Prolong the flowering of geraniums
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Question: Prolong the flowering of geraniums
I would like to know what fertilizer I have to use to make geraniums bloom more
Answer: Prolong the flowering of geraniums
Dear Raffaele, thank you for writing in the expert answer column of our website. The fertilization of the flowering geranium is a very dear topic to all fans of this plant. The flowering of the Pelargonium is in fact very beautiful and fascinating (as well as a classic of the best flowered balconies of every country in Italy). Precisely because of the beauty of this flowering, many enthusiasts often wonder how to keep this flowering as long as possible.
In your question you ask for a fertilizer that keeps flowering as long as possible and undoubtedly the fertilizer that is right for you is a liquid fertilizer. The liquid fertilizer is preferable to the various pellets and granules as it can be diluted with watering water and therefore assimilated more quickly. In reality, however, it is not only the type of fertilizer that makes the difference between a short flowering and a long and repeated flowering. A first precaution to take to lengthen and improve flowering is first of all to dilute the dose of fertilizer in more fertilizations, less intense but frequent. Many enthusiasts dilute the liquid fertilizer with more water than indicated on the packages to prevent an excess of organic substance from causing the opposite effect to that desired on geranium plants. Experts also prefer fertilizers that do not have an excessive nitrogen content.
In addition to the precautions on the fertilizer there are then some precautions on the ground and on watering. A good solution for the soil are the bags of soil for geraniums, a soil with a higher clay content that by increasing the cation exchange and the buffering power of the soil allows to maintain the higher nutritional level that the geraniums need. Using this soil you can immediately notice more abundant and prolonged blooms. As far as watering is concerned, on the other hand, one must try to avoid water stagnation in any way, which can have a very negative effect on geranium and its flowers.
All the secrets to obtaining beautiful geraniums with breathtaking blooms
Geraniums, botanically classified as Geraniaceae, are native to Southern Africa. They spread throughout the Old Continent starting from the seventeenth century, imported by botanists and naturalists of the time as booty from their exploratory journeys. Geraniums are splendid plants with brightly colored flowers that embellish balconies and terraces turning into a real decorative element. There are many varieties. The most common are:
the classic zonal geraniums with large and round leaves, darker in the central part, need a lot of sun and are very easy to grow
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the imperial geranium, with its spotted color, is certainly more elegant and to give the best result it should live in dim light and in a round vase
The "ivy or Parisian" geranium is perfect for balconies or to cover railings thanks to the cascade effect, with bright colors and very long-lasting flowering times. They live very well in rectangular pots.
To create dream balconies you need to know all the secrets to obtain beautiful geraniums with breathtaking blooms.
THE geraniums, for the profusion and vivacity of the flowers, have always been the most used plants to embellish balconies, terraces, flower beds of small rustic gardens and large riparian gardens.
All the national territory!
Geraniums are perennial plants, about 400 species are known and certainly the best known are:
- Pelargonium or zonal
- Pink grass
They prefer sunny places but also grow well in semi-shaded areas. Generally, the ideal habitat is with temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees. In winter, geraniums need to be protected from the cold.
It needs dry, soft, well drained and not too nitrogenous soils.
They need abundant watering in summer and scarce during vegetative rest. It is advisable to empty the saucer to prevent root rot.
Fertilize every 2 weeks with specific fertilizers. It is possible to use coffee grounds as a natural home fertilizer.
Pruning of geraniums
Before winter, geraniums must be pruned in an important way if the climate is cold, typical of the regions of Northern Italy. More temperate climates allow for lighter pruning. Dried flowers must always be eliminated.
Diseases and pests of geranium
- root rot
- the red spider
- the cochineal
- the terrible lycenide and the bacteriosis of geraniums.
Care of geraniums
- Light topping of the new apexes
- Elimination of withered flowers and damaged leaves
- Pesticide treatments only if necessary
- Annual repotting with new soil.
Geranium in the language of flowers
In the jargon of flowers, geranium changes meaning according to color:
- Red geraniums are a symbol of comfort and melancholy
- The pink one symbolizes nascent affection and preference
- The scarlet pink one identifies nonsense and stupidity
- White means you don't believe in my love.
The type of geranium can also take on a meaning:
- The ivy typology symbolizes friendship.
- The climbing one identifies stable relationships.
Uses and properties
Geraniums also have beneficial properties: they are used in aromatherapy as antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, rebalancers of the nervous system. They also have the function of stimulating the lymphatic system and toning the kidneys and liver.
The principles of geranium essential oil are used in herbal medicine for the treatment of acne, blisters, burns, arthritis, neuralgia and sore throats. There are no particular contraindications to taking.
If you want to know more write to us in our contact form.
Prolong the flowering of geraniums - garden
(from The Garden of September 2005)
Article by Isabelle Van Groeningen
art historian and consultant specializing in the design of green spaces
Photographs by John Glover
Translation by Mariangela Barbiero
Get the most out of your garden throughout your course
of the year is a challenge that many people intend to win.
Isabelle Van Groeningen makes a summary of the principal plants that
they will help you maintain effects and colors until the end of summer
In September, Piet Oudolf's borders in Wisley's garden are overflowing with theatrical masses of plants
that make the landscape look like a prairie. Here they are present Helenium, Echinacea is Deschampsia caespitosa 'Goldtau'
Every spring, when we visit garden shops and nurseries, we are tempted by good looking and healthy plants. green customers, therefore, they exhibit plants that allure us with alluring flowers or beautiful foliage. Because of this, plants are too often overlooked that instead retain beautiful colors even in late summer, unless they have a few more features to tempt us, such as the blatant dark red foliage of September. Aster laterifolius 'Prince'. Moral of the story, when it starts to get warmer and weed hunting becomes less pressing, finally allowing us to sit back, relax and enjoy the garden, the flowering season has already reached its peak and our green space is slowly slipping into autumn. , with a few goodies to admire. It doesn't have to be that way!
Both the raised borders of Packwood House in the West Midlands and the Exotic Garden at Great Dixter in East Sussex have fearless exotic plants, including rustic banana trees and reeds (Canna indicates and cv.), accompanied by broad-leaved annuals such as Nicotiana sylvestris, which reach their maximum splendor in September / October.
Hidcote Manor Garden in Gloucestershire has red borders where hardy perennials are paired with Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus', Cane 'Roi Humbert' with dark red leaves, delicate sages and bright red dahlias like Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' e Dahlia 'Bloodstone'. All become more beautiful as summer progresses.
At Sissinghurst in Kent, throughout the summer the Cottage Garden and the Purple Border are overflowing with dahlias and daisies not as rustic as Arctotis is Argyranthemum, while in other areas of the plants they have been shortened and in others the dry parts have been removed in order to favor a second flowering.
The mixed borders in the RHS garden in Wisley, although mostly herbaceous, are still conspicuously colored in October thanks to the combination of Aster, late Rudbeckia ed Helenium, and of annual perennials or treated as annuals.
The works of excellent landscape architects, such as Piet Oudolf's Wisley borders, his designs at Scampston Hall in North Yorkshire and Bury Court in Hampshire, or Dan Pearson's plantings at Home Farm in Northamptonshire, exhibit different dynamics of growth: in fact, although rustic perennials with late flowering are included in these planting schemes, the real protagonists are the seed holders and the graphic profiles of perennials and grasses which, even if withered, maintain interesting textures.
DEPTH OF TONES It is possible to extend the flowering season with carefully selected and carefully managed plants. Piet Oudolf's mix of perennials,
at Pensthorpe in Norfolk, includes astilbe, Echinacea, Veronicastrum,
Miscanthus sinensis 'Pünktchen' e Calamagrostis brachytricha
Good use for good effect
There are many ways to extend flowering: one is to choose late flowering plants and leafy shrubs another is to shorten new shoots to increase the growing season and additionally small fruit and vegetable shrubs can be added. However, the key is choosing where to place the perennials! As many late flowering perennials and grasses are tall and need the entire season to reach their final height, it is tempting to place them either at the bottom of the border or in the center of the bed, where they will be the tallest member of a carefully graduated composition. The downside to this approach is that as the season progresses, the entire first floor will be dull and monotonous.
One way to avoid this effect is to place some lower plants on the front, such as theAster amellus 'Veilchenkönigin', and interspersed with plants with strong characteristics such as Sedum telephium 'Herbstfreude'. Thus everything is held and gives a peaceful and harmonious appearance to the garden, which at the end of the summer begins to appear more disordered and out of shape: the first stems and the first brown leaves appear. The boldness of some non-rustic plants, be it for the foliage, for the flowers or for the colors, constitutes focal points and gives rhythm. The long-spirited look is also a great bonus!
Very useful is the Verbena bonariensis placed in the foreground, between plants with early flowering and low growth: its tall and slender stems allow in fact to see in transparency up to the bottom of the border.
Plants of a certain height must be placed carefully, half-hidden by others, as some have lower leaves that begin to look ugly before the plant has even begun to bloom is a particularly frequent problem with asteraceae, especially with Aster novae-angliae, Aster novi-belgii and the cultivars of Solidago.
COLOR COMBINATIONS In the author's garden in Coleshill, Oxfordshire, late flowering perennials extend the period of interest. Here we see Rudbeckia triloba, Verbena bonariensis, Helenium 'Rubinzwerg' e Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Late flowering perennials
It's best to give yourself time and look for plants that bloom late in the season. Many composites will prove suitable, such as Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', la Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' with its deep yellow, the Rudbeckia triloba and the Chrysanthemum 'Mary Stoker' in a beautiful coppery red. L'Anemone x hybrida 'September Charm' and theAnemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' which blooms in September need time to settle down, but are versatile and suitable for both formal borders and more relaxed settings.
One cannot imagine an autumn garden without asters! The cultivars of Aster amellus start in late summer as low pillow-shaped plants, while cultivars of Aster ericoides, with their little leaves and pretty little flowers, creno beautiful clouds later. Although the plant has a tendency to suck, the elegant white flowered spikes of theAster pilosus var. pringlei 'Monte Cassino' stand out clearly until late November. The Aster laevis Dark red leaved 'Arcturus' is a great backdrop for Helenium and have the same height as the Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'. The tall and wiry Verbena bonariensis it can be strung between the small stars, creating vertical accents and color. Grasses are also invaluable for this time of year, as the soft autumn light brings out their understated colors.
Although the flowering of the Calamagrostis terms soon enough, the plant remains upright and attractive until the following spring most cultivars of Miscanthus sinensis instead it begins to bloom only in late summer. There Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea 'Transparent' stops blooming in early autumn and its dull green stems turn golden yellow, so it should be planted so it is lit by the late afternoon sun. Another interesting point for the late season is the use of rose hips on some roses, such as the Rosa glauca and the Rosa moyesii, and in berry-rich trees and shrubs, such as Sorbus koehneana, L'Euonymus hamiltonianus and the wild apple tree Transient penalty.
Use in the borders of perennials as annuals
In the late 19th century, the Victorians were crazy about tropical plants whose exotic foliage they appreciated, such as banana trees and reeds. In more recent years, subtropical plants enjoy a revival: palms, tree ferns, tall grasses and bamboo with variegated or dark red foliage, reeds, the intensely fragrant Hedychium, the Colocasia esculenta with its large leaves it can be combined with great effect to Plectranthus, thanks to the differences in texture and color.
Dahlias bloom for a long time and come in a wide range of flower colors, heights and sizes. There Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' is one of the best known, but also others such as the bronze Dahlia 'David Howard' integrate very well with exotic atmospheres thanks to their warm colors and attractive dark purple foliage.
Annuals and perennials treated as annuals do not necessarily have to be tropical plants. The cultivars of Argyranthemum, like theA. frutescens 'Jamaica Primrose', have a long flowering season and vary from single to double flower, from white to yellow to pink, like the Arctotis. Annuals sown in late spring can fill in the spaces left in the bulbs and early flowering perennials. Nicotiane, cosmee, snapdragons and damascene nigelle are just some of the noteworthy ones.
BRILLIANT FINAL OF THE SEASON
The mix planted at Lady Farm
in Somerset, designed by
Judy Pearce, you understand
Stipa tenuissima, Rudbeckia, Helenium is common oregano
Plan A: Many plants withered or completely cut at the base after flowering, can produce a second round of flowers or new foliage, allowing for a lively appearance even in autumn. Among these, mostly poppies, sages and delphiniums, columbines, as well as theAnthemis tinctoria. Also there Pulmonaria and the Brunnera macrophylla, which bloom in spring, will produce a welcome burst of new foliage.
Plan B: You can delay the flowering season by pinching with your fingers or pruning the shoots of the flowers before they open.
For both of these techniques, timing is of the essence: you have to do it immediately after flowering, or early enough for the plant to have enough energy to replace what was removed.
Plan C: the plant is simply left alone, allowing it to form seeds although these do not have a strong chromatic value, the profile and volume of the plant can remain attractive in the winter months.
The advantage of this method is that it is of great benefit to wildlife. Goldfinches will use thistles and evening primrose to stock up on seeds.The tits are good at extracting insects from their shelters in seed carriers. This is the least labor-intensive system that allows nature to run its course, although orderly gardeners may find it difficult to adopt the approach. laissez-faire.
Different plants, different answers: therefore it is essential to verify over time which techniques to use.
The work commitment required
Each of these options requires a different commitment: the easiest is the "seeds and forms" option, which will also be the one that will last the longest, although gardeners may not like the neglected look for a few weeks, between when the flowers they will wither and the seeds will ripen. Evaluate the plants that perform best - experimenting with what is already in the garden - that is, they maintain attractive profiles even if not managed.
The most challenging is the tropical border: the result is theatrical and exciting, but you need to have a heated greenhouse where you can overwinter the plants to be planted in spring. Consider that planting everything in late spring and then harvesting and sheltering everything in the fall requires days of intensive work.
The third possibility, namely the removal of dried flowers and the basal cut during the season, adding a few late flowering perennials, also requires a certain amount of time, but can be done at different times, in spring or summer. while the project can also be conceived in the middle of winter, comfortably seated by the fireplace, sipping something good!
End of season interest at Wisley Gardens
Projects designed by Dutch landscape architect and gardener Piet Oudolf are known for subtle combinations of perennials and grasses. Although its patterns are interesting from spring onwards, they slowly reach their peak in late autumn when the flowers wilt, leaving an impressive mass of infructescence and swaying. silhouette of perennials and grasses.
"The best time of the year is when the grasses start to bloom," says Oudolf. "Before, so many things happen in the garden that you don't even have time to enjoy them. In late summer and autumn you can relax and enjoy the rest of this wonderful time."
He chooses the less demanding path, letting Nature do most of the work. But don't be fooled: a successful scheme requires constant observation and deep understanding. The plants are carefully tested and chosen because they have the right height, the right color and the right texture, but the shape of the flowers and the overall appearance are equally important.
"For the Wisley borders, I first chose the spring flowering species that recur in the drawing. I then added the autumn blooms, finally I filled each section with summer flowering plants, so each contains about five types of plants on average." Oudolf. Many of the plants that bloom in early summer, such as geraniums, are very supple and drooping, I especially like when those that remain erect begin to bloom, some of them seem to say: "You wouldn't get rid of me so easily", which is really nice ".
The vertical lines of the profiles of the ears such as those of veronica and sage create a good contrast with the horizontal lines of achillee and sedum. Grasses play a particularly important role in Oudolf's designs, as many start flowering only in late summer, and remain beautiful even in the fall, sometimes even until the end of winter.
Some of his favorite plants are: fennel (beautiful in almost any season), Echinacea, Phlomis tuberose 'Amazone' (blooms in June, but keeps well even in late winter), Eupatorium ("after twenty years, I still haven't gotten tired of this plant"), Monarda ed Eryngium. Oudolf also has a deep affection for the Sanguisorba, whose flowers do not seem to dry out and last a long time.
Use of tropical plants for an impressive late summer garden
Will Giles' garden in Norfolk looks more like a Caribbean garden than a Northern European one. His declared love for lush plants with large leaves led him to create a garden that looks like a tropical paradise thanks to a stay in Ecuador he fell in love with tropical exuberance.
"I like large, immense and brightly colored plants," says Giles, "and I love the luxuriance of non-rustic plants: they grow three or four weeks after planting. Hardy perennials are never so fast."
Working against a backdrop of rustic giants like Campsis radicans, Fatsia japonica, Muse basjoo (rustic banana tree), bamboo and other exotic plants such as yucca and Phormium (offering points of interest for most of the year), Giles plants a large number of delicate plants with interesting foliage in bold colors in late spring.
Grow many hedychium, about 40 different species of reed, and also some epiphytes such as bromeliads, which he rolls on the trunk of tree ferns with jute. Some typically indoor plants such as the Chlorophytum and the Tradescantia they are left outside even in winter in his garden, they disappear down to the ground, but then they are reborn in spring (n.d.t. In Norfolk, the temperature never drops below freezing). Many of them grow at breathtaking speed, so in just a few weeks her wish for a tropical effect is fulfilled, peaking in August and September.
When around October the night is cooler and the days get shorter, Giles realizes that autumn has arrived as the plants begin to etiolate and lose vigor. A couple of polypropylene tunnels and a greenhouse will allow him to overwinter and then multiply the delicate plants.
His favorites are: Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii' with bronze leaves, Colocasia esculenta (whose leaves grow up to 100x60 cm by September), Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex' (a fantastic leaf mass), Cane 'Wyoming', Dahlia 'Roxy' and Dahlia 'Yellow Hammer', Ricinus communis is Brugmansia x Candida 'Variegata'.
The style based on color
Nori and Sandra Pope became famous for borders at Hadspen House, Somerset, where the use of color is dominant.
"We used to take more annuals when the garden wasn't ripe yet," he says. "I like the late season for its amber light, long shadows and scents". Today, most grasses and late perennials are paired with dahlias, while early flowering plants are carefully selected to make the season last as long as possible.
To give cohesion to the borders, they always and only rely on one or two plants, but available in a wide range of colors that allows you to vary the design. Dahlias, both the more rustic species and the hybrids, play an important role.
Remontant roses also help, although the Pope also plant ancient and botanical varieties that bloom only once. They accompany them to hybrids of Clematis viticella, which are guided and pruned in order to delay flowering until the roses have finished, sometimes moving it by even a month.
The shrubs are often planted in larger groups, so that some of them can be pruned around July again to delay flowering. There are perennials whose withered flowers are removed and others that are pruned quite severely when they are finished: Papaver Oriental 'Patty's Plum' is pruned low to the ground to obtain a second flowering even at Delphinium a similar treatment is reserved, and the same can be done to many others, including the sages, while Geranium, Brunnera macrophylla is Alchemilla mollis treated in this way, they do not bloom again but produce a second round of leaves.
Their favorites are: Peruvian Zinnia, dahlias and Hemerocallis in variety, remontant roses and a combination of New World plants such as sunflowers, maize, ornamental beans and pumpkins.
Pope says, "Our garden is one of the highlights of autumn with its multicolored lettuce, pumpkins and sweet corn. It's one of my favorite places to see how it all thrives."
Cuttings, like getting new geraniums for free!
When you cut the branches of the geraniums you can create cuttings so that you have new plants to increase the color on your balcony.
Make sure you cut the branches 1 cm below the node, remove everything except the topmost leaves, remove any dry or dead leaves, if the branch has no leaves you can still plant it, use scissors to make a longitudinal cut, leaving both halves attack.
Now that you have the branch ready to plant, use a pot with soil (even if plastic is fine), you need to use different pots for each cutting.
With a straw or a stick, make a hole in the soil in the center of the jar and insert the cut side of the leaf cutting included, compact the soil slightly.
Time seven days and the cutting should begin to take root. If a throw you can be satisfied with the success of the operation.
Proceed with transplanting the plant into another pot or directly to the ground. Congratulations! Have you got a new plant of geraniums.
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Diseases caused by fungi
Speaking of growing geraniums, it is also good to know which diseases can affect these flowers. Among the most common diseases we have those of the collar (the area that connects the roots and the stem): these diseases can be caused by various types of fungi.
At the beginning of cultivation, the onset of the Rhizoctonia solani fungus is frequent, the most typical symptom of which is observed precisely in the collar area, where browning occurs that can spread up to the stem or even up to the root systems, creating rottenness. This type of fungus particularly affects the youngest seedlings and especially after the transplant phases.
To prevent attacks of this type, it is good practice to avoid stagnation of water in the pot, avoid putting very dense plants in the pots to avoid creating excessively humid situations that favor the spread of the disease.
Among the other diseases caused by fungi we have the Gray Mold, also favored by a high relative humidity.
Symptoms are represented by leaf desiccation that is covered with a showy dark gray mold.
Also in this case, the most effective remedy is certainly prevention, while in the event of ongoing attacks it is necessary to act with curative fungicides.
The rust of geranium has very clear symptoms, on the lower lamina of the leaf small rust-red bubbles appear which have the particularity of releasing a powder of the same color.
Among the preventive measures to be implemented following this disease we have the elimination and destruction of diseased leaves. Also in the case of this disease it is better not to create stagnant water inside the pot, for this purpose avoid watering in the evening, when it is more difficult for the water that settles on the leaves to evaporate quickly.
We can then still have diseases caused by Bacteria (Xantomonas) whose main symptoms are leaf yellowing that occurs inside the lamina, in the form of small triangle-shaped spots with the tip facing the inside of the leaf. It can also happen that the leaves fold like an umbrella, a symptom that is more frequently found on old leaves. In the area of the stem near the collar we will also find a brown-brown area.
This disease, in the advanced stages, leads to the certain death of the plant, therefore it is necessary to fight it preventively because it is difficult to cure. The fight involves the complete elimination of the diseased plants and the substrate that hosts them, in order to avoid the spread of the disease to any other plants present in the vicinity.
A good rule is the disinfection of plants with copper-based products.
Prune the geraniums - prune geraniums "> Tools for pruning geraniums
Normal maintenance of geraniums does not require specific equipment. It is ideal to use a straight blade flower shear and possibly (to be more precise) a thin trimming shear. It is important that these tools are always well sharpened and disinfected (with flame or bleach), when switching from one plant to another. A clean cut allows us to avoid the onset of rot and promotes fast healing. Perfect hygiene prevents the spread of any pathologies.