Growing Geranium Tips:
Geranium Plants have been traced back to the seventeenth-century, traders carried the geraniums (pelargoniums) from South Africa, Holland, and England. Geraniums have been rediscovered in the twentieth-century. They appear everywhere magazines, bonsai arrangements, corsages, home décor, flowering beds. Hybridizers seek to develop better plants with a wider range of colors, form and size. If your geraniums aren’t doing so well with the old growing tips, try some of the new ways on your geraniums.
Soil for growing geraniums should be easily crumbled, drain quickly and have a ph (acid-alkaline rating) of 6.5. Purchase a soil kit from your home garden center to test your soil… If you wish to start with a few potted plants you can purchase ready to use pasteurized geranium soil.
A Simple Soil for Geraniums:
3 parts garden soil
3 parts peat moss or leaf mold
1 part sand
A Container Garden Outdoors:
3 parts garden soil
3 parts peat moss
1 part sand or perlite
If your garden soil is poor, add a four inch pot full of a balanced fertilizer to a bushel of the above growing mix, or add a teaspoon to each five inch pot.
Some gardeners pasteurize all their soil to play it safe for cuttings and container grown plants. Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria and pest. The two methods are heat and chemically.
Mix all components and place in two pound coffee can. Moisten with one-half cup of water to a two pound can of mix. Bake the mix for two hours in a 180degree oven. Cover cans with foil. Do not use mix for 24hrs, stir thoroughly before using. Label the mix for type.
Mix a tablespoon of formaldehyde in a quart of water sprinkle the solution over alternate layers of mix. Cover tightly and do not use for seven to ten days.
Geraniums and Light:
Geraniums need strong light to produce compact growth and abundant blooms indoors and during the winter months geraniums need a sunny south or east window. Rotate your geraniums weekly so they get even amounts of sun. During summer months growing indoors your geraniums will need a sheer curtain to protect them from the heat and sun. An outdoor plant in full sun will need plenty of water, keeping roots moist will ensure the top growth will do just fine with the warmth of the sun. Read all information that comes with your geranium, there are many new varieties out today.
If your geraniums leaves turn yellow and drop it is due to little or too much water. Water your geranium from the top only. Do not water again until the surface is dry to the touch. Your soil meter should read slightly moist after two-three days. If you live in the north, your geraniums need to become nearly dry between watering. As the sun grows stronger watering can become heavier.
Geraniums will grow under conditions of low humidity, but they flower best when the relative humidity is maintained at 40 to 50 percent. If grown in dry air the leaves often turn brown and flower buds wither before opening. Increase the relative humidity by setting potted plants on saucers of moist sand or pebbles. Indoor fountains will also raise the humidity level surrounding your geraniums.
Geraniums like daytime temperatures of 70 to75 degrees. Night temperature should be 60 to 65 degrees. If you live where the temperature dips to freezing during the night, protect your geraniums with mulch, paper bags, or boxes.
Over fertilizing your geraniums produces lots of foliage and few blooms. Water soluble fertilizer can be applied to moist soil, not bone dry soil. Follow manufactures directions. Dry fertilizer can be added to your geranium by scratching it into the soil then water.
Once you have your geranium awhile you will recognize what your plant needs by its leaf color and appearance. You will be an expert