Sunday, January 22, 2012

How do you take care of potted Geraniums?

I need to know the best way to take care of potted Geraniums. I bought two and they are starting to look weak (very different from when I bought them). How much sun do they need? How much water do they need? Do they need a special food to keep them blooming? I come from a "green thumb" family and have always had trouble with Geraniums, go figure! I keep them at my front door and my front door is covered so do I need to constantly need them in the sun?
How do you take care of potted Geraniums?
Water, trim, then put the cutting into another pot, fertilize them monthly. (Osomocote 9 mo.) Change their soil this time of the year. Keep the dead leaves cleaned up. Give them enough sun, and praise them daily! Tell them how beautiful they are and they will reward you. Enjoy Yes they need lots of sun, and fertilizer, and perhaps new soil. and a larger pot. Let them dry out between waterings. I had mine in a fast draining soil, cactus mix may work out well for you. Hoyakins
Reply:Extension Service Garden Hints

Here’s how to select and care for the healthiest geraniums

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Geraniums have long been a favorite of gardeners everywhere.

The fleshy, tender perennial geraniums that most folks grow are members of the geranium family, members of the genus "Pelargonium." The smaller, wild hardy geraniums common to North America and Europe are in the genus "Geranium."

Ever-popular Pelargoniums are native to South Africa. Several varieties have made their way into the nursery trade, including the familiar, flashy varieties and the scented geraniums.

Oregon State University Extension Service home horticulturist Barb Fick advises that when you go to select geraniums at the nursery or market, look for healthy, dark green leaves with no discolored spots above or underneath; fairly compact growth with no straggly stems that indicate it was grown in poor light; and no obvious pests.

Geraniums need at least six hours of full sun each day for best growth and flowering and need protection from freezing temperatures. In the hottest part of the summer, they do better in afternoon shade. Out in the garden, space plants eight to 12 inches apart in rich garden soil. Fertilize every two weeks, and water when soil feels dry to a depth of two inches. Remove old flowers to keep plants looking fresh.

They also perform excellently in containers on decks, patios, porches, and along walks.

If you don't have a garden site in full sun, you can still enjoy the plants. You'll just have to move your potted plants around occasionally to get the benefit of whatever sun you do have.

Select a container that has drainage holes in the bottom or sides. Plant them in an ultra light weight potting mix, with plenty of peat and vermiculite so you'll have an easy time changing the positions of containers. Geraniums need good drainage. Avoid using a saucer under the container. Allow water to fully drain from the pot.

Geraniums can be trained into standards, or tree forms, if you like. Ivy geraniums with their cascading habit are naturals for hanging containers.

With relatively few pests, geraniums can fall prey to a few diseases, such as Botrytis, a fungus that occurs when days are warm but nights are cool enough to create dew. Diseased blossoms will look moldy, turning brown and mushy. It spreads quickly, so remove and discard affected blooms or plants.

Look out for geranium budworm, a tiny caterpillar that destroys the bud from within. The best treatment is to handpick the eggs and worms. Check for budworms daily.

By: Carol Savonen

Source: Barbara Fick
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