Winter geranium pruning: step by step instructions, basic rules, further care

Geranium is a popular plant among a wide variety of people. It is unpretentious in care and easily grows in almost any soil. However, when growing this flower, each breeder must necessarily cut it for the winter. Without this procedure, achieving a good flowering plant will not be easy. Consider in detail the basic rules for cutting geraniums, and also tell you what needs to be done to comply with them.

Plant description

Geranium is an ornamental herbaceous plant belonging to the same name Geranievs. The homeland of this flower is considered to be the African continent. Today, about 300 varieties of geranium are distributed in the natural environment, both in temperate and tropical areas, and even at mountain heights.

Learn about other varieties of geraniums: zoned pelargonium, royal geranium, ivy geranium.

It is a small flower, up to 60 cm tall. The root system of geraniums is branched, and at the ends of the roots there are special thickenings, which during a drought play the role of a storage tank. The stem of the representatives of the genus is highly branched into separate shoots, forming a kind of bush.

Depending on the subspecies of the flower, the shape of the leaves in it can vary greatly. Most often there are specimens with a whole, cut or slightly incised leaf blade, but the leaf happens and is divided into 3-5 parts. On top of the leaf, a light hairline of greenish or grayish shades can be observed.

Geranium flowers are often large, solitary, or collected in cystiform inflorescences of 3-5 pieces. The most common flowers are purple, white, blue and purple. Depending on the variety, geranium can bloom from early May to late August. After that, box-shaped fruits are formed on the plant, in which numerous seeds ripen. Did you know? Geranium has bactericidal properties. In the process of its life, the flower releases specific substances into the air that inhibit the development of pathogenic microorganisms.

Why do geranium correction?

Pruning is one of the most important procedures that helps prepare indoor geraniums for winter. It makes it possible to rid the flower of extra shoots and form the necessary shape of the bush. In addition, it helps to thin out the plant, which improves the air exchange between the shoots and increases their illumination.

In the end result, a carefully trimmed plant instantly gives new shoots, on which young inflorescences and leaves develop. Thus, a haircut helps to maintain the vital activity of geraniums for 3 or more seasons.

In addition, subject to the seasonal haircut schedule, you can achieve:

  • compact form of a bush;
  • increase in flower size and duration of flowering of geraniums;
  • increase plant immunity during flowering and other periods.

Did you know? As a decorative plant, geranium has been grown since the middle of the 16th century, after the flower on the ships of sailors left Africa and immigrated to the Old World.

Cropping Features

In crop production, several favorable periods for thinning geraniums are known. These are the so-called spring, autumn and winter haircuts. Despite the fact that such a procedure always favorably affects the flower, you should approach it with caution - excessive and untimely pruning can cause inhibition of plant growth.


Autumn haircut is the most important stage in the life cycle of a species. It is often carried out at the end of September after the first yellowed leaves appear on the plant. After flowering and seed formation in geraniums, a dormant period begins.

At this time, it slows down its growth and metabolism, and with it the amount of nutrients absorbed from the soil. Elimination of excess crown before hibernation helps the flower more efficiently use its own forces and avoid unnecessary waste of accumulated resources to maintain unviable shoots.

Thanks to this, geraniums manage to tolerate hibernation more comfortably, as well as avoid excessive stress. The procedure also makes it possible to activate the most viable buds, due to which shoots resistant to various environmental factors and challenges grow.

Do not forget that pruning in the autumn often helps to remove parts of plants affected by infections and pests, which is quite important in the conditions of growing monoculture in a limited area.

In winter

Pruning in winter is carried out quite rarely, since during this period there is a sharp weakening of the protective functions of the body of the flower. But if you want to create a really beautiful bush, then you can not do without it, otherwise it will take at least 1 season in order to adjust the shape of the geranium to the optimum.

Pruning is carried out as young shoots grow, by pinching the tops and eliminating the lateral branches. This helps to avoid excessive stretching of the flower, and also helps to find the right shape for it.

Important! From December to January, pruning is prohibited, since at this time the flower is most vulnerable to any external influences. Neglect of the recommendation may lead to its death.

The main condition for successful winter pruning is compliance with all requirements of the plant. The flower should be placed in the warmest and most lighted corner of the house, as well as protected from drafts, cold and sudden changes in temperature. In this case, gentle, but regular watering is carried out, otherwise geranium can sharply negatively react to the procedure.

In the spring

In many horticultural circles, the question of the appropriateness of spring pruning is quite acute. Despite the fact that shortening the plant before the active phase of growth is undesirable, many plant growers still resort to the procedure at this time.

In the spring, the crown form is given the final completeness, as well as non-viable shoots are removed from the bush. However, in the case of intensive winter pruning, it is better to skip the spring procedure in order to avoid inhibition of geraniums.

The most optimal for spring pruning is considered the period in late February - early March. A later procedure may inhibit the growth of geraniums, as a result, this can lead to a weakening of the immunity of the flower and damage to its various infections. Therefore, pruning should be done with extreme caution.

Important! Spring cut geraniums always bloom later. This should be taken into account when growing it, especially in early varieties.

How to prune and shape a plant at home

As a rule, even a novice gardener can prune geraniums. But so that it really bloomed well, this procedure should be carried out as carefully as possible. To carry out the formation of the bush, it is necessary not only to stock up with a special garden tool, but also to properly work out the methodology for eliminating shoots, otherwise rash pruning will not only become useless, but will also greatly harm.

Tools for work

For proper pruning of the flower you will need:

  • a knife with a thin blade (can be replaced with a clerical knife);
  • thin scissors;
  • large tweezers (for pinching the tops).

We also recommend that you learn how to help geraniums if it does not bloom.

Step-by-step instruction

The main stages of sanitary cleaning of geraniums:

  1. 2–4 days before the procedure, the flower should be placed in the conditions in which it will be further contained.
  2. Clean the instrument from dirt, dust and plant debris under running water, and then wipe it dry.
  3. Take a sharp garden knife and remove the dry parts of the bush (foliage, shoots, the remains of inflorescences). Cut them off by a knot, or completely eliminate part of the plant to the basal zone.
  4. Give the bush the desired height. To do this, shorten the vertically growing shoots, while their minimum length should not be less than 10-15 cm. Cut the shoots along the knot, remove the young with a sharp knife, and old ones with small scissors.
  5. Shorten the side shoots. To do this, pinch off the side branches with tweezers.
  6. Treat the cut sites with chopped wood ash - this will help prevent damage to the cut tissue by pathogenic fungi.

Video: cutting geraniums for the winter

Important! In order to avoid infection of the plant, the garden tool must be treated with an alcohol solution, 2% formalin or other disinfectant liquid before pruning.

Further care

After pruning the geranium, you need to create a microclimate that will help it recover as quickly as possible.

For this you need: Read also

How to use iodine to fertilize geranium
  • maintain the room temperature not lower than +20 ° С;
  • transfer the flower to the most lighted window sill in the south side of the house;
  • provide the plant with protection against drafts.

In addition, for a flower to instantly grow, it should:

  • provide him with gentle watering - 1 time in 2 days;
  • avoid spraying and additional humidification;
  • be sure to feed home geranium with complex fertilizers based on nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Basic mistakes of beginners

Quite often, beginning plant growers make fatal mistakes when pruning, which lead to damage to the flower and a violation of its metabolism. This has a detrimental effect not only on decorativeness, but also on the viability of the plant, and can often serve as the first reason for its drying.

The main mistakes when cutting geraniums and their consequences:

Pruning errorsConsequences for the plant
Neglecting pruningDeterioration of flowering, or temporary loss of ability to bloom
Shorter shoots far above the knotThe upper part of the stem dies and dries, which affects the aesthetics of the flower
Removing a large number of shootsIt leads to excessive stress, which prolongs the recovery period, and also impairs flowering.
OvercuttingCauses inhibition of growth and kidney formation

Pruning is an important and necessary process for geraniums. Despite the fact that without it it can safely do for years, only correct and high-quality pruning will help to create a beautiful and blooming crown from a branched bush. This process is simple, but when it is carried out, all the features of the technology must be taken into account, otherwise it can cause growth inhibition and even geranium death.

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