When to water geranium
The classic summer plant par excellence is geranium, because it produces very beautiful and decorative blooms and requires little care. The flowers need a lot of direct sun and they do not fear the scorching temperatures of the summer, indeed they like them, provided they are appropriately wet in the evening. The soil should be moistened completely, but avoid soaking it and letting the water stagnate in the saucer. The leaves like the nebulisations, but not the flowers, especially the zonal species that become stained risking to rot. The most popular varieties of geranium are the zonal and the French or climbing ones; the zonal has sturdier stems and produces ball-shaped flowers, while the creeper has thin stems and cascade-shaped blooms. It is preferable to avoid wetting the leaves and flowers of the zonal geraniums, while those in cascade should be bathed regularly with the special spray. In both cases, always remove dried flowers and leaves. Water should be given abundantly in the evening, being a full sun plant the earth dries quickly. Stagnant water should be avoided but it should also be avoided to leave the geranium with the dry earth because otherwise it will not bloom.
The geranium is a very common plant on the balconies of the buildings, because it resists smog and adverse weather conditions well. In particularly cold areas, it must be protected from frost with special sheets, or sheltered on the terrace, hoping that it will bloom again the following year. Not all species of geraniums are perennial, but by taking special precautions you can have a flowering plant for most of the year. In autumn when flowering ceases, little water must be given and during the winter months the soil should be left almost dry. Almost always the geranium is bought in small plants that are also found in the supermarket; they are greenhouse plants that need to be planted, leaving them time to settle. We must not fertilize immediately, but wait at least a couple of weeks, so that the plant gets used to the new climate that is very different from that of the greenhouse. When the geranium starts to bloom, it is the right time to intensify the watering and gradually introduce a little fertilizer that must be increased in the middle of summer when there is the maximum flowering. Dried flowers and leaves should be removed regularly, otherwise the new buds will struggle to come out.
If the geraniums have adequate soil and have been placed in a very sunny position, it takes little fertilizer and only in the warm months. When the plant is very small, a product rich in nitrogen must be chosen, whereas when the flowering begins the ideal fertilizer must be rich in potassium. In addition to other essential macro nutrients, potassium helps protect the plant from pests, which are particularly active when it is in bloom. It also makes the colors of the flowers more vivid by strengthening the leaves, which will take on a very beautiful intense green. A good amount of phosphorus must also be present in the fertilizer, which is essential for nourishing the roots and strengthening the plant; the presence of these products can be seen in the composition of the fertilizer which, let us remember, must also be rich in the essential micro elements, such as iron and magnesium. A still effective home-made fertilizer is the coffee grounds, which must be dried in the sun before being sprinkled in the soil. Care must be taken not to exceed with chemical fertilizer, because this alters the pH of the soil, risking the plant to die. Little fertilizer and only during growth and flowering.
Geranium: geraniums diseases
Although it does not require special care, the geranium easily falls ill with all the most common pests that infest flowering plants. Stagnated water in pots and constantly wet soil will probably lead to mold from the roots, as well as excessive fertilization or soil that is too rich in nutrients. Dried flowers should always be removed because otherwise the plant will become too thick and will not breathe sufficiently, facilitating mold and fungus even on the branches. One of the most common diseases of geraniums is rust, which forms brown circular spots on the leaves; they are the spores of the fungi that are treated with the appropriate fungicidal products. Another fungus that easily attacks the geraniums is the powdery mildew, also called mal white because it covers the leaves with a whitish powder; in agricultural stores there are specific products to treat all kinds of fungus and also parasites. The most dangerous insects are commonly called geranium bacteria and the infestation begins by progressively drying the leaves and then the stem. These pests nest in the soil and the only effective remedy is to move the plant into another clean pot.