It would be best to learn how to cut geraniums using three techniques to ensure that these plants are well-maintained. Remember that even though geraniums are easy to propagate, practices like cutting them will ensure that your mature geraniums will thrive and look their best. You can also keep your geraniums in the greenhouse in addition to cutting them to keep them stress-free and less likely to develop diseases.
Remember that extreme cold or heat can damage geraniums. You can use the methods below to know how to care for them year-round and help the plant rejuvenate itself when damaged parts developed. However, maintaining them in a stable and protected space like the greenhouse would be optimal, especially if your region experiences harsh climates.
Comprehensive Guide For Cutting Geraniums
Method #1. Cutting back
There are many instances where it’s ideal for cutting back your geraniums. Remember that you are not trimming them lightly with this practice, so timing is crucial to ensure that they will grow back healthily. Experienced gardeners recommend cutting back geraniums by the end of fall or before you transfer them into the greenhouse for tidiness.
The former is also an excellent time to remember if you’re growing geraniums that stay green year-round. To cut back geraniums, remove the leggy and woody stems. You can end up cutting the plant back to half, depending on the woody growth.
Method #2. Pruning
Geraniums that stay green year-round will benefit from cutting back in late fall. On the contrary, pruning the plants at the beginning of spring is best for geraniums that die back in the winter. These are also the plants that you need to encourage dormancy and overwinter into the greenhouse.
Choose the brown and dead leaves and trim the stems that are no longer healthy. They can be the woody and leggy growths. You might also end up removing up to a third of the plant if necessary.
Method #3. Pinching
The final method that you must learn for geraniums is pinching. While pinching is not necessarily a way to cut geraniums, it is still a practice that can be useful when growing your plants. When you have new plants, you do this whether you just placed them in the bedding or if they just came back from overwintering.
Pinching is best in spring, where you’ll target the end of a stem around half an inch. You can also use scissors to snip the end once you notice your plant reaching around three inches tall. Do this on all the ends of stems to create a bushier and more compact geranium.
The reason behind this trick is when you pinch throughout spring, new stems will grow from the original ones. Therefore, you’ll end up with a fuller-looking plant. However, the emphasis is necessary that whichever of the three techniques you do, always use sharp and sterile tools to avoid disease transmission and ensure clean cuts.
Can You Deadhead Geraniums?
Geraniums, like most flowering plants, will benefit from deadheading. However, you want to do it with diligence to avoid damaging your plant. Please wait for the flowers to fade and wilt and then remove them.
Deadheading can be throughout the blooming season, every time you notice faded blooms. This will not only keep your plant looking tidy but removing the dead flowers will also encourage new blooms and extend the season. If you remove the dead flowers, your plant will have an easier time focusing its energy on bloom production.
You can also remove the stem altogether if the entire flower cluster has died. Cut it at quarter an inch above the main stem or snap it downward. However, it’s better to use a sharp and sterile tool to lower the risk of damaging the plant and affecting its flowering.
How To Increase Branching Of Geraniums
According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, you can use Florel or ethephon to increase geranium branching. Remember that not all geranium cultivars typically produce plenty of flower stalks, so you can encourage them by using Florel around four weeks before you sell them and have better-looking plants.
A rate of 350 to 500 ppm is recommended, but never apply late in the cycle. However, one can expect shorter internodes and smaller leaves after using Florel, and proper knowledge of the application is necessary. Nonetheless, this is a useful tip to remember, especially for those that grow geraniums for profit.
Growing geraniums is relatively simple, but there are techniques that you must learn to encourage better-looking and healthier plants. For starters, know how to cut geraniums using three methods. They include cutting back in late fall if you have geraniums that stay green year-round or pruning geraniums that die in winter at the start of spring.
If you have just finished overwintering geraniums or if you have new ones, pinching the end of branches will also encourage bushier growth. You can even use ethephon before selling your plants if your cultivars don’t produce many branches. Lastly, you can cut off faded blooms on your geraniums to extend the blooming season and keep the plants looking tidy.