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General information concerning pelargonium
The Pelargonium, better known as Geranium, belongs to the Geraniaceae family, order Geraniales. He is of South African origin. Widely used for ornamental purposes, it is among the most appreciated balcony plants.
The name geranium derives from the Greek word geranos, which means crane and therefore refers to the particular shape of the head of this bird.
The geranium flowers consist of five sepals and five oval-shaped petals.
The plant flowers in the period from spring to autumn.
Among the most widespread species there are Crassicaule, Angulosum, Echinatum, Fulgidum, Peltatum (or Geranio Edera), Zonale, Grandiflorum.
It can reach a length of one meter and a half.
It is good to prune geraniums in the spring season.
For the geraniums pruning, the geranium branches must be cut up to 1/3 of their length.
This operation is essential to reinvigorate the plant and keep it in a clean condition, which allows a balanced development.
To obtain the reproduction of geraniums it is necessary to resort to the classic technique of the cutting. In other words, apical cuttings of about 10 cm in length must be rooted in containers filled with sand and peat, placed in places with a temperature of 18 degrees and not exposed to direct sunlight.
In simple terms it is a matter of planting a twig in the soil, putting pressure on the earth around the basal area, to make it take root.
The most suitable period for planting geranium cuttings is the month of March, but it is also possible to proceed during the summer months. After a period of six weeks the seedlings must be transplanted into more spacious pots and subsequently they must be planted, to allow the formation of new branches. The possibility of using cuttings to reproduce these plants makes them a good business from the economic point of view, which, in times of crisis, is an aspect that should not be underestimated.
Environmental needs and fertilization period
In the coldest months the geranium plants must be placed in environments with a temperature not lower than 10 degrees. The advantage offered by this plant is that in summer it is able to withstand rather high temperatures well. And this is one of the secrets of its widespread use as a plant chosen to decorate balconies. The plant also needs to receive a lot of light, as a fundamental nutritional value.
Fertilization must be carried out in the period of the year from April to September, every two weeks. Repotting should be done in spring.
Since the pelargone is unable to survive at temperatures below 5 degrees, after the warm season it must be pruned and placed in a more suitable place, that is to say that it has a higher temperature than this threshold.
Pests and diseases
If there are brownish growths, the plant has been affected by brown scale insects. At this point the geranium must be treated with an anticoccidial product or, alternatively, the scale insects must be removed manually, that is by gently passing a wad with alcohol and water over the affected part, until it is completely cleaned.
If shaking the leaves we observe the formation of a kind of whitish cloud of small insects, this means that the aleurotids are installed on the plant. These are flying insects that must be fought promptly, using specific products that are easy to find.
If the lower part of the stem blackens it means that the geranium has been watered with excessive amounts of water, which must therefore be reduced.
If the grower notices that the stem of the plants turns yellow or that the leaves wither it means that the geraniums have been placed in an area too much in the shade.
If some gray powder appears on some parts of the pelargone, it means that the plant has been hit by the deadly gray mold. In this case, the parts must be treated with ad hoc fungicides.
If, on the other hand, the presence of light spots is detected on the surface of the leaves, unfortunately the entire plant must be eliminated. It has in fact contracted Virosi and is destined to shrink quickly.
If the basal leaves turn yellow it is necessary to increase the amount of water administered since the plant obviously does not receive enough.
Geraniums pruning: currently recognized therapeutic virtues
Some qualities of geranium, for the truth not very known by non-experts, have long been used in aromatherapy in order to balance the nervous system, but also for anti-inflammatory, astringent and antiseptic purposes.
Geranium also has a recognized use of stimulant of the lymphatic system and kidney functions. It is also indicated for the treatment of blisters, acne and burns in general.
As can be seen, its therapeutic virtues are indeed many.