Geranium cultivation

How to water geranium

Like many bedding plants, geranium requires lots of sun and fertile, well-drained soil. For seedlings grown in soil, care must be taken when the soil becomes dry, particularly during periods of drought. A day or two of dry soil can seriously damage a geranium. Plants grown in pots deserve greater consideration. A daily check is essential as outdoor cultivation is subject to the sun and wind. Under these conditions, the soil in the pots dries out more quickly than in the flower beds. Containers made of porous materials, such as clay, are even more vulnerable. Geraniums generally need large amounts of water. However, you need to check that the drainage holes are free to prevent the roots of the plant from rotting. If possible, the ideal irrigation is carried out during the early hours of the morning, to avoid stagnation of water on the leaves during the night, which often lead to the onset of diseases. Targeted watering to the root area, using pipes, is preferable to eliminate the danger of water splashing on the leaves or flowers.

How to cure geranium

Geraniums are grown both in the garden and in pots. These are mainly plants that love the sun and heat. In summer, it is preferable to keep them in an outdoor area (flower bed, balcony, terrace), while in winter it is recommended to move them to a greenhouse or veranda. Geraniums grow for years if they are safeguarded from periods of frost. Over time the soil becomes compact and tends to accumulate downwards. In these conditions the root system is left without the oxygen necessary to keep the plant alive. It is necessary, from time to time, to replace the soil, which must always be fresh and rich in nutrients. It is thanks to the compound that the roots develop better. Routine pruning can come in handy in keeping geranium looking its best. Not only does it help prevent disproportionate growth, but also to correct too long branches. By nature these plants tend to have irregular growths, but we tend to cut the branches at least once a year to obtain a compact and thick shape. In addition to pruning, giving the plants more space and increasing light exposure can solve the problem of too long branches.

How to fertilize geraniums

If geranium is lacking in important nutrients, it tends to show obvious symptoms of distress. Lack of nitrogen results in slow growth or even a stunted development, with possible yellowing of the leaves. If the geranium does not get enough phosphorus, the foliage turns dark green. If the deficiency is severe, the leaves take on a reddish-purple color and eventually die. Lack of potassium causes necrosis and weakness of the stems. The nutrient needs of outdoor geraniums differ from that of houseplants. Outdoor geraniums need to benefit from a slow-release fertilizer to prevent nitrogen loss during heavy rains and to ensure a constant supply for growing plants. A geranium kept in a crate, instead, it has less need. A nutrient-rich soil mix, consisting of one part of sand and one part of peat, is sufficient in the early stages of growth. For outdoor plants, fertilizer should be added to the soil in early spring. Around the month of July, a second application is used in half the quantity.

Geranium cultivation: Some diseases of geranium

Geraniums are extremely tolerant. However, as with any plant, problems can arise that compromise its health. Fortunately, there aren’t many pests attracted to geraniums, and most diseases are easily treatable. Caterpillars often punch holes in the leaves. A systemic insecticide is sufficient to eliminate them. A geranium is rarely attacked by snails. If brown spots appear on the back of the leaves, the plant has a physiological disorder called edema. More than a disease, it is a condition caused by unregulated irrigation. Edema causes pustules on the leaves. Another enemy of geranium is gray mold which damages leaves and flowers, making them rotten. The solution is to provide adequate ventilation so that there is air exchange, and in using a specific fungicide. If yellowing of the leaves occurs, the reasons may be: poor lighting or insufficient or too frequent watering. In severe cases, plant death occurs due to animal parasites that damage the root system of the plant.

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