Pelargonium is a plant well known to everyone. The flower is often called geranium, but this is not entirely true, since pelargonium and geranium are different plants. Geranium is a grassy plant or shrub. It belongs to garden plants that are resistant to low temperatures and can winter in open ground. Pelargonium is a perennial evergreen heat-loving plant, which is grown as indoor flowers, as it does not tolerate low temperature.
Pelargonium was introduced to Europe from South Africa, later some species were discovered in Australia and New Zealand. Pelargonium differs in a variety of species. Currently known ampelous shrub and dwarf pelargonium. Geranium Pelargonium is often called the "crane nose". This name the plant has received for the similarity of seed pods with the crane beak.
In the Middle Ages, Pelargonium was very loved and revered in England. It is no coincidence that the exotic plant symbolizes the Victorian era. Currently, it is widespread throughout the world. Particularly rare types of flower pelargonium bred in nurseries and greenhouses in Holland, Britain, Germany. Geranium was brought to Russia at the beginning of the 19th century and was first used to decorate flowerbeds of the imperial palace.
Variety of species
Due to its attractive appearance and unpretentiousness in the care, the flower attracts the attention of not only indoor plants, but also breeders who have produced a large number of geranium varieties. Hybrid varieties differ in the size of the shrub, color and shape of leaves and flowers. Pelargonium is variegated and dwarf, with bicolor and double flowers. Thanks to the work of breeders, about 300 species of this indoor plant have been developed. Pelargonium can have various forms: shrub, dwarf shrub or herb.
Depending on a grade the geranium is used for decoration of rooms, personal plots, balconies and loggias. Derived varieties of ampelous, succulent, fragrant pelargonium. At home, usually grow large-flowered varieties of pelargonium.
- Pelargonium room. The plant has dark green leaves bordering a dark brown color. Border width may vary depending on the geranium variety. Sometimes it is called "grandmother's" flower. Room geranium flowers are diverse. The plant can have simple, terry and semi-double flowers having different shapes and number of petals.
- Ileum Pelargonium. This is an ampelous plant with falling long shoots, the length of which can exceed one meter. Pelargonium is often planted in hanging pots. Geranium leaves of this variety are smooth, glossy, bright green. Externally, they look like ivy leaves. For this similarity grade and got its name.
- Geranium angel. It is also an ampel variety, but with shorter shoots. Particular attention is drawn to the flower, which resemble the form of pansies. Flowers are located in the inflorescences, externally similar to bouquets.
- Fragrant geranium. This type of pelargonium fell in love with flower growers for the variety of smells. Fragrant varieties of pelargonium contain a large number of phytoncids, due to which the leaves of the flower have a unique aroma. Especially strongly felt the aroma when touching the flower. Externally, the plant is not as attractive as flowering species. Pelargonium fragrant has large slightly corrugated leaves with slight pubescence on the surface of the leaf plate. The size of the leaves I am quite large with irregular serrate edges. The flowers are simple white or pink color. This species is characterized by strong growth of shoots. Therefore, it needs the formation of a bush. To form a beautifully shaped shrub, you should periodically pinch the crown of the shoots.
- Royal Geranium. One of the most beautiful types of pelargonium. Particular attention is attracted to large flowers that are collected in large inflorescences of large sizes. As a result, the inflorescence cap looks gigantic. Petals can have various coloring, their surface can be decorated with streaks, border, specks or specks.
- Geranium Unicum. This species of flower combines the best signs of other species. Its flowers differ in an unusual coloring with streaks and drawing on a surface. The leaves of the shrub also have decorative qualities and have a light aroma.
Miniature geraniums. These species are represented by small shrubs. They do not need additional pruning and crown formation. They are well suited for home maintenance. Dwarf or miniature pelargoniums combine several varieties:
- rose geraniums - their flowers look like pink buds, collected in inflorescences,
- cactus geraniums - Flowers have an unusual shape. Their petals are cone-shaped and twisted in the form of cactus spines,
- star geraniums - the petals of the flowers are slightly pointed at the tip, rather narrow and similar to asterisks,
- Clove color pelargoniums - Flowers look like carnations because they have jagged needle petals.
Lighting and location
Pelargonium needs good lighting and warmth.
Since in natural conditions pelargonium grows in hot climatic conditions, a lot of light is required for active growth and flowering. It should be noted that the flower does not tolerate direct sunlight, so in summer you should take care of a small shading of the plant. It will help avoid burns on the leaves.
The preferred landing site will be the western or eastern side of the garden plot or apartment. When the plant is kept warm, the pots can be taken out to the open air. Pelargonium loves free space, it is necessary to ensure that the flower is not drowned by the plants next to it. If there is not enough light, the flowering period is shortened, shoots are drawn. The flower loses its decorative qualities.
Pelargonium watering and moisture
For watering the flower Pelargonium should use soft settled or rain water. In the summer, during the flowering period, the plant is watered 2-3 times a week, in winter the number of irrigations is reduced. At this time, you should monitor the condition of the top layer of soil, which should not be too dry. If the soil is allowed to dry out, the plant can drop flowers.
Geranium responds positively to spraying and a warm shower. During the procedure, care should be taken that moisture does not fall on the inflorescences.
Transplant and soil
The plant requires loose soil, which passes moisture and air well. For planting, you can use a ready-made universal soil or soil composition prepared independently from turf and leaf soil, peat, humus and sand. Before planting, the soil mixture should be treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate, which will help to destroy the spores of the fungus and the larvae of insect pests.
At the bottom of the pot should definitely lay the drainage layer, which uses expanded clay, pebbles, rubble, ceramic shards. Transplantation takes place as the plant grows into a larger pot. Replanting can be replaced by replacing the top soil layer.
Geranium is propagated by sowing seeds or cuttings. For propagation by grafting, it is necessary to prepare cuttings up to 10 centimeters in length, process them with a biostimulator and plant in a nutrient mixture consisting of peat and coarse sand. Also for these purposes you can use ready-made peat pots. After that, the cuttings are covered with plastic bags or glass jars to maintain a constant temperature and humidity. Plants should be periodically opened for ventilation. Three weeks after rooting, the cuttings are planted in small pots. Care is carried out as an adult plant.
Growing geraniums from seeds
Sowing is carried out in February - early March. Seeds are treated with growth promoters. For sowing using shallow containers, pre-filled with soil, consisting of peat, sand and turf soil. The soil should be light and good to pass moisture. Seeds are evenly laid out on the surface of the earth and sprinkled with a small soil layer. Moistening is carried out with the help of a spray.
The containers are covered with glass or film to create a greenhouse effect and placed in a warm room well warmed by the sun. The first shoots appear within 7-10 days. After that, the film is removed and the containers are transferred to a cooler, but bright room.
After the appearance of 2-3 true leaves of the plant can be seated in separate pots. When the seedlings reach a height of 15-20 centimeters, the top should be pinched.
This measure will contribute to the formation of lateral shoots. For leaf formation, it is recommended to feed young plants with nitrogen fertilizer.
If you plan to plant in open ground, then it should be carried out in late May - early June, when warm weather sets. Hurry up with the landing of young plants is not worth it, because during the spring frosts they may die. Plants are planted on shady areas protected from the wind. The soil should be light, well pass air and do not trap excess moisture. When preparing the site for planting, it is recommended to apply organic fertilizers.
Pruning garden geraniums is carried out after the onset of the first autumn frosts. This will help the plant to survive the winter. As a rule, shoots are cut in half. If there is a risk of plant freezing, it can be transplanted into a container and transferred to a warm room.
Under home conditions, pruning is done to form the crown of the plant and stimulate the growth of additional lateral shoots. It is carried out at the end of winter before the onset of the period of active growth of the plant. After pruning, pelargonium forms a large number of new inflorescences.
The use of mineral fertilizers will provide additional nutrition to the plant. This is important during the flowering period from late spring to mid-autumn. For dressing use ready-made mineral compounds that can be purchased in a specialized store. For additional nutrition, mineral fertilizers are used, which include potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen. The use of fertilizers is carried out strictly according to the instructions.
Geranium is fairly easy to maintain, but many growers face problems associated with improper maintenance or care of the plant.
- Yellowing leaves pelargonium can be observed due to changes in conditions of detention. The plant can respond to the change of season. Geraniums often turn yellow and fall off old leaves.
- If the room is warm and enough light, the plant continues to grow. In winter, additional lighting can be used to prevent foliage from yellowing. Very often the leaves turn yellow with insufficient or excessive watering. In this case, it is necessary to strictly observe the irrigation regime and make sure that the soil is not over-dried or over-humidified.
- If pelargonium refuses to bloom in winter, place the flowerpot in a cooler room, and in the spring to prune. The appearance of buds can be stimulated using fertilizing with mineral fertilizers for flowering plants.
- Sometimes geranium starts fold buds already formed. In this case, you need to timely feed and water the flower.
- When over-wetting the soil on the leaves of the shrub may appear brown spots. Damage to the leaves may be due to low indoor temperatures or sunburn. If the spots are numerous, they can be caused by a fungal disease.
- Pulling the stalks due to lack of sunlight. This is especially common at the end of winter. Pruning will help to return the attractive appearance of the shrub. With sufficient light, the plant will quickly form new leaves.