Keeping geraniums in bloom indoors can add some cheer to a drab winter. Watch overwintering geraniums for evidence of spider mites especially.
You may see parched leaves, webbing, or tiny specks that resemble spiders when seen under a magnifying glass. Spider mites are best treated early—as soon as you spot the problem. The product doesn't kill them immediately, as it's not a poison, but it does interfere with their biological systems. Soak both the plant and the top of the soil for best results. Then let the soil dry out so that it remains only barely moist. Remove leaves and flowers as they die off, and inspect the roots and crown occasionally for rotting parts.
Remove rot with a sharp, sterilized knife. After the last frost in spring, resume normal watering when the top inch is dry and begin placing your geranium outdoors each day. You will want to harden off the technique of adjusting the plant to the outdoor spring temperatures your plants for about a week, slowly moving them to sunnier positions so that the leaves can adapt to the extra sun without burning. After the plant is in position and weather no longer gets too cold for the plant nighttime temps above 50 degrees Fahrenheit , you may begin feeding again. That's it. Just water, feed, and keep them from freezing.
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By using The Spruce, you accept our. Lady, regal or Martha Washington geraniums — We are lucky here in the Pacific Northwest that these beautiful large flowered types thrive here. They require cool 50 to 60 degree night temperatures in order to bloom. Ivy-Leaved geraniums — These have vine like growth and smooth, leathery leaves and flowers with narrower petals. They are popular in Europe, often planted in window boxes. These look good in hanging baskets. Scented-leaf geraniums — Plants have a wide range of leaf shapes and are used for making potpourris, sachets and tea flavorings. They make excellent houseplants, and many have soft, finely textured foliage and small flowers.
Scents include rose, lemon, nutmeg, apple and peppermint. When shopping for any of these types of tender geraniums, Oregon State University Extension Service experts recommend that you look for healthy 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.
Protect 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 2 inches. Remove old flowers to keep plants looking fresh. Select a container that has drainage holes in the bottom or sides. Geraniums need good drainage.
Avoid using a saucer under the container. Allow water to fully drain from the pot.
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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.
Growing Geraniums: Tips For The Care Of Geraniums
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.
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There are several ways to over winter or keep your geraniums. Either take cuttings in the fall and keep the small, potted plants on a windowsill with a bright, sunny southern exposure during the winter. Or, dig them from the garden before the first frost and plant them in pots large enough to accommodate the roots. Cut the plant back to 6 inches tall, and place in a sunny area such as a heated porch.
Care of Geraniums
An old-fashioned method of over wintering geraniums is to dig the plants before the first frost, knock the soil from their roots, and hang the plants upside down in a cool, moist basement with 80 percent humidity and temperatures between 35 to 45 degrees. If plants begin to dry out, soak the roots in water a few times each winter. In spring, take the plants down, cut off half to three-fourths of the top growth, and replant outdoors. If your geraniums are diseased or are infested with pests, it is best to trash them and start over with new, healthy starts next year.
Growing geraniums: how to plant and care for geraniums
Sweet cherry scion cultivars have been selected over millennia for many reasons, but over the past century, breeding programs have concentrated mainly on achieving improved characteristics such as yield, taste, fruit size, fruit firmness, fruit color, precocity, and resistance to fruit cracking and disease.
In contrast, rootstock cultivars have only recently received attention. Discusses appropriate uses of each training system based on soil conditions, rootstocks and varieties, and system characteristics. For each system, covers pruning and training techniques from planting to maturity.