Grow

Geraniums

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Geranium

Geraniums bring the brightest of colours to the garden and are among the most generous of plants. They continue flowering for months and when they begin to look tired, a cut back and good feed will start them off all over again.

Most of what we commonly call geraniums are actually pelargoniums but few gardeners are worried about this minor technicality – they’re too busy enjoying the plants!

Where to grow geraniums

An open, airy situation with plenty of sun is ideal for geraniums. This helps the plants in two ways. First, the sun promotes and encourages plenty of flowering. As well, a light, open position helps the plants to stay free from disease.

Geraniums are often at their best in containers. Growing geraniums in pots guarantees drainage and also get the plants up away from the ground where they’re less likely to be attacked by fungal diseases. Well-drained pots (like Yates Tuscans with their copious drainage holes) are a must.

Propagation

Garden geraniums are renowned for their ease of propagation. Simply snip off a piece about 10 cm long and put it into a pot filled with Yates Black Magic Seed Raising Mix. Wait a few weeks and you’ll have a new plant.

Fertilising

Geraniums do best if they’re not given too much nitrogen-rich fertiliser (which tends to cause soft, leafy growth rather than flowering). Instead, from spring through till autumn, feed the plants regularly with Yates Thrive Flower & Fruit. Available as a soluble powder or a liquid concentrate, Thrive Flower & Fruit encourages flower production and improves disease resistance.

Pests and diseases

Geraniums are most susceptible to disease when the weather is warm and wet. As already mentioned, fungal infections can largely be avoided by growing the plants in an open, sunny position. The most common disease found on geraniums is rust, so-named because of the rust-like bumps that appear on the leaves. Yates Fungus Gun or Rose Gun will help take care of this problem.

Botrytis, or grey mould, can also spoil the flowers, especially if the weather stays wet for any length of time. Affected flowers grow fluffy, grey beards, before turning brown and shrivelling. Pluck off and destroy affected flowers and spray with a general purpose fungicide such as Yates Nature’s Way Fungus Spray.

White fly is a tiny, moth-like insect pest that is found in vast colonies on certain types of geraniums. Spray with Yates pyrethrum-based Insect Gun, taking care to apply underneath leaves as well as on top. Pyrethrum will also help to get rid of any caterpillars that might be thinking about attacking your geranium plants.


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