Spring Garden Tips

Geranium

Geranium205px.jpg

Botanical Name

Pelargonium x hortorum

Hardiness

Tender annual

Height

12 to 20 inches

Width

12 inches

Flowers

Summer till frost: reds, pinks, white, coral, bi-colored, salmon

Light

Full sun

Soil

Moist, well-drained

Planting and Care

Space plants 8 to 12 inches apart

Deadhead to encourage continual bloom.

Mulch to keep roots cool.

Geraniums can be wintered indoors. Take 3 to 4 cuttings and root in moist vermiculite or a well-drained potting mix. I find setting the pot in a plastic bag left open increases the humidity to encourage rooting without leading to rot.

Once rooted, they can be moved to their permanent container, placed in a sunny location and grow as a houseplant.

You can also bring the whole plant indoors and raise it like a houseplant. Grow in a bright, sunny window or under artificial lights and keep the soil moist. Don't be alarmed if the plant drops most of its leaves. It will soon send out new leaves more suited for its indoor location.

A third, but less successful method for overwintering geranium, is dormant storage. Place plants in a cool dark location for winter. In spring place them in a warm, sunny location. Prune back to four inches, water and wait to fertilize until new growth appears.

Problems

Bacterial leaf spot, black leg, botrytis blight, stem rots, rust, oedema

Varieties to Consider

Freckles - pink with dark rose centers, compact, 1991 AAS winner

Black Magic Series - chocolate colored leaves

Bulls Eye - dark green with light green edged leaves, 14-16"

Ivy Geranium - P. odoratissiumum

Scented Geraniums - P. odoratissimum, P. graveolens, P. tomentosum

Regal or Martha Washington - P. domesticum

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