Why Your Geraniums Aren’t Blooming (and How to Fix It!)

Image Credit: Kyntiew Marbaniang

Geraniums, those cheerful bursts of color cascading from window boxes and adorning patios, are a gardener’s delight. But even the most seasoned green thumbs can find their beloved geraniums stubbornly refusing to bloom. Fear not, fellow plant parents! Before you resign yourself to a season of lackluster foliage, let’s delve into the reasons why your geraniums might be withholding their floral fireworks.

Sunshine Seekers: Shedding Light on Lack of Blooms

Geraniums are sun worshippers. They crave at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily to thrive and produce a profusion of blooms. If your geraniums are tucked away in a shady corner or battling competition from taller plants, insufficient sunshine might be the culprit.


  • Relocate your geraniums: Assess your garden layout. Can you move your geraniums to a sunnier spot? South-facing walls or areas with minimal shade throughout the day are ideal.
  • Prune strategically: If nearby plants are casting long shadows, consider some strategic pruning to allow more sunlight to reach your geraniums. Remember, a few snips here and there can make a world of difference!

The Watering Woes: Finding the Balance

Overwatering and underwatering are equally detrimental to geranium flowering. Here’s how to find the watering sweet spot:

  • The Finger Test: Stick your finger into the soil about an inch deep. If it feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water. If it feels damp, hold off for a day or two.
  • Drainage is Key: Ensure your pots have adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. Soggy roots suffocate plants and hinder flowering. Consider adding pebbles to the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.

Remember: It’s better to underwater slightly than drown your geraniums.

Feeding Frenzy: Fertilizer Facts

While fertilizer can encourage vibrant blooms, using the wrong kind or overdoing it can backfire. Here’s a breakdown of geranium fertilizer needs:

  • Focus on Phosphorus: Opt for a fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content (the middle number on the N-P-K ratio). Phosphorus promotes flower production.
  • Less is More: A balanced, diluted fertilizer solution applied once a week during the growing season is sufficient.
  • Don’t Fertilize New Plantings: Newly planted geraniums typically have enough nutrients in the potting mix to get them started. Hold off on fertilizing for at least 4-6 weeks.

Deadheading Dilemmas: The Art of Pinching

Deadheading, the practice of removing spent blooms, is a crucial step in encouraging continuous flowering in geraniums. Here’s why:

  • Energy Redirection: By removing spent flowers, you prevent the plant from putting its energy into seed production. This redirects its resources towards producing new blooms.
  • Aesthetics and Airflow: Deadheading keeps your geraniums looking neat and tidy, and improves air circulation around the plant, which can help prevent fungal diseases.

How to Deadhead:

  • Use sharp pruners or your fingers to pinch off the spent flower head just below the base, taking a small section of the stem with it.
  • Deadhead regularly throughout the growing season to promote continuous blooming.

Potentially Problematic: Addressing Other Culprits

Beyond the sunshine, water, and fertilizer trifecta, a few other factors can hinder geranium blooms:

  • Temperature Extremes: While geraniums are relatively tolerant, excessively hot or cold temperatures can disrupt their flowering cycle. If you experience scorching summers, consider providing some afternoon shade for your geraniums.
  • Rootbound Blues: As geraniums mature, they can become rootbound in their pots. This restricts nutrient uptake and hinders flowering. Repot your geraniums into a slightly larger container every year or two with fresh potting mix.
  • Pests and Diseases: While less common, geraniums can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases that can affect flowering. Inspect your plants regularly, and address any pest or disease concerns promptly using organic methods whenever possible.

Conclusion: Witness the Geranium Comeback!

Understanding the common reasons why geraniums might not be blooming and implementing these simple solutions, you can transform your frown into flower power! With a bit of sunlight, strategic watering, mindful fertilization, and regular deadheading, your geraniums will be back to their vibrant, blooming best in no time, adding a burst of color and cheer to your garden. So, happy gardening, and remember, a little TLC goes a long way in coax

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