Description for Geranium
Geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) is a colorful summer bloomer with ivy-like foliage and cascading blooms that make the plant perfectly suited for window boxes and hanging containers. Geranium works well in mixed baskets with other colorful annuals. Geranium includes at least 75 different types, including a range of flower and foliage colors and variegation and a variety of sizes.
No matter what Geranium you choose, it s bound to have attractive foliage and eye-catching blooms.Geraniums bloom in a burst of deep reds, scarlet, pinks, white, purple or salmon with flowers lasting throughout the gardening season. Geraniums are used in beautiful flower beds or in containers, planter boxes, or hanging baskets on porches, patios or balconies.Geraniums are hardy in USDA zones 9-11.
Zonal geraniums are not heavy feeders, but since they are usually grown in containers, a light feeding with your favorite fertilizer, every 2-4 weeks, will keep them vigorous.
Stressing them slightly by watering only after the soil has dried out completely for a day or two seems to encouraging more profuse blooming. Just don’t leave them dry for so long they start dropping leaves and declining.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|zonal geranium,garden geranium, malva or malvon,Pelargonium hortorum,||mix color||Zonal geraniums start blooming in mid-spring and will repeat bloom until frost. Deadheading the entire flower stalk after the flower fades will encourage more blooms.||Size will vary with variety. There are some dwarf geraniums that will never get more than 5 – 6 inches tall and newer varieties being bred for height and spread. In general, most are between 5 – 24 inches (12 – 60 cm) H x 12 – 15 inches (30 – 38 cm) W.||Easy to grow|
Planting and care
You can start zonal geraniums from seed, cuttings or transplants. Taking cuttings was the traditional method of propagating geraniums and maintaining favorite varieties. If you choose to take cuttings, make sure you only use healthy, vigorous plants.
Geranium can easily be started from seed, although the seed is usually for F1 hybrids. Seed geraniums are bred to be disease resistant and to bloom well in the heat of summer.Start seeds 8 – 10 weeks before your last frost date. They can take up to 2 weeks to germinate and should be kept warm, 70 and 75F (21 to 24C), and moist in the process. Scarifying the seed before planting will help aid germination.
Harden off young plants before planting outdoors. They should begin to bloom about a month after being set out.
|Full sun to Partial Shade. They will bloom best in full sun.||Work organic compost into high-quality container potting soil that contains ingredients such as peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Use this compost/soil mixture to fill pots for your geraniums. Good drainage is essential to geraniums so choose containers with adequate drainage holes.If your geraniums are already in pots, spread organic compost lightly on the soil surface and work in, taking care not to dig up the plant s roots. |
Zonal geraniums are not terribly fussy about soil pH, but prefer a slightly acid soil of about 5.8 to 6.5
|Many geraniums are killed because of improper watering. Establish a wet-saturated to moist-dry watering cycle. The plant needs to be thoroughly watered so the soil is wet all the way to the center of the root ball. Check the plant s need for watering by looking at the soil; better yet, scratch the soil surface with your finger or use a moisture meter.If the soil is barely moist or dry below the surface layer, the plant needs watering. Anything wetter than barely moist should probably wait. I say probably because so much depends on the weather. If we are in the midst of a heat wave, or if the plant will be exposed to dry winds, it may need watering more often to maintain it through the day. Container plants should be watered in the morning hours if possible.||The best temperature range would be from 60-70 degrees.||As plants receive sunlight for growing, the demand for water and fertilizer is established. The more sunlight received, the more water and fertilizer needed. The demand for water and fertilizer will decrease with less sunlight and overcast weather. (Fertilizing should start when the plant begins its active growth in the spring). Fertilize lightly or not at all in cold weather months.|
Caring for Geranium
- Cut back your geraniums by about two-thirds if and when the weather drops below 45 F.
- Move the pots indoors to a sunny, south-facing window that gets at least four hours a day of direct sun.
- Stop fertilizing and limit water to once a week, keeping the plants on the dry side, while they are in the house.
- Begin to add fertilizer to the plant water again when you see new growth in late winter or early spring.
- As spring arrives, move your potted geraniums outside gradually, adding a lit
- Pruning: If your plants are long stemmed or with leaves only at the tips, and the shape of your plant is off then they should be pruned.
- The best time to prune geraniums is November through late January.