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How To Bring Geraniums Back To Life – Rejuvenating Geraniums

Are you looking to rejuvenate and bring your tired and worn out geraniums back to life?

Geraniums are prized for their gorgeous blooms that can fill multiple stems at once. Their bright foliage and flowers are wonderful for bringing big interest to hanging baskets, containers, window boxes, and flowerbeds. Well, that is – when they are blooming big and full of life and not looking worn out.

Unfortunately, for many gardeners, by mid-summer, their geraniums can start to look a little scraggly, weak, and honestly, quite sad. Whether it’s from spent blooms or inconsistent growth, the once well-maintained and stunning plants often need a little help to come back to life.

Geranium blooms spilling out over a wooden window box.
With a little mid-season rejuvenation, you can get your geraniums growing strong and flowering even stronger!

The good news is that just because your plants might look like they are on their last leg, with just a bit of work, you can quite easily have them blooming big and bright again – and keep them that way right up until the first frost. With that in mind, here is a look at how to rejuvenate you geraniums with ease!

Rejuvenating Geranium Plants – How To Bring Geraniums Back To Life!

Cutting Back Geraniums

As summer progresses, some of the growth on geraniums can shoot out above the rest of the plant. This taller plant growth can cause plants to look scraggly and leggy, even though they are perfectly healthy and growing well. 

If this is the case, simply pinch off the new taller growth – even if it contains new buds. This will help to keep plants tidy and in a more compact shape as they grow throughout the later summer months. 

Don’t just pinch the plant back right behind the buds, but instead, follow the long stem back to where it meets another stem and pinch it off at that point. It should easily snap off using just your fingernail, but you can also use a sharp pair of pruners as well to do the job.

cutting back annual flowers
Cut the bloom off way at the bottom of the stem where it meets with another stem.

Removing all that excess plant material will allow the plant to concentrate its resources and nutrients on the blooms and growth you are leaving behind. This can be done at any time during the growing season, but it is especially important during mid-summer.  

A final note on cutting back – if your plant is really looking tired, don’t be afraid to cut it back even more. It can take a few weeks to regenerate new growth, but it will help the plant look and stay much better right up until fall.

Fertilizing To Bloom Strong AgainHow To Rejuvenate & Bring Geraniums Back To Life

Just like all plants and vegetables need nutrients to stay productive, geraniums need power as well to stay strong and bloom. This is especially important for flowers grown in hanging baskets and containers. There is only a limited number of resources within the soil in pots and containers. As the geraniums grow, they quickly use up those resources. 

If the nutrients are not replenished regularly, the geraniums can start to struggle by mid-summer. First, plants will stop producing blooms and the foliage will being to fade. Eventually, the plants will die back altogether without proper nutrients. 

It’s not just container geraniums that can struggle though. Plants grown directly in the ground can also start to run out of resources by mid-summer as well. 

Signs of nutrient deficiencies can show differently on geraniums. A lack of nitrogen results in slow or stunted growth as well as a yellowing of the foliage. A lack of phosphorus can result in yellowing or reddish leaves and a lack of blooms. Finally, potassium deficiency appears as flimsy stems with the lower leaves staring to die back or off.

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Applying The Fertilizer – How To Rejuvenate & Bring Geraniums Back To Life

To combat this, you simply need to feed the geraniums. Give them a low dose of a well-balanced liquid fertilizer every two to four weeks throughout the growing season. With geraniums, finding a fertilizer that has a bit more phosphorous and potassium than nitrogen can really help it bloom better. Affiliate Product Link: Jack’s Classic Blossom Booster 1.5 lbs, 10-30-20

You can also provide your geraniums an extra boost with compost tea or worm casting tea every couple of weeks as well. This works well to maintain good plant growth. For more on how to make your own worm casting tea, see our article: “How To Use Worm Castings To Power Plants.”

Always avoid applying fertilizers during the heat of the day. Instead, apply the fertilizers early in the morning for best results and to prevent the burning of the delicate foliage. 

Repotting Overgrown Plants – How To Rejuvenate & Bring Geraniums Back To Life

If you are growing geraniums in pots or containers, they can often become overgrown during the growing season.

You may notice that the plants are starting to wilt, even though you recently watered them. The water might also run right through when you apply it and out the bottom of the pot. If this is the case, they have become root bound and you will need to repot the geraniums into bigger containers.

Choose a container that is about two inches larger than the previous container. Jumping too big at one time can actually cause issues with plant growth. 

A root bound geranium plant - bring geraniums back to life
You will need to repot geraniums by mid-season if they have grown too large for their current container. Without more space, they simply can’t absorb water or nutrients.

Use brand-new, well-draining potting soil and add in a few cupfuls of compost or worm castings to act as a slow-release fertilizer. Place the geraniums in the container, back fill, and water deeply until the water drains from the holes in the bottom of the container. 

Additional Tips – How To Rejuvenate & Bring Geraniums Back To Life

If your geraniums are starting to fade by mid-summer, you might also want to check their growing location. Different varieties will have different requirements when it comes to sunlight, but most require full sun.

Another way to help rejuvenate geraniums mid-season is to cut back plants that are growing too densely together. This is usually more of an issue with those planted directly in the ground. 

Geraniums with several faded blooms and good red blooms - bring geraniums back to life
A few simple steps can keep your geraniums from fading and looking like this by mid-season.

Geraniums need plenty of air circulation to continue blooming. The plants also need space for their roots to spread out and not compete for resources and nutrients within the soil. Proper airflow also helps to avoid pests and disease issues as well. 

Simply go through plants mid-season and cut back the geraniums so there is more space between plants. Use a pair of sharp, clean pruners and snip them back to the soil line. With these simple tips, it’s easy to rejuvenate and bring your geraniums back to life – and they can continue to bloom strong and look stunning all throughout summer and fall! 

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