A Glut Of Geraniums

By Teo Spengler | September 6, 2022
Image by Zbynek Pospisil
by Teo Spengler
September 6, 2022

In the spirit of “a murder of crows” and “a parliament of owls,” I propose “a glut of geraniums.” Talk about flowers that turn into weeds! Second only to my mint plants, my geraniums have invaded my garden.

Welcome Geraniums

I like geraniums, but I didn’t have any in my garden. When a friend offered me a few cuttings, I was extremely happy. That joy lasted for a few seasons as my cuttings rooted, took transplant well, and formed little clumps of deep green foliage and pretty fuchsia colored flowers. 

What happened next was partly my fault. I took off to France for some months of the growing season and, when I returned, I found my “little clumps” had exploded.

Geranium Explosion

My little clumps of geraniums literally looked like one of those fireworks that open outward into an exploding planet in the skies. Each stem had doubled in length; the number of flowers and buds had also increased exponentially. 

Now gardening sites will tell you that geraniums need water, regular feeding, and pinching back to create a dense plant. Well my geraniums got none of this – no water other than a very occasional rain, no fertilizer at all, no pinching back. But they literally took over the garden beds I had inserted them into.

Another Error

What happened after that was my fault too, I admit it. I’m always very reluctant to throw out plants. So when I went to work on my huge clumps of geraniums, what did I do? I certainly didn’t want more geraniums, but there they were, large, lovely flower clusters, healthy stems, in short, cuttings just begging to be transplanted. I felt my gardener karma would tank if I tossed them.

I decided on a compromise with Mother Nature. I would not prepare potting mix, blend in compost, and start the geranium cuttings in water. But I would give them a fighting chance. As I cut the stems, I poked the cuttings in here and there in the garden – no water, no ground prep, just the stems

To make a long story short, all of them thrived. I now have geraniums here, geraniums there. The stems are budding, the buds flowering, and they now occupy almost every garden bed. It’s a perfect storm of geranium weeds.

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