Pelargonium is a plant of the Geraniaceae family, native to South Africa. It is commonly known as geranium. The Pelargonium was first discovered in South Africa by European botanists in the 17th century. It was first described by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in his book "Species Plantarum".
Pelargoniums were brought back to Europe by sailors and explorers who travelled to South Africa, and were then cultivated for their colourful flowers and aromatic leaves. Geraniums have been used for medicinal purposes and as ornamental plants in European gardens since the 18th century.
What kind of soil is suitable for geraniums?
Geraniums (Pelargonium) prefer rich, well-drained soil. They need a soil that retains moisture, but is not soggy. A light, fertile soil with good aeration is ideal for them. Finally, if you are planting your Pelargonium in the ground, it is important to loosen the soil before planting to avoid waterlogging.
How to prune geraniums?
Pruning an Pelargonium hederaefolium or a zonal pelargonium helps to promote flowering, healthy growth, prevention of diseases and pests and a better passage in the cold for the winter phase.
In early spring, a geranium will need to be pinched. It is important to pinch off the new shoots to help your Geranium branch out as much as possible before the flowering period. Some Pelargonium varieties, such as the Geranium graveolens, will tend to branch naturally, but others will need your help. Only your eye will be useful in judging whether it is worth pruning the geranium. When you see large branches going off in one direction and nothing else coming off the stump of your geranium, it will be necessary to prune it several times before the end of spring.
How long last the geranium flowering ?
The flowering time of geraniums varies depending on the species and variety. Some Pelargonium species flower for a short period, while others flower for months.
Single-flowered Pelargoniums, such as Pelargonium x hortorum, generally flower from May to October, with heavier flowering peaks in the summer. Double-flowered Pelargoniums, such as Pelargonium grandiflorum, can flower all year round, with heavier flowering peaks in the warmer months.
For some pelargoniums, flowering is insignificant and therefore of no aesthetic interest. This is the case for Pelargonium crispum, where the flowers are very small and hidden in the geranium's foliage.
When is the best time to make cuttings from my geranium?
Geraniums Cutting (Pelargonium) is usually done in spring or early summer. It is best to take cuttings when the plants are actively growing, i.e. when the stems are green and supple. It is important to choose stems that have not yet flowered for cuttings, as flowering stems do not develop as well.
Here are the general steps for taking a geranium cutting:
- Cut cutting stems 10 to 15 cm long, using clean shears or pruning shears. Make sure you choose healthy, non-flowering stems.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom of the cutting stem, leaving only 2 or 3 leaves at the top.
- Dip the base of the stem in a mixture of sand and potting soil or water.
- Place the cuttings in a place out of direct sunlight and keep the soil moist until the cuttings have taken root.
What exposure for the geranium?
Geraniums, such as the scented pelargonium, prefer full sun to part shade, with a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day.