Geraniums Are a Great Greenhouse Plant
Common Name: Geranium
Light Needs: High light, with full sun during winter.
Best Temperature: Average room temperature.
Water and Humidity Needs: Allow the soil to dry between waterings and for best results, use distilled water or rainwater.
Growing Guidelines: Use heavy, sandy mix in small pots and re-pot in spring as needed. Fertilize monthly from spring to summer only.
Common Problems: Low light or too much or too little water can cause leaves to yellow. Over fertilizing can prevent the flowers from blooming.
Propagation: Tip cuttings in summer.
Additional: They bloom best when slightly pot bound.
Fun Facts about Geraniums
- Their leaves often smell of peppermint, chocolate or other fragrances but the flowers can also be odorless.
- Plants can reach from 6 inches to 3 – 4 feet in height, depending on the species.
- Geranium develops elongated, palmately divided leaves with serrated edges. Most species of geranium have green leaves. Some varieties develop yellow, orange or red-colored leaves.
- Geranium produces individual flowers that can be white, red, pink, purple or blue colored. Some varieties of geranium produce double blooms (flowers with 2 or more rows of extra petals).
- It will bloom from early spring until the late autumn. The flowers are a rich source of nectar which attracts bees, bumblebees, flies and beetles, which are responsible for the pollination of these plants.
- Fruit of geranium is elongated capsule with a beak-like tip. Capsule is filled with 5 seed. It resembles the crane’s bill, hence the nickname “cranesbill”. Ripe fruit splits explosively and ejects seed away from the mother plant.
- Geranium propagates via seed and cuttings.
- Flowers of geranium are good source of essential oils that can be used for the removal of scars from the surface of the skin. The root of geranium contains compounds that are effective in treatment of excessive bleeding, conjunctivitis, retinal disorders and hemorrhoids. Root also has antiseptic properties (prevents growth of harmful microorganisms) and ability to relieve symptoms of diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Extract of geranium root is available in the form of capsules and tinctures.
- Flowers of some types of geranium have rose-like scent. Essential oils extracted from those plants are used for the manufacture of artificial rose oil in the perfume industry. Rose-scented geraniums can be also used as flavoring agent for jellies and cakes.
- Leaves of geranium can be used for the preparation of tea.
- Citronella-scented geranium repels mosquitoes and can be used as natural insect repellent, instead of chemical, industrially manufactured insecticides.
- Geranium belongs to the group of low-maintenance plants. It is frequently cultivated in gardens because of its ornamental, colorful flowers.
- Geranium grows as annual (lifespan: one year), biennial (lifespan: 2 years) or perennial plant (lifespan: more than 2 years), depending on the species and climate.
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