This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

February 25, 2017

Growing geraniums in Phoenix, Arizona

Geraniums do great here in the Phoenix area, but I never planted them here until yesterday. I have to admit to having a prejudice against them that I developed when I lived in California, where they grew like weeds. They are, in fact, a very robust plant, suited for dry climates, and they flower profusely with a brilliant color. But I didn't like smell, and if neglected, they can look very ratty.

So my first test yesterday was to see if the pungent smell was going to bother me in my backyard. Up close to them I could smell them, but once they were planted I couldn't smell anything at all - and I have a tiny yard. So far so good.

They were an impulse buy at Home Depot yesterday, but I made sure to choose the best little plants I could, making sure to get ones that weren't all bloomed out and leggy, and also had enough bud showing to guarantee the correct color I wanted, which was red. I took the picture at the top of this post just a few minutes ago and I'm enjoying seeing the buds open, which is much slower than I had imaged. At this rate, they won't be fully open until tomorrow.

I'm going to wait and see how I like these. I'm thinking that part of my aversion to geraniums came from seeing them in a very ratty state, with brown leaves on them, neglected in front of people's houses in California. I have these planted along my flagstone path here in my backyard, where I can fuss with them, trimming dried leaves, deadheading, that sort of thing. And they're also getting the royal treatment, with daily watering of Miracle-Gro and a drop or two added of Super Thrive. I also planted them with polymer moisture crystals and dry slow-release fertilizer (Osmocote).

They do have nice, wide, tropical foliage, but they look their best in bloom. Without flowers I'd say they'd be kinda unimpressive. So there you go, I have geraniums now. I'll let you know how it goes.
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