ZONAL GERANIUM

ZONAL GERANIUM

The Pelargonium genus, erroneously called Geranium, takes its name from “geranos” that in Greek means “crane” and that refers 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, one must prune them and leave them almost dry in locations where the temperature does not fall below the above-mentioned level. Among the most important ornamental species is: Zonal Pelargonium or Common Geranium, a plant with an erect stem and round, downy leaves, with a dark ring along their margins. Its flowers are borne by globous inflorescences; they are double-petalled (with several rings of petals) and are plain or streaked. The common geranium is ideal for flower boxes and vases. Geraniums must be placed in full sun or part-shade. If grown in dimly lit sites, their stems tend to lengthen and their leaves turn yellow. They are also particularly sensitive to windy conditions which limit 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 pesticide for the insects.

pianta da fiore geranio zonale