Houseplants Published: 04 September 2012 Reprinted: Last edits:
At one time I worked at a school. As in all establishments of this type, there were different flowers in the offices everywhere. Including geranium. And then one day I noticed that all the pots with geraniums had disappeared somewhere.
Colleagues told me in secret that the director heard somewhere that geranium (aka pelargonium) has a beneficial effect on health, purifies the air and ionizes it, so she moved all the pelargonium to her office. Indeed, at one of the regular meetings with the director, I saw the entire population of school pelargoniums on the windowsill. This incident made me sit down to reference books to find out why this geranium is so useful, whose smell in my mother's apartment annoyed me so much in my childhood.
Geranium or Pelargonium
Geranium - This is a perennial, quite suitable for indoor breeding. Depending on the species, it is a herbaceous plant or a shrub. Botanists say there are over 250 types of geraniums. In the wild, this plant grows in southern Africa. In our latitudes, geranium is a houseplant, and although there is a wild-growing species, it does not have decorative qualities.
All home geraniums are divided into 2 groups: fragrant and flowering. Their difference is that flowering, as the name implies, have very beautiful flowers. But the flowers of fragrant pelargonium are inconspicuous. But the leaves have a unique, very strong aroma. Moreover, each subspecies has its own smell.
For example, the leaves of the strong-smelling geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) have a rose scent. And the smell emitted by the most fragrant geranium (Pelargonium odoratissimum) resembles the aroma of an apple. In a word, there are many types of geraniums, they all smell differently and their smell is not always pleasant.
But it is precisely with the scent of the leaves that the beneficial effect of geranium on human health is associated, because the leaves secrete phytoncides that kill pathogens and purify the air.
For many people, the scent of geranium helps to relax and relieve fatigue. Pelargonium both calms the nervous system and actually ionizes the air.
They say that the scent of geranium is useful to inhale for patients who have had a stroke:
- it improves blood microcirculation in the heart muscle;
- helps with ischemia, sinus arrhythmia.
Room geranium care
Geranium is a southern flower that loves the sun very much. In winter, geraniums should be in the brightest place in the house. In summer, geraniums are planted in the ground whenever possible. Being in the fresh air is very beneficial for the plant: many new leaves and flowers appear.
Pelargonium grows well with temperature about 20 ° C. But if it starts to get colder, and cool nights with a temperature of 5-7 ° C come, your main task is to protect the flower from drafts, otherwise it can get sick.
Watering geranium not too abundant, but regularly. The soil should always be slightly damp. In winter, watering is reduced.
In order for flowering geraniums to bloom profusely and brightly, you can nourish them with fertilizers. Add liquid top dressing for flowering plants into the water with which you water the geranium. You need to feed it every 2 weeks in the summer. In winter, feeding is stopped.
As far as I remember, my mother transplanted geraniums at home every year. At the same time, the old bush was planted on the street for the summer for recovery. It so happened that at the end of summer we took a really beautiful flower that came to life into our house.
If it is not possible to plant the plant in the ground, you can transplant the geranium into a larger pot. This is done once a year or two.
Mom bought soil for geraniums in the store. There is a mixture that is specially formulated for geraniums. This is a loose, light, but fertile soil. Different types of geraniums require different types of soil: acidic, slightly acidic or neutral.
If you do not need to transplant pelargonium this year, sanitize the flower: cut off old twigs and dried flower stalks.
When pruning old shoots, you can separate several new ones in order to make cuttings from them for propagation of geraniums at home in a vegetative way.
My mother and I propagated geraniums with stem cuttings. How? Look ...
Cut off the 10 cm stalk, remove the lower leaves. Everything, you can immediately plant it in the ground: many geraniums root well even without first growing the roots. But if you do not trust someone else's experience, put the cut shoot for a few days in water, let it take root.
After that, we stick the stalk into a light mixture (peat with sand), put it in a semi-dark cool place so that the plant spends its energy not on growth, but on the formation of roots. We water regularly. In a month or two, you will have a young pelargonium.
Geranium can be propagated by seeds or by dividing the rhizome (with shoots or buds).
Geranium could be considered an unpretentious flower, if not for its susceptibility to various diseases. Most often, problems are caused by such diseases: gray and root rot, rust. Despite the fact that some types of geraniums can scare off another suspicious grower with their smell, harmful insects live in these, relatively speaking, fragrant bushes quite calmly. Therefore, you have to make sure that whiteflies, weevils, scale insects and, of course, aphids do not start in geraniums.
Unfortunately, I do not yet have personal experience of using the healing properties of geraniums, but from the literature I know an interesting way to use the leaves of Pelargonium fragrant. They are used in food: in salads, in baked goods, as a seasoning.
In addition, both the leaves and the extract from them are used for the aromatization of rooms, linen in the closet, for aromatic baths. Geranium essential oil is considered one of the most healing. It is used to treat colds and respiratory diseases.
- Indoor Plants Information
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Planting geraniums in 2021: sowing dates, favorable days according to the lunar calendar
Geranium is a flower that belongs to the Geranium family. This is one of the most popular indoor plants. There are about four hundred types of geraniums. Recently, the cultivation of this flower has been undeservedly considered old-fashioned and tasteless.
Today geranium is gaining popularity again. In flower shops you can buy such a plant for every taste. Geranium strikes with its size and color so much that it is impossible to remain indifferent. From the article we will learn how to care for this beautiful flower and how to plant geraniums correctly.
Flowers adorn our lives, and there is no need to prove how important it is for flowers to bloom in the garden. The timing of planting flowers for seedlings depends on which plant you are planting. Cold-resistant perennials can be planted at different times, but for bulbous and flower bed plants, planting times are limited. Be sure to consider favorable planting days to plant flowers in 2021 efficiently and blooming.
- It should still be noted that geranium differs from pure pelargonium. The fact is that pelargonium has fruits that do not open during ripening, while geranium has a fruit with five valves that open, scattering seeds. Pelargonium in its purest form is an African representative.
- However, on the territory of our country, these names "geranium" and "pelargonium" are considered the same type.
- The root system of geraniums is powerful with a well-developed central rhizome.
- Thin long stems are covered with smooth light green skin. The foliage of the plant is very interesting. The surface of the leaf plate is not smooth, but covered with small villi. If you run your hand over the leaf, you feel soft to the touch. The foliage is not elongated, but has an oval shape, and the edges of each leaf are divided into a series of circles. Thus, the edges of the leaves appear laced.
- And during the flowering period, you and I can observe buds completely different in color variation, which subsequently differ in the splendor of flowering.
Geranium - home care
Most varieties of pelargonium have a high decorative value. At the same time, the culture is completely unpretentious, and it can be grown both at home and in the open field.
Despite the fact that even a beginner can cope with the cultivation of pelargonium, there are certain features of caring for this plant, which will be described below.
Geranium loves abundant and regular watering, as in natural conditions it is accustomed to the high level of soil moisture. But it should be borne in mind that stagnation of moisture at the roots can provoke root rot and the flower can die. This condition is especially important for dwarf varieties.
Therefore, watering should be private, but at the same time, excess water should not linger in the ground for a long time. To do this, there must be holes in the pot, and a layer of drainage material at the bottom. This will allow excess moisture to drain into the pan and the roots will not be damaged.
You can put a flower in almost any corner of the apartment. This culture is absolutely unpretentious in terms of location. In addition, the plant pot can be rearranged if necessary (for example, closer to or further from the light source).
If all the windows of your apartment face south, do not despair: pelargonium reacts quite tolerably even to direct sunlight, and only on very hot summer days it will need to be shaded to avoid burning the leaves.
The usual temperature of the house is quite suitable for the culture, although in the cold season it is advisable to slightly lower the indicators, since during this period the plant begins a period of vegetative dormancy. To do this, you can put a flower pot on the windowsill or take it to the coolest room in the house.
In addition, you need to regularly ventilate the room: geranium, like other indoor crops, needs fresh air. At the same time, the culture reacts quite normally to a short stay in a draft.
The most important condition that should be taken into account when growing is the fact that this culture does not tolerate organic fertilizers at all.
In this case, pelargonium will still need feeding. For this purpose, you can use the usual feeding for flowering crops. It makes no sense to add them too often: during the period of active growth, it will be enough to add useful substances twice a month.
How to form a crown
Most indoor varieties do not need to specially form the crown, but it is still worthwhile to carry out light pruning. The procedure is carried out in the fall, when the flowering period has already ended and the plant will not experience serious stress from removing excess shoots.
Note: In winter, the transplant is not carried out. The only exception can be cases of damage to the plant by diseases or pests.
When pruning pelargonium, several important nuances should be considered. Firstly, you can only remove branches growing from the leaf sinuses, and not their roots. Secondly, it is imperative to leave shoots with 6-7 leaves. In addition, you can pinch the shoots to make the bush more lush.
Cut branches and leaves can be used as cuttings to grow new plant specimens.
Pelargonium does not respond well to frequent transplants, so it is recommended to move it to a new pot no more than once every one to two years (Figure 8).
Note: You can understand that geraniums need a transplant by the appearance of the plant. For example, if the roots began to protrude from the ground or filled the entire inner space of the pot. In addition, a transplant is required if the pelargonium has ceased to bloom and develop.
As a rule, the transplant is carried out from February to April, but if the need for the procedure arose at another time of the year, then it cannot be postponed. In fact, the transplant can be carried out in winter, but in this case the plant will take longer to take root in a new pot.
Geranium transplant is carried out as follows:
- A drainage layer (pieces of foam, broken brick or small stones) is placed on the bottom of the new pot.
- Pelargonium is watered abundantly and carefully removed from the old pot. In order not to damage the roots, you need to lightly knock on the walls and bottom of the container.
- The root system of the plant must be inspected, and, if necessary, rotten parts must be removed, and all sections must be treated with crushed coal.
- The plant is moved to a new pot and sprinkled with soil. Next, the soil needs to be watered, slightly compacted and filled up with the missing layer of earth.
The transplanted plant should be placed in a dark place for a week, and then transferred to a permanent place. Top dressing in this case can be carried out no earlier than two months later.
Geranium pruning for lush bloom
With the arrival of autumn, geraniums need to be cut off. All stems growing not from the root, but from the shoot are removed. The foliage is also cut off, leaving 7 leaves. When a large amount of foliage appears in winter, pruning is also performed in the spring.
Further, with the beginning of the growing season, you need to pinch after the fourth leaf. It is better not to prune in winter.
Growing geraniums indoors | Home and Garden Information Center
Indoor geranium ( Pelargonium species) are excellent indoor plants that can be grown indoors all year round. They are usually available from March to June and will bloom continuously if there is enough light in the house. Many new types are available, including grape varieties and hanging baskets. They can be purchased at different stages of growth and in different types of containers.
Geranium zonal or common geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum) usually has pink-red or white flowers.
Barbara H. Smith, © 2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension
- Zonal geraniums or common geraniums ( Pelargonium x hortorum ) usually have distinct markings on the leaves. These include a selection of tricolor leaves, silver leaves, white-marked leaves, and fancy-leaved geraniums. The colors are usually pink, red, or white.
Geranium with ivy leaves (Pelargonium peltatum) hangs out of habit and has leaves that resemble ivy leaves.
Barbara H. Smith, © 2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension
- Geranium with ivy leaves ( Pelargonium peltatum ) hanging out of habit and has leaves that resemble ivy leaves. They are commonly used in hanging baskets and window boxes.
Martha Washington geranium (Pelargonium x domesticum ‘Regal’) is not heat-resistant and will not grow well outdoors.
Barbara H. Smith, © 2018 HGIC, Clemson Extension
- Geranium Martha Washington ( Pelargonium x domesticum ) can be purchased from many florists during the winter months as flowering pot plants. They are not heat tolerant and will not work as well outdoors as common geraniums.
Soil Mix and Container: Plant geraniums in window boxes, planters, hanging baskets, or other large pots. Each tank should be well drained and the soil should be well drained and high in organic matter. A good mix may contain equal parts garden loam, peat moss, and coarse sand or perlite. Professionally prepared commercial potting mixes may also work. You may need to try several before you find one that works well for your specific growing conditions.
Watering: Check your plant daily to make sure it has enough moisture.Geranium responds favorably to some drying out of the soil between waterings. Apply enough water to drain from the bottom of the container with each watering. Water only as needed, testing the soil for dryness to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
Fertilizer: Soluble or slow-release fertilizers are best for growing in containers. Fertilize every half month from March to October. If the plants are grown in low light intensity or indoors during the winter months, reduce the amount of fertilizer accordingly. Apply fertilizer according to the directions on the label and make sure the soil is moist before spreading.
Light and Temperature: Bright light is essential to keep geraniums blooming throughout the year. South- and west-facing windowsills are the best spot for geraniums, especially during the winter months. If the house does not have strong natural light, artificial lighting is allowed. Satisfactory results can be obtained by placing plants 12 inches below a 40-watt daytime cool fluorescent lamp for 16 hours each day. Temperatures between 65 and 70 ºF during the day and around 55 ºF at night are ideal. Avoid placing geraniums in cold, hot, or drafts.
Geranium is not hardy, and if you want to preserve it, you need to bring it into the house before frost. Gardeners looking to overwinter their geraniums can try a few tricks. Before the first frost, dig up large geraniums in the garden and plant in pots large enough to support their root system. Throw away any plants showing signs of insects or diseases. Cut the top of the plant to 6 inches tall and place in a sunny window. You can also cuttings in the fall and keep small houseplants on the windowsill in the winter. Transplant into landscaping or keep in pots as soon as frost hazard is over.
Over-watering and high humidity can cause swelling, leading to the formation of small cork cells on the leaves. Reduce watering and increase light levels to solve this problem. Botrytis can develop in cool and humid conditions. This disease causes premature wilting and drying of flowers. Remove old flowers as soon as they begin to wilt and provide good air circulation. Common insect pests include mealybugs, caterpillars, ticks, whiteflies and aphids.
Information on how to grow geraniums outdoors is available in HGIC 1164. Geranium .
If this document does not answer your questions, please contact the HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.