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nice plants no blooms

May 16, 2006

Anyone have tips on Zonal Geraniums? I have been feeding and the plants look great but no buds? What can I do to get more blooms, I need flowers in order to sell plants. We always say, Flowers sell, plants don't.

Thanks Tom

Comments (13)

  • cague

    Tom, I have the same problem with mine. But I have Ivy Geraniums. Nice large Plants, very green leaves but no Flower Buds.

  • melrt968

    I think that you are being too kind to your plants. If you feed a high nitrogen fertiliser to them then yes you will have plenty lush growth but few flowers. I would recommend that you change from a high nitrogen fertilser to one with a lower nitrogen content and a higher potash (potassium) content such as tomato fertiliser with an NPK of 5:5:10 or similar. Do not overfeed.

  • janice_in_ottawa

    It's interesting... I have exactly the same problem, but I have never fertilized my plants. I have started them all from seed back in March, and they look great, but there's not a bud in sight. They're in warm soil with 4 hours of direct sun every day, and should be quite happy. Any ideas on how to get these guys to set buds? Much appreciated.


  • caroldiane

    They might just be lazy....but 4 hours of sun is not quite what they like....they prefer 6 to 8 hours of sun...and
    from a proper exposure. So that means giving them sun from a northern exposure just will not do.
    They want sunlight from the south or west....or at the very least from the east.

    Patience is a virtue. Well depending on how the plant came to be, that might fall on deaf ears. How much sun were they given early in their development. Given sufficient sun to promote buds then is very important.

    I suppose how they were developed can make a difference.
    From seed....or from cuttings....or were they brought back simply from what they were last fall by keeping them in a dormant stage, dry, out of the light until we encourage their re-development.

    I have a paper by a supposed expert who says QUOTE "Over the years, I have found that wintered over geraniums and fuchsias are generally quite slow to bloom the second year....especially geraniums".

    Well, so much for experts.
    My experience has been....for the last 10 years or so...just the opposite.
    I have no problem bringing last year's geraniums back to their full glory just by doing nothing.....nothing except giving them a place to sit the winter away...dry, dark, cool and alone.

    I suppose it comes down to how the plants came to the present state they are.
    Given watering when they need it, given lots of sun which they like, a soil they can grow in......they should bud.

    If you are convinced they will not produce buds, then I suggest you cut them back....force them to produce anew.
    There is still enough time, given the amount fo sunlight that is still in the offing, to produce something this year.

    Then plan on bringing them back next year.

  • janice_in_ottawa

    Thanks for the thoughts. I am assuming that the afternoon sun that they get in my north-facing yard (heavy western sun as of 1pm) will be enough, but I'll ensure that they stay in the sunny spots by moving the pots around. Perhaps I am just impatient... I'm used to quicker blooms when starting from seed, but these guys will teach me to wait, I'm sure.

    Thanks very much.

  • greenlarry

    I think they like a bit of benign neglect, slightly tight in the pot and dryish soil.
    Grow em hard and get good flowers!

  • orangemustang

    This is all very new to me. I am a flowering plant lover. But I couldn't pass up the WONDERFUL smell of my new Rose Scented Geranium at my local nursery. I brought it home and put it in a pot. I used normal potting soil. I heard they need good drainage. I put a layer of Styrofoam packing peanuts on the bottom. (Rocks make my pots too heavy)
    What do I do for it in the winter? I am in zone 5. I am hoping it is a perennial.

  • caroldiane

    NO Flowers.....STOP FEEDING THEM until they do flower.
    Probably, as mentioned, the fertilizer is interferring with the flowering cycle.
    Stop feeding them.

  • lolane

    I once had this problem with potted geraniums and my Grandma, an avid gardener, gave me this advice. Use "Super Bloom", by Peter's. I have never had a problem since with my geraniums blooming. It is now 100+ here most days and my geraniums are in full sun and they are still blooming. As far as overwintering, I am in zone 8, I usually just leave my geraniums outside, if they are in clay pots I water them before a hard freeze, put them on the porch and cover them with something.

  • caroldiane

    Tom, here it is now well into September and almost the time to consider taking the geraniums to the indoors for continued growth and blooming, or to a cool place to hibernate for the winter prior to bringing them back in February....so how did your geraniums do over the summer.

    The sun should have provided something...some plants are indeed slow to bud up...but eventually will produce.
    It would be certainly strange to not have some flowering.
    The overfeeding of nitrogen could very well cause such no-bloom while producing much foliage.

    I do hope you try the cool method of overwintering instead of trying to get them to produce over winter what they couldn't do through summmer...(if they did not produce)

    A fresh boost in February might just do it.

    But, you might also un-pot the plant and see if something unbeknownst has happened to the roots maybe....root rot would certainly stop any flowering....wouldn't do much for the foliage as well.
    You might look at that anyway.

    Then next February, with fresh potting soil, a clean pot with shards to keep the soil away from the drainage holes and feeding only when new growth begins....at a reduced rate...it might just provide you with bloom when the plant has attained some volume of growth.

    I do love geraniums...they provide so much color and volume of it that I just hate to think a plant cant flower.

    Anyway, good luck....let us know what happens next spring.

  • mereed22_yahoo_com

    We have white geraniums that the leaves have turned brown around the edges and the flowers have brown in them.

  • Judy888

    I too have a problem with my geranium plants,beautiful green leaves,plenty

    I too have a problem with my geranium plants, lots of green leaves, sun at
    least 8 hrs a day I haven't fertilized them. Maybe it's from where I bought
    them from. Then again maybe too much water. I"l slack off on the watering
    and see what happens. I"l let you know.

  • gmorgana1

    I have 2 plants . 1 that is 15 years old and one in its 2nd year, The older one has been kept inside for all that time . It has light but no sun. It blooms constantly. the younger plant ha been in for the winter and outside in full sun in the summer but after the original blooming has never gotten another flower. Beautiful foliage though, I find this odd and just wanted to share.

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