Geranium care in the mountains

Pelargoniums, commonly known as Geraniums

Geraniums, as we know them, are planted in abundance throughout Alpine mountain villages in the summer. They come in beautiful clashing pinks, purples, reds, oranges and whites and are beautiful. An easy way to brighten up the exterior of your chalet for summer guests.

Throughout the season you can expect new blooms of flowers from each plant, if they are looked after properly. Here are a few tips on geranium care in the mountains:

  • Sunlight
    If your plants are not blooming they are not getting enough sunlight. Try changing the position of the plant. Geraniums like bright or direct sunlight in the day and cooler nights, spring until autumn.
  • Water
    Water the plants thoroughly and then let the top 3 cms dry out before watering again. The soil should be well ventilated. However do not let the roots dry out completely.
  • Deadheading
    Flowers will die off continuously, so make sure you deadhead frequently. This will encourage new growth. Just pluck off the old flower between your thumb and fore finger.
  • Fertiliser
    You can feed your geraniums with slow release tomato feed to keep them flowering regularly. Do not over feed them – once in spring and once in summer is enough. Avoid feeding at the end of summer as they will have a sudden bloom that will be wasted when the frost comes.

Save your geraniums over the winter

Geraniums are perennials. meaning that they will flower year after year, so don’t get rid of them once they stop flowering in autumn. Let them rest over the winter and make sure that the frost does not get to them. If you live in the mountains be sure to bring them in and store them in a cool place, between 7-10°C. Water them sparingly whilst they rest, but do not let the soil completely dry out. Allow the leaves and flowers to die back.

In spring cut the stems back quite vigorously so the plant does not become too lanky. Geraniums oddly like to be slightly pot bound, so either keep the same pot but refresh the soil so that it has the nutrients it needs or re-pot it just one size up.

Have you got some tips on maintaining healthy Geraniums in the mountains? Let us know using the comments box below.