Pelargonium – care and reproduction

pelargonium care and reproduction Blog

Homemade geranium – a flower for all time

Homemade geraniums, dear to the heart, bring comfort and warmth to our homes. There are green bushes with rounded soft fluffy leaves on the windows, which you just want to stroke, but if you touch it, everything around will be filled with a strong persistent geranium smell. And how generously geraniums bloom! With careful care – almost all year round! Joyful is a flower.

Among pelargoniums, colloquially called geraniums, zonal pelargonium is considered the favorite of all peoples in all countries. In the geranium family, which includes zonal pelargonium, there are many species, and they all come from South Africa. These are subtropical plants.

Over time, species, hybrids, varieties of pelargonium formed 4 garden groups: zonal, large-flowered (royal), ivy, fragrant.

Pelargonium zonal – care, grow from seeds

Pelargonium Zonal unpretentious and very common plant. It has fairly tall branched stems. The leaves are long-petiolate, slightly lobed, light green, pubescent. A brown stripe runs parallel to the edge of the leaf. There are varieties with a white or yellowish border.

Pelargonium blooms from early spring to late autumn, forming lush umbrellas of red, pink or white flowers. Growing these pelargoniums is not particularly difficult.

In order for Zonal pelargonium to bloom profusely and for a long time, in summer it must be kept on a sunny window and watered regularly, but not excessively (waterlogging of the soil is the main enemy of pelargonium), and in winter put in a dry, cool room.

Every year in the spring, the plant is transplanted into a mixture consisting of equal parts of soddy and leafy soil mixed with sand. After transplantation, cut short. The height of the shoots after pruning should not exceed10 cm, otherwise ugly, tall, bare, weakly flowering bushes are formed. Easily propagated by cuttings, which can be taken in spring and throughout the summer.

Currently, many excellent varieties of Zonal Pelargonium can be grown from seed. Home seedlings of pelargonium from seeds are compact and form beautiful bushes with large first caps. Pelargonium can be sown throughout the year, but it is best from November to April. From sowing to the beginning of flowering takes 5-6 months. The soil for sowing should be loose, moisture and breathable, disinfected. Seedlings and seedlings are very susceptible to black leg disease, so all precautions should be taken in the early stages of plant development.

It is recommended to use loose high-moor peat or mixtures of peat with perlite (sand); leafy earth with humus. A good, fairly sterile substrate is pure perlite, which is poured in a thin layer over the soil and the crops are covered with it.

Planting pelargonium

Pelargonium seeds are covered with a dense leathery shell, therefore, pre-sowing treatment – scarification is recommended: when grinding the seeds with fine-grained sandpaper, the integumentary scales are removed and some damage to the shell occurs.

Scarified seeds are sown dry in boxes or pots, scattered and sprinkled with a thin layer of the substrate. At a temperature of 18-22°C and regular spraying of the soil, mass shoots are observed after 7-10 days, and without pre-sowing seed treatment, germination stretches up to 3 months. After emergence, the soil should be moderately moist.

They usually dive in 1-1.5 months. Effective planting in high-moor peat, neutralized and enriched with mineral fertilizers, ready-made soil mixtures can be purchased at flower shops. Care of seedlings consists in careful watering, loosening, airing.

1-1.5 months after picking the seedlings, they are planted in pots with a diameter of 10-14 cm. At the same time, they make sure that the plants are at the same depth as before. It is better to transplant large seedlings. After planting, water abundantly. In the future, this is done very carefully, remembering that excess moisture is detrimental.

After good rooting, you can start feeding. Pelargonium is very demanding on mineral nutrition. Top dressing is best done more often, avoiding high concentrations of solutions (the usual dose is 2-3 g, or 0.5 teaspoon per1 lwater of complete mineral fertilizer). An excess of nitrogen is undesirable, since in this case the entire vegetative mass develops intensively to the detriment of flowering, the plant fats. The soil in pots is regularly loosened. The room should have good air exchange, temperature 16-20°C.

For those who have a zonal geranium, care and propagation of other types of pelargonium will also be available.

Pelargonium Royal – the queen among geraniums

Large-flowered or English, Royal pelargoniums.

Plants are distinguished by fast-wooding shoots and rigidly folded finely toothed leaves. The flowers are more showy than the usual Zonal Pelargonium each flower up to5 cmin diameter with wavy edges of the leaves and a brighter color. Flowers are collected up to 3-7 pieces in umbrellas. Height of an adult perennial bush 60-100 cm. Flowering lasts from May to August.

The royal pelargonium propagates by cuttings in February-March or in August after flowering. It has been noticed that summer cuttings develop more intensively than spring cuttings, especially those cut from young plants.

When growing large-flowered pelargonium, it must be remembered that flower buds are laid in it only at a low temperature (11-13 ° C), which must be maintained for 2.5-3 months under conditions of a short winter day.

In winter, at room conditions, large-flowered pelargoniums stretch out strongly and often shed their lower leaves, exposing the bush. After flowering in summer, they must be properly cut and create optimal growing conditions.

Pelargonium ivy – ampelous geranium

An excellent material for outdoor vertical gardening of lobbies, verandas, balconies, windows and for indoor maintenance are ivy-shaped pelargoniums, which are currently available in flower shops.

Ivy-leaved pelargoniums. This group includes ampelous (hanging) species with thin branched stems, shiny, smooth, ivy-like leaves and beautiful umbellate inflorescences of pink or red tones. It blooms throughout the summer and early autumn. Ivy pelargonium propagates with green cuttings at any time of the year (preferably in spring). Growing and care techniques are the same as for Zonal Pelargoniums, so they can be grown together.

We have more or less known salmon-pink varieties Lachskenigin, Talile, Ville de Paris, purple Amethyst, pink Holstein. Abroad, where this culture is extremely popular for decorating balconies, terraces, outdoor window sills, vases, the range is much wider.

It is not surprising that pelargoniums are so loved all over the world. The care and propagation of these plants is very simple. However, among them there is a small group of fragrant pelargoniums, which are grown not for flowers, but for the scent of leaves.

Fragrant pelargoniums – fruity aroma on the windowsill

 Fragrant pelargoniums. These species form tall branched bushes. Stems are herbaceous, woody at the bottom. The leaves are graceful deeply dissected, pubescent with soft hairs. The cells of the hairs contain a fragrant essential oil, so the leaves, even with a light touch, emit a pleasant smell, reminiscent of the smell of lemon, mint, nutmeg, apple.

Pelargonium fragrant flowers are small, often pink or purple with dark spots on the top two petals. This most unpretentious of the varieties of pelargonium, fragrant pelargonium can grow even on northern windows. With such valuable properties as lush greenery, pleasant smell, shade tolerance, Fragrant Pelargonium can be widely used for planting in dimly lit rooms, as well as on balconies and loggias.

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