What to do with geraniums after flowering for a second flush of beautiful blooms

Keen to make your geraniums work hard for your garden? Be sure to follow these expert tips

Red geraniums in a rustic pot on a wooden table on balcony
(Image credit: Getty)

Have you ever wondered what to do with geraniums after flowering? That's right, everyone; it's not enough to just know how to grow geraniums – especially if you're hoping for a second flush of blooms before summer is over.

We jest, of course; hardy geraniums remain one of those flowers that will suit everyone, from green-fingered geniuses to the very greenest of beginners.

Still, if the art of pelargonsjuka has cemented a place for itself on your list of must-try garden ideas, you'll be pleased to learn that there's plenty more you could be doing, and especially in July. In fact, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says showing your hardy geraniums some TLC is one of the 'top gardening jobs [to tackle] this month'...

What to do with geraniums after flowering

Perfect for container gardens or garden borders, geraniums are one of those plants that look at home in most outdoor spaces – so why not make them work even harder once they've finished flowering?

'After geraniums have flowered, it's important to care for them properly to encourage further blooming and maintain their health,' agrees Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the co-directors at Gardens Revived.

Christopher O'Donoghue, one of the directors of Gardens Revived
Christopher O'Donoghue

A gardener with over a decade of experience under his belt, Christopher set up Gardens Revived with his brother, Andrew, in 2018 to create a thriving family business. Together, they have worked on residential gardens, listed buildings and gardens, flower shows and large estates with some exceeding 70 acres – many with historical significance.

One of the most important things you can do? Well, after your geraniums have finished flowering (usually in July, but likely June if it's an early season), you'll want to make like the gardening pros and cut yours back close to ground level after flowering.

A closeup of potted flowers on the windowsill, including geraniums and pelargoniums

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes Photography)

'This won't just encourage a second flush of early blooms in late summer or early autumn,' promises Christopher.

'It will also extend the life of your plants and keep your borders looking attractive, too.'

What you will need

Unlike many gardening jobs, you won't need a lot of tools for this job: think a pair of sharp, clean secateurs and a bag for your clippings (which can be chucked into your compost bin – waste not, want not!).

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to douse your geraniums with a multi-purpose fertiliser after you've cut them back. In fact, a good soaking might prove a better option for many gardeners.

'You will likely need to give them a water and a mulch to help rejuvenate them,' adds Christopher, 'and especially so if there's been lots of hot weather.'

Yet another reason to start rain harvesting, we suppose.

FAQs

What month do you cut back geraniums?

Just as you'll want to deadhead geraniums to extend their blooming period this summer, you'll also want to cut yours back to ground level after they've finished flowering – usually between June and July.

Should you cut back hardy geraniums after flowering?

There are a number of reasons why you should cut back hardy geraniums after flowering: it keeps your garden borders looking attractive, it encourages a second flush of flowers, and it boosts the health of your plants (which will, in turn, extend their lives).

What to do with geraniums after they've finished flowering?

As mentioned already, you can encourage your geraniums to bloom again after they've finished flowering. All you need to do is, using a sharp and clean pair of secateurs, cut them back to ground level (or one inch above the main stem).

Be sure to cut the plants at nodes or new growth points wherever possible, and 'take care to remove any yellow or brown leaves, too,' adds Christopher.

Garden borders with geraniums

(Image credit: Future PLC/Howard Walker)

Now that you know what to do with geraniums after flowering, you can extend their blooming period and keep your garden looking better for longer.

Better still? This trick will work on most herbaceous perennials that flower in early summer, so you can try it out on your lupins and delphiniums, too.

Next on the list – make sure you know how to overwinter them when the seasons are getting ready to change...

Don't say we never treat you, OK?

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.