GERANIUM IN HANGING BASKETS &
Geraniums are great plants for hanging baskets – they have such a
great range of colors.
It can be somewhat confusing however when it comes to choosing the right
type of geranium for your baskets or hanging planters as there are
usually many types of Geranium on offer.
This is a guide on some of the different types, and how to use Zonal
Geraniums in hanging baskets and hanging planters.
Different Types of Geraniums
When choosing Geraniums for your hanging baskets you should take into
account the Geranium’s growth habit – is it upright or trailing, and
then does it like full sun, morning sun, hot or cooler temperatures.
Here is an overview to help you choose.
Zonal Geraniums have an upright growth habit.
Zonal, Annual or Bedding Geraniums
Zonal Geraniums is one of the more common names given to one of the
broadest group of geraniums. Zonal Geraniums have an upright growth
habit – they do no tend to spill or tumble. They are also referred to as
Annual or Bedding Geraniums.
Zonal Geranium flowers come in singles,
semi-doubles and doubles and they love full sun. Flower colors include
lavender, magenta, orange, pink, salmon, red and white and variations of
bi-colored flowers, too.
Because of their upright habit Zonal Geraniums are often used in
hanging baskets mixed in with other trailing plants.
A sub-group of the Zonal’s are the fancy-leafed geraniums. The color
of some of these geraniums leaves is striking – see photo.
when the flowers are not out in not bloom the variegated leaves stand
Fancy leafed Geraniums also have an upright habit, and while they love
full sun, however they will also tolerate part shade. Again they tend to
be used in hanging baskets with other trailing plants.
Ivy geranium have waxy, almost succulent like leaves and are a great
choice for hanging baskets or hanging planters due to their cascading
Trailing Ivy Geranium will cover
an entire basket
Ivy geranium’s are perfect for hanging baskets, and should placed in
an east facing location, protected from the hot afternoon sun.
More on using Ivy
Geraniums in Hanging Baskets & Planters.
Also known as regal geraniums or pansy type geraniums, they are
admired for their larger almost azalea like blooms.
Martha Washington Geranium’s prefer cooler temperatures so plant them
in hanging baskets where they are shaded from the hot afternoon sun.
Scented Geraniums have fragrant leaves when brushed against or
crushed. Scented geraniums oils, leaves and flower petals are often used
in perfumes and potpourris.
While they love a sunny spot but avoid hanging them in an area that gets
too much hot afternoon sun.
Most Scented Geraniums are upright; however, there are some trailing
types which are great in hanging baskets and hanging planters. Some
examples include ‘Chocolate Mint’ or ‘Snowflake Rose.’
Scented geraniums come in scents such as rose, lemon, apple, orange
Geranium “Scented Citronella” is also known as the Mosquito Plant. It
has wonderful citrus-scented foliage which is said to keep the bugs
Zonal geraniums mixed with other
Growing Zonal Geraniums in Hanging Baskets
Plant your baskets in late May after all risk of frost has passed. If
planted too early and then injured by cold temperatures your baskets
will produce little growth and the foliage will often turn reddish. Your
plants are unlikely to recover.
Geraniums will grow in almost any type
of soil so long as it is well-aerated and porous – so a good container
potting mix works well.
As zonal geraniums have an upright habit, we
suggest mixing in some trailing annuals that also like the same full
same conditions – petunias, potato vines, among others work very well.
Once planted, place your baskets or planters where they will receive all
day sun for best flower production.
Liquid fertilizers such as 20-20-20 or 15-30-15 should also be
applied at the rate recommended on the package. Water well after
applying any fertilizer to ensure that the fertilizer reaches the roots
and to avoid burning.
Any fertilizer that gets on the foliage of the plants should be
sprayed with water to avoid burning.
Pests & Diseases
Pest problems are pretty minimal with geraniums. Always trim away
fading flower and leaf stalks to reduce the risk of botrytis, which can
be a problem during too much wet weather.
It is possible to keep geraniums from year to year by taking cuttings in
late August and rooting them as discussed earlier. Plants can also be
dug, trimmed back to one half their original height, repotted and placed
in a sunny window for the winter months.
Your Hanging Baskets
Yes Geraniums can be overwintered. When saving geraniums remove any
other dying or spent annuals from your hanging basket or planter. Prune
your geranium back by 1/3 to 1/2, water your basket or planter
thoroughly and then place it in a cool but well lit part of your house.
Around March increase watering your basket and move it into a nice sunny
position – the more sun the better.
Geraniums will go into dormancy
fairly easily so over wintering them is well worth considering. Keeping
your geraniums means you will be rewarded with large lush geranium
plants long before your neighbors have bought theirs.
For more on
overwintering click here.