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Geranium family. Homeland South Africa. The genus has about 200 species, including herbaceous or semi-shrub plants, as well as succulents - caudex pelargoniums. Pelargonium is often popularly referred to as geranium, but in fact Geranium Geranium or Crane is another plant of the geranium family. This happened because Linnaeus originally attributed both genera to one - Geraniums. The division took place much later, in 1789 by the French botanist Charles Louis Lhéritier de Brütel. Although the plant was first introduced to Europe (to the Botanical Garden of Leiden) in 1600, the name pelargonium, from the Greek pelargos (stork), was introduced by Johannes Burman in 1738.
Pelargonium is one of the most common plants, and, as a rule, pelargonium can be found not in the collection of an experienced amateur grower, but on the windowsill of any grandmother, who, not really knowing what to plant and how to water properly, nevertheless, is always happy annual scented flowers.
Pelargonium zonale Pelargonium zonale is a shrub with erect, gradually lignified stems, reaching a height of 1 m or more. The leaves are round-heart-shaped, with a wavy edge, green in color with a characteristic dark green wavy horseshoe-shaped pattern. Stems and leaves are covered with fine pubescence. The inflorescence is an umbrella with simple or double flowers ranging in color from white, pink to dark red. The original species - a tall plant with simple flowers, but beautiful leaves, immediately aroused the interest of breeders. As a result of their several centuries of activity (breeders have been working since the 17th century), about 70 thousand varieties have appeared to the world. Among them, there are classifications by height (dwarf, medium-sized, tall), and the shape and color of leaves and flowers.Among them there are even lines that are exclusively decorative-deciduous with variegated (several colors) leaf color. On the basis of Pelargonium zonal, many hybrids have been bred
Pelargonium home Pelargonium x domesticum, synonyms: Pelargonium royal Pelargonium grandiflorum - this species is specially bred as a houseplant, an interspecific hybrid. Up to about 50 cm in height, with rounded large leaves, 7-9 cm in diameter, with a jagged edge. Umbrella inflorescence, on a long peduncle. Flowers are about 5-6 cm in diameter, of various colors - lilac, pink, white, lilac, etc. Different varieties can be double or simple flowers, color from white to maroon, with spots and without. A characteristic feature for most varieties of this species is the presence of a dark spot or dark stripes along the veins on the lower petals. Blooms from March to July. Domestic pelargonium loves a cool winter, if in winter it was kept in a too warm room, it blooms poorly or does not bloom at all
Pelargonium fragrant or strong-smelling Pelargonium graveolens is a bushy plant about 70-100 cm in height, with pubescent leaves cut into 5-7 parts, having a noticeable scent of lemon. Each lobe of the leaf, in turn, is strongly cut, from which the leaves appear terry. In the umbellate inflorescence, there are usually many flowers, they are not large, pink in color, in general, rather inconspicuous, compared to other types of pelargonium
- Pelargonium curly Pelargonium crispum is a bush about 50-60 cm high, leaves are 3-4-lobed, deeply dissected, with a finely toothed white edge, pubescent, green. The flowers are pale pink, with bright pink stripes on the top two petals, about 2.5 cm in diameter. This pelargonium also has a strong lemon-like scent. Curliness is due to the fact that the leaves between the blades are wrinkled, folded like a fan, and thanks to the jagged edge they appear curly. By the way, standard trees can be grown from this type of pelargonium. A single trunk at a height of about 15-20 cm is pinched, when lateral shoots appear, they are pinched again after 10-15 cm, etc.
- Pelargonium capitate Pelargonium capitatum is about 80-100 cm long, with pubescent leaves that have 3-5 shallowly cut lobes with a serrated edge. The flowers are not large, about 2.5 cm in diameter, pink. This type of pelargonium has a rose scent.
- Pelargonium thyroid or ivy Pelargonium peltatum - ampelous pelargonium, hanging stems up to 80 cm long. The leaves are small, rounded, pentagonal, almost star-shaped (similar to the leaves of the cuff), green or with a reddish border. The flowers are collected in umbrellas on short peduncles, simple or double, depending on the variety, white, pink, lilac, red, etc.
Temperature: Normal room temperature in summer, cool in winter, optimally around 14-16 ° C, but not lower than 10 ° C. At higher temperatures, pelargoniums grow rapidly, but the bushes are elongated, the lower leaves often dry out and die off, the stems are bare from below. Pelargoniums need fresh air, so take them out into the garden or balcony in the summer. In general, almost all pelargoniums are grown everywhere in summer on balconies, because they easily tolerate temperature fluctuations, even up to 8-10 ° C, they love a lot of sun, and are tolerant of being blown by the breeze.
Lighting: Pelargonium is photophilous, responds well to direct sunlight. At home, southern or western windows are suitable for her. With a lack of light, pelargoniums grow small and do not bloom so abundantly, but still grow well in light partial shade. Sometimes from the bright sun the leaves of pelargonium turn red, even take on an almost purple hue. If you rearrange the plant in a less illuminated place, the leaves take on a green color.
Watering: In spring - in summer it is plentiful, but by the next watering the soil should have time to dry out in the upper half of the pot. Pelargoniums do not tolerate a strong excess of water, and often from this begins a disease called black leg. To avoid stagnation of water in the roots, good drainage is made in the pot, and loosening components are added to the soil so that it does not stick together and does not cake (small expanded clay (2-3 mm), vermiculite). In winter, watering is rare, depending on the temperature, but the soil should dry out before the next watering in the upper 2/3 of the pot. This can be every 7-10 days. And if pelargonium is on the balcony all September and October, then it is rarely watered and little by little, about once every 3 weeks.
Top dressing of pelargonium: During the period of active growth from March to August, two weeks later, with liquid fertilizer for flowering indoor plants (fertika-lux or agriculture for flowering). If there is a lack of nutrients in the soil, then the young leaves become smaller, chlorosis can be observed. The fertilizer dose is taken as recommended in the instructions. At the very beginning of growth in spring, the first two dressings can be done with organic matter (for example, based on horse manure), but large doses of nitrogenous fertilizers can cause root rot and a tendency to bacteriosis or spotting. Therefore, you should not be zealous with feeding.
Air humidity: Pelargoniums do not need to be sprayed, they easily tolerate dry air.
The transplant is carried out as needed in the spring, young plants annually. In old large bushes, which are transplanted every two years, you can replace the top layer of the earth, without transplanting the plant itself, especially if a white-red salt coating has appeared on it. The pot for pelargonium should not be too large, as pelargonium blooms better if the pot is slightly cramped. Pelargonium grows in almost any fertile soil. One of the options for the soil mixture is 1 part turf, 1 part leaf, 1 part humus, 1 part sand and 1/2 vermiculite. The soil from the store usually contains one peat and mineral additives - it is too low-nutritious for pelargonium, in which a huge amount of energy goes into abundant flowering. Therefore, compost soil (well-rotted compost) and baking powder must be added to the purchased soil. If not where to get compost,then at least 1/5 of vermiculite, 1/5 of sand and 15 granules of "giant-universal" fertilizer should be added to the universal soil from the store for one pot with a plant. Post-transplant care consists in shading for the first 3-4 days, watering the same as usual. Top dressing is resumed only 1.5 months after transplanting.
Propagation of pelargonium by cuttings
In late winter or late summer, the cuttings root better.
At the cut cutting, one small leaf should be left, the rest should be cut off to reduce the evaporating surface and, accordingly, the need for water. Pelargonium cuttings are rooted in water or in a substrate (peat in half with vermiculite). Rooting is rather difficult, often the cuttings rot, you have to cut off the spoiled part (if it was in water, it is possible), and again wait for the roots to appear. You can add activated carbon to the rooting water, change the water often (use boiled). You can add a little fungicide to the water (in a glass of water of foundationazol powder the size of a match head).
When planting the cuttings directly into the ground, the cuttings of pelargonium are slightly dried for 4-6 hours, then planted in a loose, slightly moist mixture of peat, leafy earth and sand. It is better to pre-disinfect the soil for cuttings, for example, keep it in a very preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. Dip the tip of the cutting first into crushed charcoal, then sprinkle with root powder. Do not cover with a jar or bag, as in a humid environment and stagnant air (even airing does not help) fungal infections develop that kill the cutting.
Propagation of pelargonium by seeds, professional advice, fraoola:
Pelargonium seeds can be sown throughout the year, but the best time for this is from November to April, since in this case the seedlings and adult plants go through all stages of ripening at the best possible time. Usually, it takes 5-6 months from the moment of sowing the seeds to the beginning of flowering.
The soil for sowing should be loose, moisture and air permeable, and disinfected. Seedlings and seedlings are very susceptible to blackleg disease, therefore, in the early stages of plant development, all precautions should be taken. It is recommended to use loose high-moor peat or a mixture of peat with perlite (can be replaced with sand), leaf soil with humus, peat and sand. A good, fairly sterile substrate is pure perlite, which is poured in a thin layer over the soil mixture or the crops are sealed with it. It is possible to treat the prepared substrate with fungicidal preparations.
Freshly harvested seeds have the best germination. At the same time, their hard shell greatly complicates germination, seedlings are often sparse, the germination period is extended. To avoid such troubles, it is necessary to scarify the seeds. To do this, the seeds, cleared of volatiles, are rubbed with fine-grained emery paper, while not only the integumentary scales are removed, but also the dense seed covers are partially damaged.
Scarified seeds are sown dry (you can pre-powder them with foundation powder) in boxes, on racks or in pots. Sprinkle with a thin layer of substrate. At a temperature of 18-22 ° C and regular spraying of the soil, mass shoots are observed in 7-10 days. Without pre-sowing treatment, seed germination lasts up to three months. After emergence, the soil is kept in a moderately moist state. For prophylaxis, once every 7-10 days, seedlings are treated with a 0.2% solution of foundationol.
Seedlings usually dive in 1-1.5 months. On the eve of the pick, the substrate is again watered with 0.2% foundation. With the help of a peg, the seedlings are removed from the substrate and planted in boxes or in the soil of the rack, with a small amount, each seedling is placed in a separate pot, you can use plastic cups. The composition of the soil mixture can be the same as for sowing seeds.
Care for seedlings consists in careful watering, loosening, ventilation and preventive treatments with pesticides in the indicated doses. The temperature should be maintained within the range from 18 ° С to 22 ° С. 1-1.5 months after picking the seedlings, they are planted in pots with a diameter of 10-14 cm, depending on the habit of the plants. At the same time, it makes sure that the plants are at the same depth as before, the seedlings should in no case be buried.
The transplant is better tolerated by larger plants. After the transplant, abundant watering is carried out, in the future, its intensity is reduced. Wellness watering is periodically carried out using weak solutions of fungicides. The potting soil is loosened regularly. Pelargonium grows very quickly. To prevent her bushes from stretching and having a more regular shape, the pots with plants must be regularly turned towards the light source.