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
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
You probably have pelargoniums. These are common in SoCal, where true
geraniums are uncommon (though especially popular with rock
There's some help from the International Geranium Society at
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.
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