutting back your geraniums, you can encourage new growth and prevent them from becoming leggy or overgrown. Pruning also allows you to remove any dead or damaged leaves, keeping your geraniums looking their best.

There are different methods you can use to prune geraniums, depending on the stage of growth and the type of geranium you have. In general, it’s best to prune geraniums in late winter or early spring, before they start actively growing again. However, if you have tender geraniums that need to be overwintered indoors, you can prune them in autumn before bringing them inside.

One simple method of pruning geraniums is known as “pinching.” This means removing the tips of the branches by using your fingers to pinch them off. This technique encourages branching and helps to keep your geraniums compact and full. You can do this throughout the summer to promote continuous growth.

Another method of pruning geraniums is shearing. This involves using sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut back the entire plant, usually by about one-third. Shearing is best done in late winter or early spring when the plant is dormant. It’s important to make your cuts just above a leaf or bud to encourage new growth in the desired direction.

If you have hardy geranium species, they can be pruned at any time during the growing season. You can prune them back to ground level using shears or scissors, and they will quickly regrow and start blooming again.

In addition to regular pruning, geraniums need regular maintenance to keep them healthy and thriving. This includes regular watering, fertilizing, and removing spent flowers. Pruning is just one part of the overall care routine for geraniums, but it’s an important one.

So, whether you’re looking to shape your geraniums, stimulate new growth, or just keep them tidy, pruning is a necessary practice. By following these growth hacks, you can help ensure that your geraniums stay green and full, no matter the season.

Note: The content of this article was contributed by the user dovefromabove via the RHS Gardening Forum, as answered by user garyjr.

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How to Prune Geraniums

Pruning geraniums can worry some gardeners, but it’s a simple task that can help your plants grow better and look more attractive. Whether you have green geraniums (Pelargoniums) or hardy geraniums, regular pruning is a necessary part of keeping them healthy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly prune your geraniums.

When to Prune Geraniums

The best time to prune geraniums is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. If you live in an area where geraniums can overwinter outdoors, you can prune them back a quarter or even half their size in late fall. This will prevent the plants from becoming too leggy and enable them to produce more compact growth in the following growing season.

If you are growing hardy geraniums, they can be pruned back after they have finished blooming in mid-season. This will encourage a second bloom and prevent the plants from becoming overly tired and woody.

How to Prune Geraniums

First, remove any dead or damaged stems by cutting them off at the base. Then, using sharp pruning shears, cut back any stems that are too long or leggy, making the cut just above a healthy bud or leaf node. This will encourage new growth in that area.

If your geraniums have been overwintered bare-root or are looking particularly bare, you can strip off the remaining foliage to focus growth on the stems. This is especially helpful when using the plant for cuttings, as it will prevent the cutting from wasting energy on the foliage and instead direct it towards root development.

If you’re not sure where to make your cuts, a general rule of thumb is to prune back geraniums by at least one-third of their total size. This will help maintain a compact and well-shaped plant. However, if you prefer a fuller and more bushy geranium, you can prune them back even harder.

Tips and Tricks for Pruning Geraniums

– Prune geraniums while they are still actively growing, as they will recover faster.

– If you’re pruning hardy geraniums, be sure to wait until after they have finished blooming.

– Don’t be afraid to cut back hard if your geraniums are becoming too leggy or overgrown.

– If you have multiple geranium plants, stagger their pruning stages to ensure a continuous show of flowers throughout the season.

– To prevent the spread of disease, disinfect your pruning shears between each cut by wiping them with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution.

By following these pruning hacks, you can keep your geraniums healthy, attractive, and blooming all season long.

How to Prune Overwintered Geraniums in the Spring

Overwintering geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, can be a rewarding way to enjoy your favorite plants year after year. These beautiful flowers can survive the winter indoors and then be brought back to life in the spring. However, overwintered geraniums can often become leggy and overgrown. Pruning them in the spring is essential to encourage new growth and maintain their shape.

Here are the steps to prune your overwintered geraniums:

  1. Prepare the plants: Take your overwintered geraniums out of their pots while keeping the roots intact. This will make it easier to prune the plants.
  2. Choose a suitable location: Find a place where you can work and make a mess, such as a garage or a garden shed. Make sure the area is well-ventilated.
  3. Inspect the plants: Look for any signs of disease or pest infestation. Remove any dead or damaged leaves or stems.
  4. Prune the stems: Using clean, sharp pruning shears, trim back the long stems by about a quarter of their length. Make the cuts just above a set of leaves or nodes.
  5. Pinch the tips: To promote bushier growth, pinch the tips of the stems with your fingers. This will encourage the plants to branch out and fill in.
  6. Remove leggy growth: If you have any leggy or weak stems, remove them completely. This will direct the plant’s energy towards healthier growth.
  7. Water and fertilize: After pruning, water the plants thoroughly and apply a balanced fertilizer to support new growth.
  8. Place the plants: Once your geraniums have been pruned, place them in a sunny location where they can receive at least six to eight hours of sunlight per day.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your overwintered geraniums will have a fresh start in the spring. Regular pruning and maintenance will keep them looking their best throughout the summer. If you have any questions or need further guidance, consult a local gardener or plant care expert.

How to Prune Geraniums at the End of the Season

Pruning geraniums at the end of the season is an important part of plant maintenance. By cutting back your geraniums before winter dormancy sets in, you can help ensure a healthier, fuller plant come spring. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of pruning geraniums at the end of the season, using techniques that are best for the plant’s overall growth and maintenance.

Before we dive into the pruning steps, it is important to know where to make the cuts. Geraniums have a tendency to become leggy, with long stems and sparse leaves. The goal of pruning at the end of the season is to encourage bushier growth and prevent the plant from becoming too top-heavy. Start by using clean and sharp pruners or scissors for the best results.

Here are the steps to prune geraniums at the end of the season:

  1. Start by pinching off any dead or spent flowers and leaves throughout the summer, as this will help the plant redirect its energy towards new growth.
  2. As the growing season progresses, the geraniums might start to look unruly or overgrown. To maintain a compact shape, regularly pinch back the stems by about a quarter inch to encourage bushier growth.
  3. Mid-season pruning is crucial for keeping geraniums in their best shape. Cut back any long or leggy stems to about half of their height. This will promote new growth and maintain a fuller appearance.
  4. When the geraniums have finished their flowering period in late summer or early autumn, it’s time for a more thorough pruning. Cut back the stems to about one-third of their length, taking care to make clean cuts just above a leaf node.
  5. If you live in a location with a mild climate or plan on overwintering your geraniums, you can shear the plants back to about 4-6 inches in height. This will help protect the plant from damage during winter and encourage new growth in the spring.
  6. For those growing hardy geranium species, regular pruning throughout the season is not necessary. However, a light trim after the main flowering flush can help maintain a neat appearance for the rest of the summer.

By following these steps, you can successfully prune your geraniums at the end of the season, ensuring their health and beauty for many seasons to come. Pruning is an essential part of gardening and can keep your geraniums looking lovely throughout the summer. If you have any specific questions about pruning or geranium care, be sure to reach out to local gardening experts or ask for advice from experienced gardeners in your community.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.