As a rule, the nights of frost are over in Germany at the latest when the Ice Saints in May have gone, and the planting season can begin. Plants that are sensitive to cold, such as the geranium, can now be planted outside without any worries. The beautiful South African isn’t the star among bedding and balcony plants without good reason. Easy-care, versatile and an abundant bloomer, it turns gardens, terraces and balconies into colourful seas of flowers. Be it flower bed, balcony box or planter, with sufficient space, sunlight and water, geraniums will flourish almost anywhere.
Trailing geraniums with their cascading growth habit make beautiful eye-catchers in hanging plant holders and baskets. The experts at Pelargonium for Europe know what is necessary to create floating geranium charm.
Low space requirement, great impact
Whether on the balcony, terrace or front porch: hanging plant holders or baskets filled with opulently flowering geraniums make gorgeous summery eye-catchers. The floating pots raise the colourful flowering charm up to a lofty height and find room even in the smallest spaces. The classic hanging plant holder consists of a regular pot with flowers planted inside it before hanging, whereas a hanging basket is a wide-mesh wire basket with flowers planted all around the sides to form a densely-packed floral sphere that fully conceals the basket, if done properly.
Important: Geraniums are sun worshippers. Therefore they should be placed in a spot with full or at least partial sun.
Planting geraniums in hanging plant holders and baskets
To achieve optimal growth, geraniums need plenty of space and soil. Hanging plant holders or baskets should therefore be sufficient in size so that the plants are not packed in too densely. The ideal space between geraniums is 20 centimetres.
A rule of (green) thumb for all hanging planters:
Set the upright geraniums in the centre at the top and the trailing variety around the sides.
Other than that, there is no fundamental difference between planting in hanging plant holders and other containers. Make sure to allow for sufficient drainage to avoid waterlogging. By adding time-release fertilizer to the soil beforehand, you ensure a sufficient nutrient supply for the plants and make it easier to care for them. When setting the plants, leave a space of about 2 cm inside the rim for watering.
Planting a hanging basket requires a bit more expertise. To make sure the soil doesn’t trickle out of the basket, it must first be lined with material that will allow air and water through, for example, moss, fir branches or mulching fleece. This allows the roots to breathe while preventing waterlogging. Insert a plastic sheet with holes punched in it below this drainage layer to prevent water from running off too quickly. Then start planting the trailing geraniums from below and around the sides, inserting them from the outside through the wire mesh. To do this, cut holes into the lining and carefully insert the root bales.
It’s often necessary to reduce the size of the bales a bit to make them fit through the openings. Work as carefully as possible to not damage the roots. When you’ve finished planting the basket from the bottom and around the sides, add enough potting soil to cover the root bales entirely. Then continue planting flowers around the top, first the upright geraniums in the centre and then the trailing variety around the sides. Fill the top of the basket with soil, hang it up, give it some water, and you’re done!
Care tips for floating geraniums
Geraniums need lots of water, particularly when planted in hanging baskets, as the water evaporates not only from above but all around the sides as well. Hanging geraniums should be watered at least twice a day in very hot weather and during dry spells. If you want to avoid excess water making a mess on the floor below, you can water in smaller amounts more often. Water reservoirs and other watering systems can drastically reduce watering work for you.
Aside from ample water, geraniums also need sufficient nutrients. Soil with time-release fertilizer will deplete over time. At that point you will have to add liquid fertilizer in the watering can once a week. Regular deadheading will also ensure very lavish and lasting flowers. Self-cleaning varieties are also available among the trailing geraniums.
Tip: To create a uniform appearance it is recommended to cut back fast-growing plants once in a while to give the weaker ones a chance to develop.