Geranium: where it comes from, why it’s called and how it’s made
Pelargoniums, commonly called geraniums, are plants native to southern Africa. The scientific and common names derive from the Greek, meaning stork and crane respectively, and refer to the similarity of the seeds and fruits to the beaks of these birds. The first specimen arrived in Europe, precisely in Holland, in the seventeenth century and from that moment they began to be imported mainly to extract an oil used for the manufacture of perfumes. Today, geraniums are very popular because they are easy to care for and can produce continuous blooms. They are herbaceous or semi-shrubby perennials, particularly suitable for balconies and terraces, but also for borders and flowerbeds. The flowers, of various colors, are irregular in shape with 5 petals united in an umbrella on a rigid peduncle, some are small and delicate, others large and showy; even the leaves can have different shapes and textures. The genus of geraniums includes about 200 species, the most common are zonales and ivy, in many varieties.
How to choose the most suitable environment for your well-being
Geraniums mainly need intense lighting and exposure to the open air, they live well in full sun or partial shade and prefer cool and moderate temperatures, around 15°C, even if in summer they s adapt well to heat; they resist even at 0°C, but in winter they can only live in the open air in regions with a temperate climate. They must be placed sheltered from gusts of wind. As for watering, it is better to give water in the morning, taking care not to wet the leaves, misting is therefore not recommended. Do this every other day in the spring, every day in the summer, then reduce the frequency in the winter, however, depending on weather conditions. They are resistant to drought, intense sun and wind, but they fear stagnation of water, therefore, check that there is no more water on the dishes. They should be placed in fertile soil or peat, it may be expedient to transplant new plants, but not adults, which are already fully developed.
Abundant flowering and easy reproduction by multiplication.
Geranium usually blooms from April until the first frosts, but under favorable conditions it can last all year round. It is important to cut the flowers that begin to dry up to the base of the stem, so that the plant continues to bloom and does not waste energy. To have lush flowers, you need to fertilize every two weeks. It is very easy to create new plants by propagating them by cuttings. It is particularly advisable to make cuttings in the spring or at the end of the summer season, so that the new plants can acclimatize and prepare for winter rest and then be replanted the following spring. Cuttings are obtained by cutting the branches, to a length of at least 7-8 cm, with a sharp knife leaving at least 3 nodes. The cutting taken from the lower leaves is placed for rooting in the shade, after about 20 days it will have developed roots and after about a month it can be transplanted into the final position. During the rooting period, it is advisable that the soil remains moist.
Geranium Care: How to Care for Geraniums When Sick
The geranium needs periodic maintenance interventions, in particular the flowers must be removed because they wither and the leaves turn yellow, during the winter rest period then it would be good to carry out a drastic pruning so that the foliage is more vigorous and has a better spring development. The fertilizations are good but if they are excessive they can increase the development of the leaves, while weakening the flowers. Excess water can damage the plant and even cause it to rot. Geraniums are often victims of pests, especially aphids and whiteflies, which suck the sap and leave a slimy secretion on the leaves, which is itself dangerous because it attracts other pests. To eradicate them, use specific products that also eliminate the larvae. If he the environment is very humid and poorly ventilated, rust may appear, a fungus that causes spots on the upper part of the leaves and brown dust on the lower part. To fight it, you must first remove the infected parts and then use a suitable fungicide. Make sure to ventilate your geraniums well and rust will not appear!