Why Are My Scented Geraniums Not Blooming?
After a good blooming season, your scented geranium suddenly stops blooming leaving you baffled about the whys and how’s of the matter. This isn’t uncommon, especially if growing conditions are changed from season to season.
As you might already have guessed it, changes in a pelargonium’s growing conditions can cause the plant to stop blooming.
What are the reasons behind scented geraniums not blooming and what can you do about it? I’ll cover all the possible reasons why scented geraniums stop blooming.
Reasons Geraniums Stopped Blooming
Here are some of the most common reasons why your pelargoniums may have trouble blooming:
– Plant size
One reason why a geranium may have trouble blooming is because of its size. In case of seedlings, they might be too small to start blooming and they still need time to grow and develop blooms.
If the plant has trouble growing, you need to examine the possible causes behind that too (bad light exposure, fertilizing issues including fertilizer burn, root rot, etc.).
In case of established geraniums, the problem may be that they’ve grown too large and too leggy, and they may need to be cut back to help it grow bushier and help it bloom.
Learning how to prune scented geranium plants will keep them looking tidier, bushier and will help them become more vigorous, which in turn will favor bloom production.
Proper light exposure is essential for scented geraniums not only to help the development of the plant, but also to help it form flower buds and produce healthy blooms.
And scented geraniums are hungry for light. Not any light but direct light. Scented geraniums do best if exposed to around 6 hours of direct light per day.
With enough sunlight, scented geraniums will bloom even indoors. Place them near a south or west facing window and they’ll start blooming again.
Both inadequate water and too much water can interfere with the blooming process. If scented geraniums are dehydrated and wilting, they’ll focus more on preserving energy and divert energy away from blooming.
On the other hand, if scented geraniums are overwatered, root rot issues can appear, which can reduce the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients, which also impacts the plant’s ability to produce blooms.
Water your scented geraniums deeply but allow the soil to dry out a bit before you water again. This way, you can keep geraniums well-hydrated without causing fungal root rot issues.
Using soil amendments and compost can help create a more lightweight soil that will drain faster preventing waterlogging issues.
Fertilizing can be a double-edged sword. If used correctly, it can promote blooming and help in the production of vibrant, colorful blooms.
When used in excess, it can cause a variety of issues, including bud blast, leaf discoloration and root burn.
Scented geraniums have moderate fertilizing requirements, so excess fertilizing will cause the reverse of desired results.
You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer or slow release fertilizers that are designed for blooming plants.
Scented geraniums do best in a temperature range of 70-85 F during the day and 60 F during the night.
If it’s a season where the heat might set in too early or there’s a late frost, then it can interfere with the plants metabolism and can cause delays in or it can shorten the blooming season.
From fungal diseases to pest problems, unaddressed scented geranium diseases can weaken the plant’s defenses and cause blooming issues.
Even when the plant still manages to produce flower buds, they may fall off before they can manage to open up or once in bloom, they may not last as long.
Encourage Geraniums to Flower
Besides making sure that your geraniums are planted in a location with good light exposure and that they’re adequately watered and fed, there are a few other things you can do for more abundant blooms.
If you want to encourage geraniums to flower or to put out more vibrant blooms, the tips below can be useful in stimulating bloom production in your pelargoniums:
– Deadhead spent blooms
Spent blooms no longer serve any purpose for the plant, but they can get in the way of better bloom production.
Remove spent blooms whenever necessary throughout the blooming season to encourage repeat blooming.
Not only will your scented geraniums produce more blooms, but they’ll also be larger and healthier too.
– Pinch back for bushier growth
To prevent your scented geraniums from growing tall, which can come with a reduction in the rate of blooming, pinch back about ½ inches of growth on stems.
This will stimulate the stem to produce side shoots from the same stem and grow bushier. Start pinching back growths in spring.
– Feed with a fertilizer designed for blooming plants
As the blooming season approaches, you can switch to using fertilizers designed for blooming plants. These can help blooms last longer.
Be strict about dosage recommendations, so that you don’t accidentally cause a bloom blast by overfertilizing your scented geraniums.
– Ensure well-draining soil
Scented geraniums do best in soil that’s high in compost. Their roots need loose soil around the roots to help them breathe.
Overwatering can also appear if the soil in which scented geraniums are planted retains too much moisture or prevents percolation.
To prevent water-logging issues that can suffocate the roots and inhibit blooming, make sure to plant your scented geraniums in well-draining soil.
If necessary, amend the soil with generous amounts of compost to make it lightweight and fast-draining.
Scented geraniums don’t just stop blooming out of nowhere. There are several contributing factors that can inhibit blooming and these are almost always environmental.
There are several ways to encourage blooming in scented geraniums. High on the list is adequate light exposure. If light isn’t the problem, inadequate watering, fertilizing and soil are usually the other culprits.
Finally, pruning and deadheading regularly will also help keep these plants blooming and healthy.
Keeping scented geraniums disease-free is another way to ensure that the plant is strong enough for a successful blooming season.