Pruning Geraniums

By Jonathan Bales , last updated June 10, 2011

To have geraniums looking their best, they should be properly pruned before the start of the growing season. Cutting back areas of your geranium plants will prevent them from becoming leggy, particularly if they have been overwintered. Adequate trimming will also induce optimal summer growth. You may prune your geraniums after winter dormancy, cut them back when they are still alive, or pinch them. Read below for tips on how to prune your geranium plants to have them looking as beautiful as possible this growing season.

If you live in an area where your geraniums will die during winter, you will need to prune them during spring. Remove all dead and brown leaves, and trim back any unhealthy growth. Healthy stems should feel firm when you squeeze them, so cut away all stems that are not solid. As a general rule of thumb, you should cut back about one-third of your geranium plants, particularly if you prefer them to be less woody. If you live in an area where you geraniums will stay green all year, you can trim them just before winter or prior to bringing them indoors. The trimming method is the same as above, simply at a different time.

A final way by which you can trim your geranium plants is pinching. Pinching is a type of pruning that forces a plant to grow back more dense and compact. Pinching is great on new plants which you have just purchased or on geraniums that have just been overwintered. Either way, it should take place in spring. Pinching involves cutting about one-half of an inch off of the top of stems which have reached a few inches in length. This process will force the geranium to grow new stems off of the old ones, creating a tighter, bushier look. This process can be continued throughout spring whenever stems reach a few inches in length.

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