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Ivy Geranium Care – How To Grow And Care For Ivy Geraniums

Ivy Geranium Care – How To Grow And Care For Ivy Geraniums


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By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Ivy leaf geranium spills from window boxes on picturesque Swiss cottages, sporting attractive foliage and perky blossoms. Ivy leaf geraniums, Pelargonium peltatum, are not as common in the United States as their relative, the popular Zonal geranium. As more gardeners plant them, however, and see the beautiful and bountiful blooms appear, growing ivy geraniums may soon become a common gardening delight.

Trailing Geranium Ivy Plants

More than 75 different commercial cultivars of trailing geranium ivy are becoming more widely available to the home gardener in this country. Flowers and foliage colors vary among cultivars, as does the habit of ivy leaf geranium.

Some specimens take on a shrub-like appearance, others spread and offer an attractive ground cover for an area with dappled sun. Some have mounding habits and most are excellent specimens for container plantings.

Ivy leaf geranium blooms have semi-double flowers in colors from white to red, and most pastels in every color except blue and yellow. Flowers are “self-cleaning” so deadheading is not needed as part of care for ivy geraniums.

Growing Ivy Geraniums and Care

Locate trailing geranium ivy in full sun if temperatures remain below 80 F. (27 C.), but in hotter temperatures, plant them in partial shade. Protection from the hot afternoon sun is an important part of ivy geranium care. Too much bright sun may result in small, cup-shaped leaves and small blooms. An eastern exposure is the best area for growing ivy geraniums.

Care for ivy geraniums is easy if you maintain proper watering practices. Watering ivy leaf geranium must be consistent. Moderate soil moisture levels, not too much and not too little, is necessary to prevent edema, which causes ruptured plant cells, manifesting in corky blemishes on the underside of leaves. This weakens the plant, making it susceptible to pests and other diseases. Get on a regular schedule for watering as a part of care for ivy geraniums.

When growing ivy geraniums in containers, watering is particularly important. Keep the soil moist, paying special attention to ivy leaf geranium in hanging baskets that get air circulation in all areas.

Fertilize with a slow-release pelleted fertilizer as part of ivy geranium care.

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Read more about Geraniums


How to Cut Back Ivy Geraniums

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Ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) are similar to zonal geraniums (P. x hortorum) but produce smaller leaves and less showy flower heads on vining foliage. These tender perennials are grown as annuals in sunny locations throughout the United States. Although some varieties of geranium thrive in full sun, ivy geraniums prefer shelter from the afternoon sun and do well with morning light. When plants become overgrown, or fall approaches and you wish to bring them inside, cutting them back improves their appearance and overall health.

Cut your ivy geranium back to half of its height with garden shears or a sharp knife before moving the plant indoors before overwintering it. Make cuts just above a set of leaves for the best appearance. This revives overgrown plants and forces fresh new growth from the base of the plant.

Trim ivy geraniums to the desired size, or to maintain overall shape, at any time by cutting the growing tips back with garden shears or a knife. This works well for plants when foliage has grown scraggly or if there are large spaces between leaves. Cutting it back creates compact foliage on the plant.

Pinch out the young leaves on the growing tips of your ivy geranium to force new foliage along the stems and from the base of the plant at any time. During the winter months when sunlight is limited, this may be necessary to prevent your ivy geraniums from becoming leggy as they stretch for the light.


How to Care for Ivy Geranium

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Ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) produce orb-shaped clusters of brightly colored blooms while supplying dense foliage that fills out pots and hanging baskets. These tender perennials often are grown as potted plants or garden annuals because they can remain perennial only in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 unless they are overwintered indoors. With proper care, an ivy geranium can provide a summer of lush flowering and sometimes survive in storage to blossom the next year.

Plant an ivy geranium in a well-draining garden bed that receives full sunshine for most of the day but light shade in afternoon. Place a potted ivy geranium in an outdoor location that receives similar light conditions or indoors near a window that receives full, all-day sunlight. Plant an ivy geranium outdoors only after temperatures are above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pinch back an ivy geranium's growing stems immediately before transplanting the plant, or pinch back the plant's growing stems before it begins to produce flower buds if it is a potted plant. Pinch back each stem to the first or second leaf set from the top of the stem. Pinching back the stems improves flowering and encourages bushier growth.

Water a garden ivy geranium once or twice each week, providing about 1 inch of water weekly. Water a potted ivy geranium when its top 1 inch of soil feels dry. Ivy geraniums require moderate soil moisture and cannot tolerate completely dry or overly wet soil.

Mix a soluble fertilizer formulated for flowering plants into the geranium's irrigation water every two weeks, using the rate recommended on the fertilizer label. Water the plant with fertilizer solution to provide necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

Cut off old flowers as soon as they wilt. Cut off the stems within 1/4 inch of the topmost set of leaves. Prompt flower removal encourages more blooms.

Store a potted ivy geranium plant indoors before the first fall frost. Place it in a dark, cool location, such as a basement. Water it sparingly so its soil doesn't dry completely after the plant becomes dormant. In spring, about eight weeks before the last spring frost, place the plant in a well-lit area and resume watering it regularly.

  • An ivy geranium grown outdoors in a warm climate requires no special care to survive winter. Simply cut back the plant after its foliage dies back naturally, and it will regrow in spring.
  • Ivy geraniums rarely suffer from pests. Inspect an ivy geranium for signs of insect damage before buying it, and buy only the healthiest plant.

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.


How to Propagate Ivy Geraniums

Geraniums may very well be the most forgiving of all plants when it comes to asexual propagation. The lovely vining ivy geranium, or Pelargonium peltatum, is no exception. These plants root so readily from cuttings that even the newest novice with the brownest of thumbs can succeed. The best time to do this is in late fall, just before the last predicted frost for your area.

Choose a mature, healthy ivy geranium for propagation just before the first predicted frost for your area. Cuttings will grow into exact clones of the parent plant, so pick an attractive plant that you like.

Cut 4- to 5-inch-long actively growing tips from the ivy geranium’s stems using a clean, sharp knife. Make your cut just above a healthy set of leaves.

  • Geraniums may very well be the most forgiving of all plants when it comes to asexual propagation.
  • Choose a mature, healthy ivy geranium for propagation just before the first predicted frost for your area.

Break or cut all blooms, buds and foliage from the stem, except for the top two or three leaves. Excess plant materials often carry unnoticed insect pests. Set the cutting on the counter out of direct sun for two or three hours to rest and begin to form a callus on the cut end.

Cut a few drainage holes in the bottom of a re-purposed plastic yogurt cup or margarine container. Fill it to within 1/2 inch of the top with potting soil. Place it in a shallow container of warm water until the surface of the soil feels very moist, but not soggy or wet. Remove it from the water and allow it to drain freely for about two hours.

  • Break or cut all blooms, buds and foliage from the stem, except for the top two or three leaves.
  • Fill it to within 1/2 inch of the top with potting soil.

Moisten the lower 1/2 inch of the ivy geranium cutting and dip it in rooting hormone, if you wish. Plant it 1/2 to 1 inch deep in the pot of soil. Set the cutting in a brightly lit location out of direct sun until it roots in about two to three weeks. Keep the soil surface evenly moist.

Check the cutting every day to make sure the soil never dries out. After two weeks tug on it carefully. If it resists your pull, roots have formed. If not, try again in another week.

  • Moisten the lower 1/2 inch of the ivy geranium cutting and dip it in rooting hormone, if you wish.
  • Plant it 1/2 to 1 inch deep in the pot of soil.

Move the rooted ivy geranium cutting to a sunny windowsill as soon as roots have developed. Keep it evenly moist. Transplant outdoors in the spring after all danger of frost has passed.


Where to Purchase

Ivy geraniums can be purchased at your local garden center in the spring and summer, or you can readily purchase seeds and stock online. Try a package of 10 mixed-color, heat tolerant seeds from Burpee, available on Amazon or directly from Burpee.com.

Or, for something clean and simple, try these all-white seeds from Outsidepride, available via Amazon.

You can also purchase plugs or 4-inch potted seedlings online, like the striking bicolor ‘Contessa’ burgundy, a zonal-ivy hybrid from Joe’s Crazy Plants. This selection is also available on Amazon.

Once you have your seeds or stock, it’s planting time!


Growing tips

  • Geraniums don’t like wet feet. Avoid having them in overly damp soils or conditions. Best results are achieved if you allow the soil to dry out in between watering.
  • Avoid overhead watering. This will reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
  • In cool temperate areas, they can handle light frosts. Lightly prune after each flush of flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Harder prunes (one to two thirds of the plant) can be carried out in autumn when flowering has finished.
  • Geraniums can be easily propagated from cuttings.
  • Ivy Leaf Pelargoniums is known to keep cats away from gardens due to the strong oil content in the leaves.
  • There are many different species of Geraniums/Pelargoniums. Some of these include:

Standard Geranium
The most common variety on the market. It has large green furry leaves with lovely flushes of flowers from spring to late summer, but in some areas they can flower all year round.

Ivy Leaf Pelargonium
Trailing growing pelargonium, with highly scented, ivy shaped leaves with small flowers. Great for pots and to be used as a ground cover in hot dry areas.

Scented Geraniums

Scented Geraniums are grown mainly for their leaves more than for their flowers. They differ from the standard forms of Geraniums as their leaves are slightly furled at the edge, giving them a ruffled effect. Crush the leaves to release the oils and create a lovely scented area in the garden. There are many different scents and varieties available, including Rose (P. graveolens), Apple (P. ordoratissimum), Peppermint (P. tomentosum) and even Lemon (P. citronellum). Some are even edible, but check the labels prior to consumption.

Zonal Pelargonium (P. hororum)
Not only does this variety have lovely flowers, it has unique leaf form. These differ from the other varieties in their zones or outlines in the leaves. These zones can be simple (just two colour forms) or complex (three or more colour forms) and make a stand out feature plant for the garden or pots.


Watch the video: Geranium Plant Care. How to Grow and Care Geranium. Fun Gardening


Comments:

  1. Stevon

    and everything, and the variants?

  2. Teiljo

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  3. Ellison

    There are small remarks, of course ... But in general, everything is true. Good blog, added to favorites.

  4. Vosho

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