Tips to deadhead geranium flowers
Geraniums are a favorite plant for containers and borders. To keep annual geraniums tidy all summer, it's a good idea to deadhead the spent flowers. And the best part is that by doing this you'll encourage more blooms! In the short video above, Jennifer shows you how to deadhead geraniums growing in containers at our test garden.
Common types of geraniums
There are many kinds of annual geraniums (Pelargonium spp. and hybrids), but the most common are zonal, seed and ivy.
Zonal geraniums are larger with 4- to 6-inch flower clusters on large, upright plants. Zonal geraniums are propagated by cuttings and usually sold individually.
Seed geraniums are started from seed and often sold in multi-packs. They are smaller, rounded plants, with more numerous flowers than a zonal. These flowers shatter easily, meaning spent petals will fall off and don't need to be deadheaded. However, you may still want to snap off the leftover flower stems.
Ivy geraniums are trailing plants with waxy, ivy-shaped leaves, unlike the others with rounded leaves.
How to deadhead geraniums
It is easy to deadhead any annual geranium — zonal, ivy or seed-grown can all be done the same way.
- When the geranium blooms are done and dried, simply follow the stem from the flower head to where the stem meets the leafy branch.
- You'll feel a knobby node at the base of the flower stem. Using your thumb and forefinger, grasp the node and snap the stem sideways like you see in the photo above. The stem should break off cleanly right at the node.
- You can also snip them off with a scissors or pruners, but usually they break off easier by hand.