A Geranium That is Not A Geranium
June 10th, 2006
Just a note here: What most gardeners know as a “geranium” is probably a plant of the genus pelargonium and not the genus geranium (more commonly known as cranesbills). We are using the term ‘geranium’ here in deference to the common usage.
There are four main types of garden geraniums: zonal geraniums, Martha Washington geraniums, the scented-leaf geraniums, and ivy geraniums.
Zonal geraniums (pelargonium hortorum):
Martha Washington geraniums (pelargonium domesticum):
Scented-leaf geraniums (pelargonium – various species and hybrids):
Ivy geraniums (pelargonium peltatum):
For planting geraniums in flower beds, work in a complete fertilizer before planting. Use a high phosphate fertilizer such as a rose food, every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season. Space plants 10 to 12 inches apart. Water well after planting, but don’t overwater, these plants like to stay moist, but need good drainage.
For planting in containers, use a good quality Potting Soil, and use 1 or 2 Nutri-Paks to provide continuing nutrients. Water thoroughly when the soil is dry to the touch (so water comes through the drainage holes).
If you find that your geranium is not blooming in the middle of the summer, you will probably see holes in the flower buds. The Geranium Bud Worm is famous for eliminating summer bloom. But, there is hope. Use Bayer Rose & Flower insect spray. This will eliminate the worm and keep on working for 6 to 8 weeks.
Geraniums of all sorts are a great addition to your home and garden. Try a few this year for your window boxes, hanging baskets, and flowerbeds.