Learn All About Fragrant Flowers With Geranium
Geranium has been an all-time favorite of gardeners. With its lovely scent, they can soothe a person’s mind. They are easier to grow and have the capacity to emit fragrances everywhere.
The scientific name of the plant is Pelargonium and commonly known as geranium. Mostly these are found in gardens and sometimes referred to as hardy geraniums. During winter these plants are kept indoors. In summers and warmer seasons, they are kept outdoors. If the plant is provided with sufficient light, it can grow indoors as well. With indoor light, they can bloom all the yearlong. Geranium has a history of being called as fragrant flowers. Plants are categorized based on their genus. There are wide species of plants and a large number of plants can belong to the same family.
The history of geranium
These plants were introduced by European Dutch traders in the 18th century. They brought it from the Africans and hence it commonly came to be known as geranium. These plants resembled the hardy geraniums which were already grown in Europe at that time. Botanists mistook them for the African geranium and put them in the same genus. However, botanist, Carl Linnaeus classified them as the geranium which was different from the hardy geranium. In terms of the petal shapes, stamen, and other parts, they both differed from each other. These came to be later known as Pelargonium concerning sharp-pointed seedpods. So when people say geranium it means Pelargonium scientifically.
Plantation of geranium
You must take care of the color and size while buying the plant. If you find discoloration beneath the leaves then the plant might not be healthy. The stems must not be straggly but sturdy. Even if you find any sign of pest then you must not buy it. To avoid the root rotting you must place the plants in a pot with holes. Make sure you buy a good drainage pot with clayey soil. Compacted soil is not suited for geranium. At least 4-7 hours of sunlight is needed by the plants. Make sure you keep it in an area of proper sunlight.
The following steps guide you on how to take proper care of the plants.
- When you water the soil, let it dry for some time. Do not water too frequently, as it will not let the soil dry.
- During the winter season you need to water less but make sure that roots do not dry out. In this season the plants use lesser water and grow at a slow pace.
- Try cutting the dead-end of spent flowers to ensure more blooming.
- Keep pinching the stems often to encourage bushiness.
- You must use fertilizer to keep pests away during the blooming months. These are the months when the plant is active.
- Do not fertilize in winters.
- If you want you can re-pot geranium plant during spring for refreshment.
- Some common issues might arise with less sunlight or less water. If the leaves turn yellow you might understand that you are watering too little.
- In such a case, you can shift the plant to a brighter place and start watering more.
The overwintering geraniums
In areas of warm climate, geraniums might receive plenty of sunlight for proper growth. But in areas with low sunlight, this might not be the case. In northern areas, the sun may not be strong for the plant to bloom. You need to lift the plant before the first frost. Using a sharp knife you can cut stems in proper shape of about 7 inches. Save a few stems as root cutting which also serves as a way to multiply plant. Place this mother plant to a small pot. It should be sufficient to fit the roots by the regular soil pot filling.
After keeping the plant in a shade for a few weeks you need to place them in sunlight. During the winter season geranium can grow properly if the night temperature is 10 to 16 degrees centigrade. They can survive if the temperature further drops to 0 degrees centigrade. What is important is to keep them dry. It is important to cut off the old leaves when the new one appears. New growth happens quickly but it is difficult to maintain it.
You must water the leaves when they are almost about to droop. The plants need to get rest. Hence you must water a little and avoid fertilizers. Try pinching the plant in February. Once the frost has gone place the plant in a new pot outdoors. Your plant would yield flower products again.
Storage of the plant
• Geraniums do not bloom easily from the fertilizers but the roots. Coarse sand, proper watering, perlite, and all the other root material ensure the proper growth of the plant.
• You must use a clean and sharp knife to make 4 inches cut below the stem and above the point where leaves emerge from.
• Remove all the stipules from the base of leaves called leaf stalks. You can put the stem in shade for a day. This helps the cut end of the stem to seal and not rot.
• Later you can place the stem in a pot containing moisture and place it in shade for a day or two. Try providing the stem cutting sunlight indirectly.
• In case you get some cut you can apply crushed leaves of the plant. This will stop the bleeding.
• With geranium as the natural product of Japanese beetles, you don’t need to worry much about insects.
Some recommended varieties of the plant are Pelargonium peltatum and Pelargonium x hortorum. These plant varieties can be used as decorating items or for hanging in the pots. The plant is pretty simple to grow, store and take care of. But the results are amazing in the form of beautifully scented bloomed flowers. Try planting one in your garden and spread the fragrance everywhere. Follow the above tips on planting, caring and storing the plant. Make your garden a peaceful place to walk.