Growing Regal Geraniums
Regal geraniums, also known as Martha Washington geraniums are a plant bursting with very colorful blooms. They’re simply great for any garden, and they’re fairly simple to grow even with minimal gardening knowledge. These plants look spectacular when put in any containers, hanging baskets, or when planted in flower beds.
Regal geraniums will grow best when planted in the spring time, with warm days and cool nights. The plant will bloom when the night time temperatures reach around 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. They grow best in zones 5 to 10 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zones.
Planting and Maintenance
When planting regal geraniums in a flower bed, the plants should be spaced 10-12 inches apart. They will do best in a soil that is rich and moist. If you are planting them in a container or hanging basket, make sure the pot has a diameter of at least 8 inches, as well as drainage holes for watering. As your geraniums grow, make sure to trim dead flower heads in order to prevent diseased plants and encourage more blooms. If you find a geranium in your garden with brown/orange spots on them, you should remove it to prevent fungus from spreading.
Lighting, Watering and Feeding
This geranium requires 6 hours of sun each day. So, if planting in flower beds, make sure the area you’re planting in will get around that much sun per day. If planting in containers you can just move the containers to and from the sun and shade. Any less sun than that and they will not bloom as much. Also, try to keep them out of intense sunlight to prevent the leaves from burning.
You should water them at least twice a week thoroughly. To tell if your geraniums need watered, check the top two inches of soil, if it’s dry, you should water them. Try not to completely drench these plants, as the soil should be moist, rather than wet.
If you choose to fertilize, use a slow release balanced formula 15-15-15 N,P,K rating such as Miracle Gro and simply follow the directions on the package.
During the winter, you can either bring your geraniums indoors and place them in a spot that will get a lot of sun, or if you are in an area that doesn’t experience long freezing temperatures in the winters, you can leave them outdoors and just mulch them heavily with compost.