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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 are not afraid of the scorching summer temperatures, on the contrary they like them, as long as they are properly wet in the evening. The soil must be completely moistened, however, avoiding soaking it and allowing the water to stagnate in the saucer. The leaves like the nebulizations, but not the flowers, especially the zonal species that get stained risking to rot. The best known varieties of geranium are the zonal one and the French or climbing one; the zonal has more robust stems and produces ball-shaped flowers, while the climber has thin stems and forms cascading blooms. It is preferable to avoid wetting the leaves and flowers of the zonal geraniums, while the cascading ones should be wetted regularly with the special spray. In both cases it is always necessary to remove dried flowers and leaves. Water should be given abundantly in the evening, being a full sun plant the earth dries quickly. Water stagnation should be avoided but it should also be avoided to leave the geranium with the dry earth because otherwise it will not bloom.
Geranium is a very common plant on the balconies of buildings, because it resists smog and adverse atmospheric agents well. In particularly cold areas it should be protected from frost with the appropriate sheets, or placed in shelter on the terrace hoping that it will bloom again the following year. Not all species of geraniums are perennial, but by adopting special precautions you can have a flowering plant for most of the year. In autumn, when flowering stops, little water must be given and during the winter months the soil must be left almost dry. Geranium is almost always purchased in small plants that can also be found in the supermarket; they are greenhouse plants that must be potted leaving them time to acclimatise. It is not necessary to fertilize immediately, but wait at least a couple of weeks, so that the plant gets used to the new climate, which is very different from that of the greenhouse. When the geranium begins to bloom it is the right time to intensify the watering and gradually introduce a little fertilizer that must be increased in the height of summer when there will be maximum flowering. Dried flowers and leaves should be removed regularly, otherwise the new buds will struggle to come out.
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If the geraniums have adequate soil and have been placed in a very sunny position, little fertilizer is needed and only in the warm months. When the plant is very small, a nitrogen-rich product must be chosen, while when flowering begins, the ideal fertilizer must be rich in potassium. In addition to the other essential macro nutrients, potassium helps protect the plant from parasites, which are particularly active when it is in bloom. It also makes the colors of the flowers more vivid by fortifying the leaves, which will take on a very beautiful deep green. A good quantity of phosphorus must also be present in the fertilizer, 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 essential micro elements, such as iron and magnesium. A still effective home fertilizer are coffee grounds, which, however, must be dried in the sun before spreading them in the soil. Care must be taken not to exceed with the chemical fertilizer, because this alters the pH of the soil risking to kill the plant. Little fertilizer and only during growth and flowering.
Geranium: Diseases geraniums
Although it does not require special care, geranium easily gets sick of all the most common parasites that infest flowering plants. Stagnant water in pots and constantly wet soil will most likely lead to root mold, as well as excessive fertilization or a soil that is too rich in nutrients. Dried flowers must always be removed because otherwise the plant will become too dense 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 circular brown spots on the leaves; are the spores of fungi that are treated with special fungicide products. Another fungus that easily attacks geraniums is powdery mildew, also called white malady because it covers the leaves with a whitish powder; in agricultural shops there are specific products to treat all kinds of fungus and even parasites. The most dangerous insects are commonly called geranium bacteria and the infestation begins by gradually drying out the leaves and then the stem. These pests lurk in the soil and the only effective remedy is to move the plant to another clean pot.