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Description for Geranium maculatum
Geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) is a colorful summer bloomer with ivy-like foliage and cascading blooms that make the plant perfectly suited for window boxes and hanging containers. Geranium works well in mixed baskets with other colorful annuals. Geranium includes at least 75 different types, including a range of flower and foliage colors and variegation and a variety of sizes.
No matter what Geranium you choose, it s bound to have attractive foliage and eye-catching blooms.Geraniums bloom in a burst of deep reds, scarlet, pinks, white, purple or salmon with flowers lasting throughout the gardening season. Geraniums are used in beautiful flower beds or in containers, planter boxes, or hanging baskets on porches, patios or balconies.Geraniums are hardy in USDA zones 9-11.
Zonal geraniums are not heavy feeders, but since they are usually grown in containers, a light feeding with your favorite fertilizer, every 2-4 weeks, will keep them vigorous.
Stressing them slightly by watering only after the soil has dried out completely for a day or two seems to encouraging more profuse blooming. Just don't leave them dry for so long they start dropping leaves and declining.
Planting and care
You can start zonal geraniums from seed, cuttings or transplants. Taking cuttings was the traditional method of propagating geraniums and maintaining favorite varieties. If you choose to take cuttings, make sure you only use healthy, vigorous plants.
Geranium can easily be started from seed, although the seed is usually for F1 hybrids. Seed geraniums are bred to be disease resistant and to bloom well in the heat of summer. Start seeds 8 - 10 weeks before your last frost date. They can take up to 2 weeks to germinate and should be kept warm, 70 and 75F (21 to 24C), and moist in the process. Scarifying the seed before planting will help aid germination.
Harden off young plants before planting outdoors. They should begin to bloom about a month after being set out.
Zonal geraniums are not terribly fussy about soil pH, but prefer a slightly acid soil of about 5.8 to 6.5
Caring for Geranium maculatum
- Cut back your geraniums by about two-thirds if and when the weather drops below 45 F.
- Move the pots indoors to a sunny, south-facing window that gets at least four hours a day of direct sun.
- Stop fertilizing and limit water to once a week, keeping the plants on the dry side, while they are in the house.
- Begin to add fertilizer to the plant water again when you see new growth in late winter or early spring.
- As spring arrives, move your potted geraniums outside gradually, adding a lit
- Pruning: If your plants are long stemmed or with leaves only at the tips, and the shape of your plant is off then they should be pruned.
- The best time to prune geraniums is November through late January.
Typical uses of Geranium maculatum
Culinary use: You can also make a tea with the leaves and flowers or an oil infusion. The geranium is considered to be safe for most people (those with an autoimmune disease and those who are pregnant should avoid it) and can be used as an herb in cooking as well.
Ornamental use: These are used for ornamental purpose for their beautiful colors.
Medicinal use: The oil of the Geranium makes a good astringent and can be diluted with water and used topically to help clean the face or in a bath .It also has great antiseptic properties and is said to help restore the balance to dry or oily skin and hair.
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