Geraniums belong to a large family of plants of the genus geranium with more than 400 species to its credit, although some of the genus are also commonly known as geraniums. Pelargonium. They are plants that live in practically all temperate climates and, in gardening, apart from the beauty of their leaves and flowers, their usefulness as a ground cover stands out.
However, geraniums are plants that require some care in order to stay healthy and beautiful. One of these most basic cares, as in all plants, is proper pruning, so in this EcologíaVerde article we are going to teach you how to prune geraniums and when is the best month geranium pruning.
When to prune geraniums
A regular pruning of geranium It is very beneficial for any type or variety, but it is especially necessary for the perennial type, because if they are not pruned at least once a year, they end up developing long, thin and weak stems, with scarce flowering.
There are also two main reasons for pruning a geranium: to strengthen and beautify it, or to rid it of damaged or diseased parts. If we are going to prune damaged parts, the ideal is to do it in the middle of winter, when the plant is less active, between december and january.
On the other hand, if it is a pruning of healthy parts, the geranium pruning month will vary depending on the local climate. If you live in a warm area where it does not freeze in winter, it is usual to prune in autumn, while if the winters are cold where you live and the ground suffers frost, it is better to do it in early spring, in march or april.
Some prefer to prune twice a year to further stimulate the growth of the plant and keep it looking compact and full of flowers. It’s safest to do this in warm or temperate climates, and prune as well in both fall and spring.
How to prune geraniums step by step
These are the steps to prune geraniums easily and correctly:
- Before pruning the geranium, always sterilize your scissors or pruning shears with alcohol. This will prevent the plant from being attacked by germs that enter through its open wounds.
- Look closely at the plant to identify diseased or damaged areas. This includes looking at the undersides of their leaves and areas that are usually hidden from view. You should prune off all unhealthy stems and leaves, as well as wilted leaves. Do not be afraid to remove leaves or flowers that do not seem completely wilted yet, it is better for the plant to prune them so that it can focus its energies on producing new shoots.
- If you prune in spring, you can remove some of the healthy stems that have flowers. To do this, you can make the cut where the stem joins the main node or just over 5 mm from the first node. In either case, always cut at an angle, as there is less chance of the cut section collecting unwanted debris.
- Lastly, you should prune the thinnest and longest stems of the plant, especially if they show no leaves or very few. It is better to emphasize the lateral stems of the geranium, leaving the central ones unpruned, in order to give it as spherical a shape as possible. These types of stems should be pruned almost to the base, again about 5mm from the lowest node.
How to make geranium cuttings and plant them
it’s possible save stems from pruning to make cuttings with them and plant them thus producing another geranium. In fact, a single long enough stem can be cut into several parts to produce different cuttings. Remember to always cut them just over 5mm below the knot.
- Remove all but the topmost leaves from the cutting. A newly planted cutting won’t have the strength to hold several leaves or one too large, but leaving it with just one medium-sized one will help it grow faster. Still, the leaf is not completely necessary, and a stem with no leaves at all can also grow.
- Prepare a small pot with a suitable substrate for geraniums. Using pots with a small water reservoir below the drainage holes can help if you don’t want to be so vigilant about watering.
- Make a small hole with a stick or pencil in the soil and plant the cutting in it. If you have rooting hormones, dipping the bottom of the stem in them before planting will help the plant get strong sooner. Remember not to bury the cutting too much, so that the leaf is always above the ground.
- Finally, water the cutting after planting it. The first roots should appear in no more than two weeks.
To finish, we recommend you read this other article that is a guide on the care of geraniums.
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