Master Gardener Kristine Hanson shows you how to grow and handle geraniums at home.
Tags:How to Grow Geraniums at Home,california gardening,choosing geranium variety,gardening advice,gardening tips,geranium growing tips,growing geraniums at home,home gardening,kristine hanson,kvie,requirements for growing geraniums
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Chris Burrous: Everyone’s a farmer when it comes to their own backyard; try these tips on doing it Home Grown. Kristine Hanson: Geraniums are pelargoniums, but pelargoniums aren’t geraniums, geraniums are geraniums and geraniums are not pelargoniums…confused? Well, welcome to the colorful, sometimes fragrant but always prolific blooming world of backyard geraniums. It was all just a crazy mix up way back when, but chances are when you plant or buy one of these, you’re buying these geraniums. These are zonals, known for different green zones on the leaves and also punctuated by these bright brilliant flowers- red, salmon, white. There are also these regal geraniums, even the name is regal- Lady Washington, cupped shaped leaves. These are my favorite, an ivy geranium, they drape down you see these all over Europe in window boxes. Perfect for window boxes here as well, single or double blossoms. And then there are these, not known for their flower but their fragrance. Apple, lemon, lime even chocolate- you can use them for aromatherapy, herbs, in the kitchen and you know what all of these geraniums love California. Geraniums look like this early in the season, but once these flowers fade they become a little leggy, rangy and sort of woody looking. You can trim them any time during the season and keep them any size you want by just cutting into the woody stem just above a leave node. Go ahead and cut way back, if these are in patch you want to stagger them because you’re taking off all the flowers. You can see they look a little sad, so any bedding plants are best left pruning until November through February. So what do you do with all these cuttings? Well don’t compost them, you know your family and friends, we’ll just make them some gifts some other flowers. Go ahead and take all the lower leaves off of a cutting that has 2-3 nodes, leaf nodes. Take off the top flower, and stick them in a fifty percent peat and fifty percent sand mixture. You can do this with all of the cuttings and just add a little water at the end; couple weeks you’ll start to see some flowers, blooms and new plants. You can also manage the top of your plant by managing the growth underneath, and that means trimming up the bottom or the roots of the plant. Let’s say you want to leave it in this pot, go ahead and lift it out and pull the soil away from the roots then trim up the roots a little bit. By trimming up the roots it’s going to take the roots just a little time to recover, in the mean time that will slow down flower and leave production of the plant on top. Now if you notice that your geraniums don’t have any flowers on them, you might need to do a little detective work in the middle of the night. Get out your flashlight and go hunting for these little guys. These are nasty little bud worms, you’ll notice they leave little black specks on your plants or holes in your buds. They’re eating up all your flowers, you can’t find them though most of the time during the day. You’ll have to look real hard late at night, take them off the plant, drop them in a little soapy water and they’ll be gone for good. So find those bud worms, fertilize and water regularly and California geraniums will be a blooming success! Right Ming? Yeah, right Ming.