Geranium, a harvest of flowers for the summer

Geranium, a harvest of flowers for the summer

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With upright or drooping habit, perennial geraniums form pretty clumps and are a marvelous choice in pots on terraces and balconies. Undemanding and able to survive the winter, they are much appreciated for their green foliage and their beautiful appearance. Not to be confused with the "Pelargonium" which also belongs to the Geraniaceae family. Geraniums are perennial plants, resistant to -20 ° C! To be adopted for a long summer flowering.

Varieties for all tastes

With species that cover the ground and others that stand more than 1 m in height, the geranium meets all expectations and adapts to all situations. There are more than 300 species of perennial geraniums. Along the aisles, to dress an embankment, at the foot of shrubs or in a planter? You choose from the following 3 large families. Zonal geranium It is a straight geranium with fluffy foliage. There are many colors: red, orange, light or dark pink, purple, white. The zonal geranium can have single, semi-compound or double flowers. Geranium double ivy Its foliage is very cut. It descends naturally and therefore lends itself perfectly to hanging pots. Geranium simple ivy The leaves are smaller and thinner. Here is a geranium which cannot stay upright! Falling down, it can descend almost 50 cm. Ideal on a balcony. Available in pink, red, purple or two-tone.

Geranium cultivation

Geranium is grown in the ground or in pots. Planted in spring or autumn, it appreciates rich soil, fertile and well-drained soil. If the soil should not be too wet, it should also not dry out in summer. In open ground, a distance of 30 cm will be respected between each plant. In a container, we will plant it in a mixture of potting soil and light garden soil, added with coarse sand. In terms of exposure, partial shade is ideal because geranium does not appreciate strong exposure to the sun. The flowering of geranium generally begins in May and is maintained throughout the summer, offering very pretty colors to the garden, with a minimum of maintenance. Indeed, no pruning is necessary, we will simply remove the wilted flowers, as we go along and the geraniums in pots will be watered once or twice a week.

The multiplication of geranium

Although the easiest method of multiplication is the separation of tufts (division), cuttings can be successfully practiced. Division lesson Perennial geraniums are very easily propagated by tuft division in spring, in April when the foliage appears. Start by thoroughly cleaning the tuft to be divided by removing all faded leaves and flowers. Dig up the foot by gently lifting it so as not to damage the roots. With a knife or spade, divide the foot into several pieces. Loosen the soil, remove stones and roots before planting your geraniums, ensuring that their roots are healthy and not broken. Without forgetting watering of course! If the division is used as a method of multiplication, it is an operation to be carried out also every 5/6 years to avoid that the tuft is too large and degenerates. Successfully cutting geranium It is possible to make cuttings with fragments of stems taken from the base of the tuft. At the end of summer, ideally from August to the end of September, take 15 cm cuttings from the ends of the stems. Cut the twig under a row of leaves. Remove the leaves and flower buds from the base to keep only those at the top. Transplant the cuttings in a mixture of leaf compost and sand gathered in a container. Respect a space of 15 to 20 cm between each cutting. Cover your cuttings containers with clear plastic to create a warm, humid atmosphere for rooting. You can also use a chest and its frame or a bell. During the winter, the cuttings will be kept in a dry, cool, ventilated place and especially protected from frost. In spring, you will put them in the ground.

Survive winter

From the end of October and before the heavy frosts, prepare your geraniums so that they can spend the winter without incident. At the end of autumn, fold the plants with deciduous foliage close to the ground, when the foliage withers. The geraniums in pots and planters will be returned. Beforehand, the volume of the foliage will be reduced by cutting 2/3 of the stems. Plants grown in the open ground will be uprooted with a root ball, pruned and then stored in a bright but unheated room before coming out in spring and being replanted in a mixture of soil and potting soil. Monitor them regularly to remove plants affected by decay. During the winter period, watering can be advised (sparingly) if the soil of pots and planters is too dry. It will resume little by little from February-March. Before putting out the planters in spring, repotting in a new soil is ideal. And here are your plants ready to illuminate your garden again. No longer afraid of winter! video id = "0" / Our practical gardening videos