Geraniums are one of the most reliable plants grown in the home garden. Geraniums flower in spring and will add co" >

Geranium

Geranium

 Geraniums are one of the most reliable plants grown in the home garden. Geraniums flower in spring and will add color to the garden until frost. At Hobbs Farm we have a good selection to choose from to enhance your garden and home. We have scented geraniums, fancy leaf geraniums and dwarf and miniature geraniums. We are sure that after looking thru our list that you will find the ones for you.

Set out plants in the spring after danger of frost is past. Geraniums that have been injured by cold temperatures will stand still and make little growth, often with red foliage. A late-May planting will be more satisfactory as the plants will establish better. Plant geraniums where they will receive sunlight for best flower production. Geraniums will grow in partial shade, but flowering is reduced even though foliage is produced. Select a site where water drainage is good. Geraniums will grow in almost any type of soil if well aerated and porous. This means that heavy clay soils should be improved by adding organic matter each year. An inch of coarse sphagnum peat moss, partially rotted manure, or compost spaded in when preparing the geranium beds is ideal.

Geraniums should be set in the soil no deeper than the depth they were growing in the pot. If possible, plant more shallow. If you plant too deeply, stem rot will usually kill the plant.

Once planted, firm the soil around the roots. Be careful not to injure the stem of the geranium since this provides an opening for diseases to enter. Water your geranium thoroughly after planting. Liquid fertilizers such as 20-20-20, 15-30-15 should also be applied at the rate recommended on the package. Water your geraniums after applying fertilizer, not only to get it into the soil where the roots of the plant can get it, but also to avoid burning. Any fertilizer that gets on the foliage of the plants should be sprayed with water.

Pest problems are minimal with geraniums. Always keep fading flower stalks removed to reduce botrytis. Proper plant spacing will reduce botrytis on leaves that can sometimes build up during wet seasons.

Gardeners often like to experiment and keep over their geraniums from year to year. This is possible by taking cuttings from your geraniums in late August and rooting them. Geraniums can also be dug, trimmed back to one half their original height, repotted and placed in a sunny window for the winter months. Some people also save geraniums by digging them, removing soil and hanging from the rafters in the basement on hooks. In general this method will work under high humidity, 85 to 90 percent and cool temperatures of 50 to 55 degrees F, but modern homes are too dry, thus causing dehydration of the plant. Because there is no sure way of knowing if this geranium culture method will work in your home, try it and if successful you will have plants next spring.

Scented geraniums should be grown in full sun to develop the volatile leaf oils. Flowers are less significant with this group, but the soft scented leaves give fragrant oils that are useful in sachets.

True Geraniums are drought tolerant, and need very little water. Be careful not to over water, the damage this causes can be hard to reverse.

Scented geraniums are relatives of the red and pink flowered annual so common in the summer garden. Neither are actually true geraniums; they are members of the genus Pelargonium.

Fragrances include lemon, apple, rose, mint, orange, and pineapple even chocolate and pink champagne. With more than 200 varieties available, the most difficult part of growing them is deciding how many to grow.

They can be outdoor plants in the spring, summer and fall, and moved inside before frost to be used as winter houseplants. Indoors, you can fill a room with their scent by brushing a hand over the foliage.

Scented geraniums were originally brought to Holland and England from South Africa in 1632. Over the past three hundred years, cultivation has resulted in more than one hundred varieties, in a kaleidoscope of shapes, sizes, and color. All share highly aromatic foliage.

The flowers feature the five petals of the Pelargonium genus, but in them the petals are arranged with two upper petals and three lower petals. The upper two are often larger and more richly colored. Colors range from white, through shades of pink and lilac, to red. The leaves range in shape from lacy and finely cut to rounded. The shrub-like plants can grow from 18" to 3' tall.

The most popular is the rose-scented plant called Robers Lemon Rose and should be on every gardener's hit list for geranium culture. It has soft, gray-green, two-inch leaves. The scent is a strong lemon-rose, and the flower is a medium pink. The leaves can be dried and used in potpourri mixtures.

Scented geraniums do best in sun to part shade. Liberal pruning encourages dense growth. They like well-drained, fertile, moist soil, but never too wet. They can be treated, as an annual and a summer bedding plant or they can be grown in containers or hanging baskets and brought inside for the winter. They do well year-round as houseplants.


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