How to Balance pH for Hardy Geraniums

Maintaining the proper soil pH is crucial for the healthy growth and thriving of hardy geraniums. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of balancing the pH for your hardy geraniums, ensuring they flourish in your garden.

Importance of Soil pH for Hardy Geraniums

Hardy geraniums, also known as cranesbills, thrive in a neutral to slightly acidic soil pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. This pH range ensures the optimal availability of essential nutrients for the plants, allowing them to grow vigorously and resist common diseases.

Soil Testing for Hardy Geraniums

hardy geraniumImage source: Pixabay

Before you can begin the pH balancing process, it’s essential to test the soil pH. You can use a soil testing kit or take a sample to a local extension office for analysis. This will provide you with the current pH level of your soil, which will guide the necessary adjustments.

Adjusting Soil pH for Hardy Geraniums

Raising Soil pH (Alkaline)

If your soil pH is below 6.0, indicating an acidic condition, you’ll need to raise the pH by adding lime to the soil. The recommended rate for applying flowable limestone is 4 quarts per 100 gallons of soil. This will raise the pH by a full point, and the effects will be noticeable within a week.

Lowering Soil pH (Acidic)

If your soil pH is above 7.0, indicating an alkaline condition, you’ll need to lower the pH by adding elemental sulfur or a sulfur-containing fertilizer. The specific amount required will depend on the current pH level and the desired target pH.

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Maintaining Optimal Soil pH

hardy geranium 2Image source: Pixabay

Once you’ve adjusted the soil pH, it’s essential to monitor it regularly and make any necessary adjustments. This can be done using a pH meter or by conducting periodic soil tests.

Fertilizer Selection

Choose a fertilizer that helps maintain the desired pH range. For example, an alkaline fertilizer like 15-0-15 or 14-2-14 can help raise the soil pH if it’s too low.

Watering Practices

Water the hardy geraniums only when the soil becomes dry, and avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases. Proper watering is crucial for maintaining the desired soil pH.

Dividing and Replanting

When dividing and replanting hardy geraniums, be sure to thoroughly water the newly-planted divisions to help establish the plants. This is best done in the morning or early afternoon to allow the water to soak into the soil before the temperature drops in the evening.

Conclusion

Balancing the soil pH is a crucial step in ensuring the healthy growth and thriving of your hardy geraniums. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can create the ideal soil conditions for your plants to flourish. Remember to regularly monitor the pH and make any necessary adjustments to maintain the optimal range of 6.0 to 7.0.

References:
How to Grow True Perennial Geraniums
Low pH Symptoms Showing Up on Geraniums in Greenhouses
Balancing pH for Geraniums