Keeping your Hardy geraniums looking good! 

For many of us, Hardy Geraniums, are the reliable source of colour within our borders, some types like ‘Rozanne’, ‘Nimbus’, ‘Mavis Simpson’ flowering almost non stop from May to the first frosty touches of winter hit us. Indeed there’s not a week goes by without one in flower within my small borders at home. No matter how well they flower, at sometime during the summer months, they will either get too big or the flowers will get smaller, the plant its self will start to look tatty and really not look nice, indeed it’s almost like someone’s put a big donut on top of the plant, with lush new growth appearing in the middle of the plant. 

This is the time to get heavy handed and take a risk! First of all I would like to say not all geraniums will respond to the method below, ones with a woody centre like sanginium, wallichainium and more clump forming ones like renardi, macrophyllum, canabridgense etc can’t be treated in this way. The plants idea for this method include oxanium, riverleaianum, magnificum, pratense, phaeum, etc ones that really start looking like someone has plonked a donut on top. 

First of all it’s important to have the right weather to carry out the work, overcast days when the soil is damp is an idea time to carry out this task. We don’t always get weather like this, so as long as you water afterwards, it still should be ok

Here we have Geranium ‘Nimbus’ looking slightly tatty, the donut is starting to appear in the middle and new growth is coming up
The good new growth in the centre of the plant can clearly be seen with the older stems looking a lot more browner
All you need to do is cut back the old growths back the The centre of the plant, I prefer to use a hand scythe to a pair of secateurs
The finish plant all cut back, within two weeks, it will be growing away strongly again and soon flowering for the rest of the summer looking so much smarter!

I tend to give them a feed of Vitax Q4 or blood,fish and bonemeal afterwards and keep them well watered afterwards. You can also lift and divide the plant after cutting back if you so require (for method, please see here). The hand scythe was supplied from Niwaki and really makes the job so much easier and less painful on the wrists. It’s what the Japanese use to harvest rice. 

Nice easy job over the weekend  

5 Comments Add yours

  1. cavershamjj says:

    Excellent. Have a couple that could do with a haircut I think. Will check the varieties against your list. If I can find the labels…

    1. thomashort says:

      That’s the only trouble with labels isn’t they disappear, works well with most of them so go for it 😀👍

  2. John Kingdon says:

    I’ve often been confused as to which ones to cut back and which ones to leave alone. Thanks for clearing that up for me. As soon as I saw that well-used hand scythe I was wondering if Jake sold one. And you answered that question too. And I have a credit card that I don’t need to settle until after next pension pay-day.Please could you delay plant of the week a bit, though?

    1. thomashort says:

      lol so sorry John ☹️☹️ I will hold off until Sunday morning if that’s ok 😉 so leased you liked it though 😀

  3. Chrissie Williams says:

    Fab advice and clearly said thank you and I shall do this today now!!

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