Do Geraniums Need Full Sun? Best Sunlight Tips!

do geraniums need full sun

If you’re looking to add vibrant blooms to your garden, geraniums are an excellent choice. However, when it comes to sunlight requirements, it’s essential to understand the needs of these popular flowering plants. Whether you’re growing annual geraniums or perennial geraniums, the amount of sun they receive directly impacts their growth and overall health.

Geraniums are divided into two main groups: annual geraniums (Pelargonium species) and perennial geraniums (Geranium species). While annual geraniums typically require full sun to thrive, ivy geranium is an exception and prefers light shade. On the other hand, perennial geraniums can grow in either sun or shade, depending on the specific variety.

Although geraniums love the sun, it’s crucial to provide some protection, especially during the hottest part of the day in southern and western regions. This can be achieved by providing some shade or using protective covers. Making sure that the soil is fertile and well-draining is also crucial for the optimal growth of both annual and perennial geraniums.

When planting geraniums in containers, choose a pot that’s at least 10 inches across for annual geraniums and at least 12 inches across for perennial geraniums. This allows enough space for root development and ensures healthy, vigorous plants.

Regular watering is essential for geraniums, but the frequency will depend on the type of geranium and the environmental conditions. Check the soil regularly, and water when the top inch is dry. Applying a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around geraniums after planting helps retain soil moisture and suppresses weed growth.

To provide the necessary nutrients for vibrant blooms, it’s crucial to fertilize geraniums regularly throughout the growing season. Choose a high-quality, balanced fertilizer designed for flowering plants and follow the package instructions for best results.

With proper care and attention, geraniums can bring beauty and color to your garden. Understanding their sunlight requirements and implementing the best practices for planting, watering, mulching, and feeding will not only ensure optimal growth but also reward you with stunning, vibrant blooms.

Where to Plant Geraniums and Best Soil Type

Proper placement and soil quality are essential factors for the successful growth of geraniums. Whether you are planting them in your garden or in containers, here are some important considerations:

1. Sun Exposure:

For most annual geraniums, a spot in full sun is ideal. This ensures they receive the necessary sunlight for optimal growth and vibrant blooms. However, ivy geraniums are an exception and thrive in light shade. Perennial geraniums, on the other hand, are versatile and can tolerate both sun and shade depending on the species. Regardless of the type, it’s important to protect geraniums from excessive sun and heat during the hottest part of the day, especially in southern and western regions of the country.

2. Soil Type:

The best soil for geraniums is fertile and well-draining. Good soil drainage prevents waterlogging and root rot, both of which can be detrimental to geranium health. To ensure optimal soil drainage and quality in planting beds, mix Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers into the top 6 to 8 inches of native soil. The formula of this specialized soil amendment promotes proper drainage, a crucial factor for geraniums’ overall well-being.

If you’re growing geraniums in containers, lightweight and fluffy soil is more suitable. Use Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix specifically designed for containers. Its composition fosters proper aeration and water retention, providing an ideal environment for geranium roots to thrive.

For raised beds, a blend of equal parts garden soil and potting mix creates the optimal medium for geraniums. This combination offers the benefits of both soil types, providing a balanced environment for healthy root development and nutrient uptake.

Incorporating these tips into your geranium planting routine will help ensure optimal growth and vibrant blooms. Now that you know where to plant geraniums and the best soil type for them, let’s move on to the next section to learn more about the essential planting techniques and care for these beautiful and versatile plants.

How to Plant, Water, Mulch, and Feed Geraniums

Now that you have selected the perfect spot for your geraniums and prepared the soil, it’s time to plant them and provide them with the proper care. Follow these steps to ensure the best growth and beautiful blooms:

  1. Start with young plants: Begin with young plants of both annual and perennial geraniums. Plant them in spring after the danger of frost has passed. For regions with mild winters, late fall to early spring is also a suitable planting time for perennial geraniums.
  2. Check plant tags: Before planting, check the tags on your geraniums to determine the proper spacing for your specific variety. Giving them enough space will allow for optimal growth and airflow.
  3. Water thoroughly: After planting, water your geraniums thoroughly. Make sure to soak the root ball and the surrounding soil. This initial watering helps settle the plants and encourages root establishment.
  4. Monitor soil moisture: Check the soil regularly to determine when to water your geraniums. For annual geraniums, water when the top inch of soil feels dry. Perennial geraniums, especially newly planted ones, should be kept consistently moist during their first growing season.
  5. Mulch around the plants: After planting, apply a layer of mulch around your geraniums. Mulching helps retain soil moisture, suppresses weed growth, and regulates soil temperature. You can use Scotts® bagged mulch or any other locally available mulching material.
  6. Fertilize regularly: To provide the necessary nutrients for beautiful blooms, fertilize your geraniums regularly throughout the season. Products like Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘N Feed® Rose & Bloom Plant Food are great options. Follow the instructions on the package for proper application.

By following these planting and care instructions, your geraniums will thrive and reward you with vibrant blooms throughout the season. Remember to water, mulch, and feed them regularly to keep them healthy and beautiful.

Are Geraniums and Irises Similar in Their Sunlight Needs?

Geraniums and irises have different sunlight requirements. While geraniums thrive in full sun, irises sunlight requirements include at least six hours of direct sunlight. It’s important to consider these differences when planning your garden to ensure both plants receive the proper amount of sunlight.


Geraniums are a fantastic addition to any garden or container, offering beautiful flowers and easy care. Whether you choose annual or perennial geraniums, it’s important to provide them with the right conditions for optimal growth and vibrant blooms.

For annual geraniums, make sure to plant them in a spot that receives full sun. Perennial geraniums, on the other hand, can tolerate both sun and shade. It’s crucial to choose the best planting location based on the specific type of geranium you have.

To ensure your geraniums thrive, pay attention to their care needs. Provide them with fertile, well-draining soil, and water them regularly, making sure the top inch of soil is dry before watering again. Applying a layer of mulch around the plants will help retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

Feeding your geraniums regularly throughout the growing season will also contribute to their vibrant blooms. Choose a suitable fertilizer like Miracle-Gro® Shake ‘N Feed® Rose & Bloom Plant Food to provide the necessary nutrients. By following these care instructions, you can enjoy the beauty of geraniums and their stunning blooms in your garden.

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