How to prune geranium plants

Updated April 17, 2017

The genus Pelargonium provides us with one of the most beloved summer bedding annuals, the geranium. Wild geraniums, from the genus Geranium, are perennials gaining in popularity with gardeners. Available in a myriad of colours and forms, geraniums are hardy and require very little maintenance. To keep these summer lovelies blooming at their best, regular pruning is necessary.

Pinch back growing tips early in the growing season, and at regular intervals, to encourage a bushier form and more branching. The more stems your geranium produces, the more blooms it can support.

Pinch off spent blooms to keep your geranium blooming. The plant will spend less energy developing seed in spent flowers and more in forming new buds. Seed production also sends the plant into a premature dormant state.

Remove diseased and damaged stems, leaves, and flowers, using small garden shears. Infected foliage or blooms should be sheared back to the point of healthy foliage immediately. If necessary, cut within 2.5 cm (1 inch) of the base of the plant to remove unhealthy stems and prevent the spread of disease.

Cut back the geranium to 15 cm (6 inches) tall to overwinter outdoors, or before digging and repotting to be placed in a sunny window indoors for the winter.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
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About the Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.