IVY GERANIUM

IVY GERANIUM

The Pelargonium genus, erroneously called Geranium, takes its name from “geranos” which in Greek means “crane”, referring to the fruit whose shape recalls that of the head of this famous, marsh bird. Geraniums are perennial, herbaceous plants native to South Africa and they belong to the Geraniaceae family. Thousands of beautiful, ornamental and—more recently—aromatic cultivars have been obtained from the original species of the desert regions of South Africa thanks to the persistent efforts of geneticists and plant breeders. Pelargoniums, due to their origin, do not tolerate temperatures below 3-5°C and, for this reason, if one wishes to cultivate them for several years, he/she must prune them and leave them almost dry in locations where the temperature does not go beneath the above-mentioned limit. Among the most important ornamental species are: Pelargonium peltatum or ivy geranium, a plant with smooth leaves and trailing or pendulous branches, ideal for use in vases or hanging flower boxes that allow the stems to hang down. There are two cultivars: one with single flowers also called “Ville de Paris” and the other with double flowers, with more whorls than petals. Geraniums must be placed in full sun or part-shade. If grown in deep shade, the stems tend to lengthen and the leaves turn yellow. They are also particularly sensitive to too much wind, which limits their growth. They must be watered frequently, possibly every day, being careful not to leave the soil soggy for too long. For a long and abundant flowering, it is advisable to remove the flowers as soon as they wither in order to prevent the production of seeds. Feed the plants every 15-20 days, dissolving a complex (20-20-20) fertilizer, complete with microelements, in the watering can. Diseases that affect geraniums are: rust, downy mildew, mealybugs, and other aphids. To combat them, use copper and sulfur for the fungi and specific pesticides for the insects.

pianta da fiore geranio edera