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We've recently been doing a lot of spring planting in our garden and one of my favourite bedding flowers is the Geranium.They are quite small but very pretty and bring a lot of colour into the garden. I also like the leaves on this plant too so when it is not flowering it still looks really nice in the garden.
According to an article I read, "Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants that are commonly known as thecranesbills. They are found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. The long, palmately cleft leaves are broadly circular in form. The flowers have five petals and are coloured white, pink, purple or blue, often with distinctive veining. Geraniums will grow in any soil as long as it is not waterlogged. Propagation is by semiripe cuttings in summer, by seed, or by division in autumn or spring."
We bought quite a big box of geraniums a few weeks ago and they were very easy to plant. We bought a box of orange ones called Semi double Okka. On the little information sticker that came with the plant we were told that this was a trailing variety that will produce orange and white bicolored flowers throughout the season. We have a few beds in our garden, some in the sun, some in the shade at different times of the day so these were the perfect place for us to plant these geraniums.
The plants were really easy to plant. I turned over the soil and then watered the area quite well before I planted them. Then I dug a little hole and popped them in, it was as easy as that. Geraniums will grow well and thrive in full sun or partial shade and you need to make sure that the soil is well drained too so obviously don't over water and don't bog them down either. I will make sure to feed them every couple of weeks too just to give them that extra boost they need although I seem to have quite good soil in my garden and my bedding plants always do really well throughout the summer.
I find that these plants flower for quite a ling while and I'm hoping that these ones I have just planted will last all summer. One tip for keeping them flowering is to remove the dead flowers now and again when they die off so that gives the new ones a chance to come through.
A really pretty plant.
I am a big fan of old fashioned, country-type gardens. I am not a "gardener" as such, so I like to plant shrubs and flowers that are practically zero maintenance.
In my previous home, we had cleared an area of the garden to put a shed in place, and was left with a space suitable for a brand new flower bed.
The ground was quite stoney, it backed onto a small wall and had full sunshine almost all day. I must add that I prefer plants in the garden that do not need constant watering, morning and evening as I just do not always get the time.
Whilst visiting family I admired a lovely colourful display in a corner of their garden and was told that the plant in question was called Cranesbill, an old fashioned Geranium - why didn't I take a cutting?
I took three cuttings in fact.
Cranesbill is about a foot high, and quite thick with leafy foiliage, when you put your hand into the plant you can tell that the leaves are on long stalks and they come from one plant - this one plant then re-shoots up a few inches away and another plant grows, again with many shoots. From an established growing clump of Cranesbill it is very easy to ease a small plant out of the ground, without effecting the rest of the plant. The cuttings I took (or rather the small plant I tugged out of the ground) each had its own root and had about four small stems coming from it and these stems all had young leaves.
I gave these cuttings a couple days in a glass of water before I transplanted them, but I do wonder if I actually needed to - as this plant seems so resilient. The flower bed I planted them in was about a metre wide and a quarter of a metre deep. I planted the three plants at equal intervals in this bed and watered them daily. Obviously at first they wilted and my thoughts were that it was typical, as I am not usually one for gardening and transplanting - however within a week you could tell that the Cranesbill was coming back to life, within a couple weeks there were extra leaves and stems.
Two years later the whole of the flower bed was filled with Cranesbill! (along with various other corners of my garden, as it is so easy to take cuttings, that I dotted the plant around all over)
Throughout the spring and very early summer the foliage and leaves come to life on this plant, by early summer the Cranesbill is flowering, a mass of pink small flowers - after the flowers die off you are left with a large green ground coverage, which the slugs and snails are not interested in at all. Over the winter months the plant dies off and is just old decaying foliage, which I would take one afternoon each Autumn to cut back down to ground level and that is it! the next Spring the Cranesbill arrives thicker and stronger than the year before.
This plant is the most perfect ground coverage, and great for low or no maintenance gardeners - don't be fooled by the name, this plant is not the same as the pot plant type Geranium, or the ones you see in hanging baskets, it is a more traditional and slightly unruly plant, from a cottage garden.
There are so many variants of this plant and so many colours - it would be easy to fill up flower beds and corners with different colours.
You can buy this plant easily from garden centres and nurseries, for around £5 a plant, but in my experience you should try not to and ask a neighbour for a cutting, as they grow like crazy and as I mentioned taking a cutting does not affect the plant or its appearance in the slightest.
Right - now we are finally in the Spring of this year - time to locate various different colours of this plant for my new house.
Geraniums are one of our most popular garden plants in Britain. There are over 400 species of geranium and many originate from the genus Pelargonium, perennial plants of South Africa. The name Pelargonium is derived from 'pelargos' meaning stork, this refers to the seed pods which are long and thin, resembling a stork's bill. Hardy geranium (Cranesbill) is our native species which includes Herb Robert with its tiny pink flowers often growing in wild places and considered by some, including myself, a nuisance weed.
The majority of geraniums are perennial, but many grow as annuals and a few are evergreen. Plants range in size, growing habit and in the shapes and colours of the flowers and leaves. Flowering can be from early Spring to late Autumn, the flowers have five petals and can be found in ranges of pink, purple, blue and white. Leaves are classically quite large and divided into leaflets with distinctive jagged edges.
Many geraniums have scented leaves and flowers, when you brush against a plant or gently rub a leaf you can be left with quite a strong aroma which will linger for ages. There are several oil producing species such as 'Pelargonium radens' and 'Pelargonium graveolens' grown for commercial use. Geranium oil is extracted by steam distillation and not only used in perfumed products but for aromatherapy as it has anti-depressant properties.
Geraniums are easy to grow and relatively maintenance free. With such a wide variety to chose from you can find a geranium for almost any situation in your garden whether it be in sun, shade, damp areas, rocky places, dry and open sites, containers or hanging baskets. Seed packets and young plants are readily available in garden centres, nurseries or online. Once established, geraniums will self seed and spread quite rapidly so they are ideal for quickly filling gaps in garden borders. They benefit from trimming after the flowers have faded and the large plants from dividing every few years. Division can be carried out in the early Spring or Autumn and most species are quick to re-establish and flourish.
These are my two particular favourites and recommended species:
'Mrs Kendall Clark'. A delicately blue/violet flowered perennial, it grows well in semi-shade. It has very attractive foliage and awarded The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
'Mabel Grey'. Mauve flowers with deep veining and diamond-shaped leaves. A half-hardy evergreen and strongly lemon scented.
I love the geraniums in my garden, they flower profusely and require very little attention. If you were to only have one plant in your garden I would recommend it to be a geranium.
Thanks for reading. x
© Lunaria 2012
i wanted to write a review on geraniums because they are so simple to grow, look pretty, last well and very cheap.
If you want you can grow them from seeds but to be honest my experience with packet seeds has never been good. I just hardly get anything to grow from them (this is just geraniums. This applies to most seeds I've plants) I just don't have the knack. Cuttings are where my talents lie!
When we moved into a new house with an empty courtyard we went off to B&Q to buy some pots and plants to brighten it up. We bought lots of geraniums because it was summertime, they were flowering and very reasonable.
I read that to encourage them to grow you should pinch out new growth. I did this for a while and then just as a trial stuck the stalk I had pinched out into the earth. It grew so quickly and was flowering within 2 weeks! Since then I never through away any geranium clippings. I always plant them and I probably have about a 80% success rate. I don't look after them well, just pop them in the soil, mostly in pots that already have geraniums.
They come in many different colours and are a great way to add lots of plant life and colour to your garden. I haven't bought a new plant in 5 years and yet we have so many blossoming in the garden.
~~ Introduction ~~
A popular flowering plant that can be grown outside or indoors. Overall I would say that it's an easy plant to grow for beginners. Geraniums are ideally grown in pots or can be placed effectively in the centre of hanging baskets or in a hanging arrangement depending upon the variety. The plant belongs to the family Geraniacea and there are a multitude of varieties. Nowadays Geraniums come in a variety of colours, but reds and pinks remain the most common. The flowers give a generous bloom during the summer months and often remain in flower well into the autumn.
~~ Pests and Diseases ~~
Some geranium varieties are a favourite food for caterpillars and are also susceptible to greenfly attack. Look out for organic pesticides to deal with this or simply pick the caterpillars off. The plants are also prone to diseases such as mould. This can easily be remedied with a light spray of fungicide.
~~ Feeding ~~
Plants can be fed with a liquid feed every two weeks or so but they should develop quite nicely in fresh soil without feed.
~~ Lifespan ~~
Most well cared for plants should last several years, but older plants do tend to get woody after a while which might not be to everyone's taste. Geraniums though are easy to look after and will even survive mild droughts. The only thing to be aware of is to make sure the soil is not over watered or does not become waterlogged after heavy rainfall. Soggy soil will lead to root rot.
~~ Getting A Plant ~~
You can buy geraniums can be purchased at most garden centres or from gardening catalogues and magazines. As an alternative you can take cuttings if you know someone who has a fully grown plant. Cuttings are best taken in Spring from established plants by cutting off a part of the stem with one or two leaves attached. Add a dab of root powder to the cut end and plant this in fresh compost. As long as you keep the soil moist, the cutting should take root within a month or so.
Many of us have been moaning about the recent rain but the geraniums in my garden seem to have loved all the wet weather!!! Never have I had such a good display of colour from the geraniums! On holidays abroad I often admire geranium displays in window boxes etc, but this summer my own displays are equally as good. It must be due to the excessive water as we have had hardly any sun!!!!Geraniums dislike being left in waterlogged conditions, so I can only assume the tubs mine are in have adequate drainage to give them their ideal growing conditions.
Geraniums belong to a family group of plants known as Geraniacea and there are many different varieties. The main group is called "Zonals" because of the different shades of colour in their leaves. We probably know them better as "bedding geraniums" or "cranesbill".
Sometimes geraniums are called, mistakenly, pelargoniums. These are in fact a different species from the geranicea family, but there are differences between the two plants.
However, for the sake of those of us who can't tell the difference, this review is about "geraniums" in general.
There are also trailing geraniums, which are useful for hanging baskets. The leaves and flowers trail down the sides of the baskets and add splashes of colour.
Geraniums come in a variety of colours and give a lovely display throughout summer, sometimes blooming well into the autumn if they are looked after.
In my garden at the moment I have pink geraniums in tubs on the patio, and red ones in the tubs by the door.
There are also white and mauve varieties too and various shades of reds and pinks.
There are different types of leaves too on geraniums. Probably one of the most well know is the ivy leafed variety, where the leaves are shaped like ivy leaves.
There are also notched leaves, variegated and even scented!
Personally I dislike the smell of the leaves on geranium plants, but it is possible to have lemon or peppermint scented varieties. These must smell nicer!
EASY TO GROW
Geraniums are easy to grow and it is so easy to take cuttings from established plants by just snipping off a part of the stem. Plant this in compost and keep it moist and you will find they root very easily.
Every year, just before frosts, I usually remove the geraniums from the tubs and put them into smaller pots to over winter on a sunny windowsill. However, last year I never got round to doing this so just moved the garden tubs into the garage and forgot about them! As spring arrived I moved them back into the garden, watered them and added a bit more compost and this year the geraniums are the best they have ever been!
Of course throughout the summer I make sure any faded blooms are removed from the plants. Also when I put them outside in spring I had to snip off the dead leaves from last year.
As with all plants, geraniums are susceptible to pests. Greenfly, whitefly and caterpillars are all common enemies and will nibble away at the leaves if not eradicated and weaken the plant. Look for the tiny flies on the undersides of the leaves or look for holes in the leaves.
To control these pests I use the pesticide sprays you can buy at the supermarkets, but my father used to spray them with water left over from the washing up! The soapsuds seemed to do the trick just as well as the chemical sprays.
Geraniums can also become "poorly" through diseases, such as mould and rust. Check the leaves for signs of these and if you find any spots of mould or brown specks, then spray with a fungicide.
I use Miracle Gro or Phostrogen as a liquid feed at fortnightly intervals on all my garden plants, including the geraniums. I like to think this encourages healthy growth and keeps the plants free from disease. But you still need to check them.
Although the summer bedding geraniums are not hardy, you can buy perennial geraniums. I have some of these in my garden and they are a lovely purple colour. We used to call them "summer geraniums", but I don't really know why when they can stay there all year! I suppose it was because they flower in summer, but then so do all geraniums! The flowering season should be between June and August, but with our erratic climate changes this is not always the case.
WHERE TO BUY
You can buy geraniums at most garden centres and on market stalls or from gardening catalogues.
It is possible to buy them as plugs, where you buy a lot of small plants and then have to carefully look after them until they are large enough to plant out.
I prefer to buy pots of the larger plants, or take cuttings. If you look after the plants they will last several years, but do remember to keep them away from frosts.
There are societies for geranium growers and shows specially for prize blooms. Although this year my plants are beautiful I don't think they are that good!!! If you want to find out more about shows look on the website for the Geranium Growers' Society
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
I think my plants are probably a mix of geraniums and pelargoniums, but I am really not sure! The only think that concerns me is that these plants are providing a colourful show in my garden this year.
I am crazy about lots of plants but a particular favourite is the Geranium. Any kind, any colour! You only need to buy one plant and, hey presto, at the end of the season (before the frost sets in) many cuttings can easily be taken. Most people recommend taking a cutting from a shoot with no flower but I have always been successful with any shoots. Simply cut them off with a sharp knife just above a leaf joint, remove any leaves from about 1" above the cut, dip cutting in water and then into some hormone rooting powder - pot up. I use a general potting compost and find that a 6 inch pot will take 4 or 5 cuttings round the edge. Don't let the plants get too dry and protect them from frost. They can be re-potted and / or put into the ground outside at the end of May and will rapidly grow into colourful plants which need only a little care. Come Autumn take more cuttings and soon you will be giving away delightful plants to friends and family. The Geranium is definitely one of the easiest, least expensive and colourful plants I can think of. Hope you find this useful. PS If, like me, your garden is full of children and pets in the Summer, do not despair if stems of your Geraniums get broken off. Just dip into hormone rooting powder and put back into the soil - I guarantee that they will root and grow again!
Well, I've spent a small fortune on replacing my Geraniums over the years, only to find the right solution late in the day...tips for others I hope! In late September if you have Geraniums in the garden, lift the plants and re-pot in a mixture of John Innes 3 and Peat compost (they like good drainage). You can take cuttings if you like at this point but you will need rooting compound in a small pot from the garden centre. Take off a shoot with say 6 leaves and trim the rooting end to a 45 degree angle approximately. Dip this end in the rooting compound and then carefully pot it at the edge of a pot of compost mixture. You can put up to 6 shoots like this in a pot. Water them and leave on a kitchen windowsill or a greenhouse for about 3 weeks making sure the compost doesn't dry out completely. If you see new shoots, then the plants have rooted and you can run down the street with your shirt over your head (I saw this on the TV football match!). The new plants will need to be cared for like babies over winter or they will die. Do not let them get too cold or too wet, If you see leaves turning brown and mouldy, pick these off and throw away. If you leave them on the soil they will infect the plant and it will die. If you are lucky enough to afford heating unlike most pensioners, put these plants in the hottest place in your house and they will thrive and probably flower over Christmas. In Spring when the frosts have gone, you can replant them in your window box or garden and enjoy another season of beautiful geranium flowers. Try a few different ones such as the trailing type, grown indoors on a ledge, in a hanging basket or on a shelf they look very stylish, the variegated type with cream and green or red and green leaves to match that fabulous decor from the recent BBC makeover programme, or the ivy geranium for those moments when you just need to pinch your cheeks sweetie! A perfect match for the limed kitchen units and pine c
hopping board....what did you want to nibble Jamie????
There are many plants you associate with childhood – pansies, forget-me-nots, Californian poppies, but surely all of us have been familiar with geraniums from our earliest years. I remember as a small child being taken to one of my mother’s friends homes, a house just full of geraniums and the distinctive pungent smell sticks in my mind to this day, as does the window-sill laden with the red, white and pink flowering plants. Geraniums are so familiar, it is difficult for many people to see any interest in them. What a shame that is: they need minimal care, last for ages and ages and produce masses of blooms throughout the year. Their leaves are attractive, but the flowers just go on and on, in a stunning range of colours, and when you think an individual plant has finally had it, it starts up again, producing new shoots and in no time at all, producing new flowers too. Geraniums should really be called “zonal pelargoniums”, the horse-shoe shaped mark on each leaf dividing it into “zones”. They come in several different types. The bedding or most common house-plant geranium is the one you will find everywhere, with its many different colours, from white to deep red via a range of pinks, including a lovely salmon pink variety. The ivy-leaf variety with its trailing stems is ideal for hanging baskets and tubs. The scented geraniums are grown for their scent of course and the lemon-scented geranium is a particularly powerful variety with leaves which give off a strong lemon aroma even when you brush past them. The “fancy leaf” varieties have very attractive leaves of course, and we have one variety on our window-sill at the moment with the twee, old-fashioned name “Happy Thought” which has green and white zoned leaves. Geraniums make ideal house plants but can be used in the garden throughout the summer. And there is really no difference between the varieties you buy
in trays for the garden and the individual potted varieties you buy for the home. It always amazes me when I see geraniums on sale for four or five pounds each, when you can buy a tray of mixed colours, perhaps nine or twelve plants in each, for about three pounds. If you buy them like this, you can pot them up yourself and within weeks you’ll have a lovely house plants ready for any window-sill. The books will tell you that bedding geraniums will not make good house plants but I have potted up border geraniums at the end of the summer and been surprised to have them bloom all winter on window-ledges around the house. Generally speaking geraniums thrive when they are neglected. Over-watering will soon kill them, and the only care that is required is to pinch out the flowering tips to make them bushier, and to occasionally shape a house plant which is growing too tall or too large. In fact, you can cut them right down from time to time and they will start all over again quite happily. Its best however not to do this more than once as they tend to get rather woody and unbalanced with thick stems and small shoots. Its easy to propagate geraniums. During the summer, just break off a new shoot, about three or four inches long, and place it in compost. In three weeks it will have rooted and you can pot it up to form another plant within another few weeks. Gernium oil is a popular essential oil in aroma-therapy too and there are several reviews of this in other areas of dooyoo. Apparently it is useful for a variety of problems unique to women! I’m not alone in liking geraniums. They are on sale in any market or garden shop, and there are also various societies and books devoted to them. Just type “geranium” into any Internet search engine and you will find masses of sites in the UK and abroad with photographs and advice on how to grow them. So, if you want some easy grown colour in your house or
garden, don’t forget about the geranium. Next time your at the shops, buy one or two and bring them home. You’ll wonder why you never bothered before.
The cranesbills make up the genus Geranium of 422 species of annual, biennial, and perennial plants found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean. These attractive flowers will grow in any soil as long as it is not waterlogged. Propagation is by semi-ripe cuttings in summer, by seed or by division in autumn or spring.