Geranium Care for the Beginner
Are you looking at different types of plants for your flower garden and now want to add Geraniums – if so, the Geranium care information provided in this article will ensure your plants are healthy and produce beautiful blooms. One of the great things about this type of plant is that in addition to being a great addition to flower gardens, they can also be placed in hanging baskets or pots for inside the house.
For annual Geraniums, you have four primary options to include zonal, which are also known as common, scented leaf varieties, ivies, and regal. The type of care for each is much the same although each category is slightly different. For instance, the zonal or common variety needs about seven hours of sun every day and the soil should be loose and well draining. After blooms have died, they need to be deadheaded (removed) and stems pruned.
For the scented leaf varieties, the fragrance is magnificent but the plant should be planted where it would get only filtered sunlight. Ivies are the types used for hanging baskets, perfect for a front patio. These Geraniums need shade and cooler temperatures. The last group is regal, which are known for their magnificent flowers. However, for the best blooms, the plant needs to be where it gets only filtered sunlight.
When using Geraniums for outdoor planting, we recommend you mix one part of moss sphagnum peat moss with two parts of soil. Then, it is important that you add some fertilizer to the top layer, which is vital for this plant. In fact, throughout the growing season, you want to maintain a layer of fertilizer so you end up with the largest and most colorful blooms, as well as greenest leaves.
To ensure the blooms of the Geranium continue growing, you need to deadhead old or dead blooms by pinching off the flowers and keeping the length of the stems relatively short. To give this type of plant a boost, you can purchase special root stimulator from your local nursery or gardening center, which actually makes it grow and produce flowers much quicker than without the product.
While Geraniums have few insect problems, one in particular that can be challenging is called the budworm. If not spotted and controlled, this worm will eat the plant, even if still in bud form. All you need is a spray or dusting powder, which goes directly onto the Geranium plant. If the budworm’s presence is identified and addressed early, you should not have any damage to the plant.
Finally, for Geranium care, the plant should never go into the ground until temperatures are hovering between 70 to 85 degrees. A common mistake is people plant too early, which results in zero growth. In addition to sunlight, be sure the soil is kept moist but drains well. If the soil is allowed to dry out, you might be faced with a disease known as “root rot”, which means the roots have rotted and the plant is dead. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy the beauty of Geraniums, inside or outside.