Pruning Geraniums

I live in Southern California where geraniums are treated as perenials. I have ten or twelve gerariums growing on my patio that have become leggy and quite unattractive. The leaves are getting smaller and bunching together. I would like to prune them but I don't know when to do it. I am not sure either whether these are actually geraniums or pelargoniums. Are they treated differently? I have some in hanging pots and some are uprigiht. I have been mulling this problem over for quite a while when I suddenly realized that I had the perfect source to answer my problem right on my computer at rec.gardens. Please help. TIA
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TIA - they are all perennial but in a cold climate the true geranium is herbaceous and dies back to the root stock to emerge again the following spring, while the 'bedding' geranium, which is Pelargonium zonale' will either be propagated in the late summer and overwintered as small plants in a frost free place or lifted and given protection to be used as stock plants next year. I don't have experience of growing either in your climate but I would suggest you have the Pelargonium zonale, regale or peltatum which is the Ivy leafed Pelargonium used in baskets and the edges of troughs and tubs. If that is the case just prune it back to the shape and size you want at the onset of its major growing season and it should send out new growths freely.
http://mysite.freeserve.com/gardennotes/index.html
Peter Yorkshire UK
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You probably have pelargoniums. These are common in SoCal, where true geraniums are uncommon (though especially popular with rock gardeners).
There's some help from the International Geranium Society at http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/2822/pruning.html
Basically, you renew an overgrown pelargonium ("geranium") by pruning to the lowest good pair of leaves. Once they've come back to a pleasing shape, keep after them so they don't get leggy again. The growing season for these in SoCal is year-round, so you can prune pretty much whenever you like.
When you prune, try rooting some likely cuttings; these are particularly easy plants to root.
--
Chris Green

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