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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Geraniums and Me


I've had so much trouble with geraniums in past years. I love the idea of a terra cotta pot with red geraniums on a table on my front porch. So old fashioned... I love the flowers and also the leaves. They are so velvety and fragrant......but here's the thing..I started geraniums from seed a couple of years ago. I made many trips up and down the stairs taking care of these babies...spent the  money on lights, soil, pots etc for them. When It was time to put them outside...I planted them all in two large containers for the woods border. The next day....my babied plants were all gone...the deer had eaten them all in one night.
Then the next year, I planted some plants from a nursery. They filled the hanging baskets and were just starting to look full and lush...then the Japanese Beetles attacked them...and they looked horrible.
Last year, at the end of the season, I bought some seed geraniums that were on sale. My little neighbor and I planted them together. Just a big pot...in a spot where there were no flowers...just lily of the valley leaves. I didn't pay much attention to them...seldom watered....and they didn't attract the beetles, so they flourished.
Yesterday, while at Joe's Dr. appt, I was sitting in the waiting room. There they were...beautiful geraniums with huge red flowers growing in a west window. I asked about them and was told that the same 2 plants had been growing there for more than 5 yrs. They do nothing special to them...just fertilize once in a while and keep them watered. These plants were huge...I was so envious. It got me to thinking...maybe I should give them a try again this year. I just ordered some new cushions for our front porch furniture in a marine blue. Wouldn't a big terra cotta pot full of red geraniums look nice? I have a question...which geranium should I buy a seed or zonal? I'm thinking zonal..
Balisha

12 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

Not sure what you mean by zonal, Balisha. I have never planted them by seed either. I plant them in window boxes that fit perfectly on the ledges outside my windows. One year I brought the window boxes in and as long as they were in the sunlight by a window, they flourished. I brought them outside again that summer. They looked a little worn out by that fall so I finally said goodbye to them They served me well! I think you should try them in a pot again. They are such a bright spot in my day!

XO,
Jane

Sue said...

I can never seem to grow gorgeous geraniums, so I know what you mean. Hope you try again- I'm gonna plant more again this year. :-)

Balisha said...

I think that you can buy geraniums that were started by seed...those are called "seed geraniums" You can also buy what they call "zonal" which are started from cuttings. They used to say that seed geraniums were inferior.
I was just wondering if zonals are larger and give larger blossoms.
Balisha

Daphne Bryson said...

Good Morning Balisha, The trick to growing geraniums is to practically ignore them. They need to be on the dry side and they thrive in sunshine. I grew geraniums when I lived on the Island of Cyprus, I planted geraniums which were about six inches high and they grew to about three foot... honestly!
If they become "leggy", cut them back to about 6 inches, making sure you leave enough leaf nodes for the leaves to grow and as long as they are in the sunshine you will see the plant rejuvinate.
I hope this helps as red geraniums planted in a terracotta pot look beautiful.
Best Wishes
Daphne

acorn hollow said...

sound pretty. I like the look of geraniums put hate the smell.
Cathy

Margie's Musings said...

I will put mine in pots this year. I am living in an apartment now and there really is no room to dig a flower garden.

I too vote for the pots, Balisha.

debra @ homespun said...

I'd just buy some at Lowe's....( I usually end up buying any potted flowers there at their garden center : )

Christys Cottage Wildlife Garden said...

Hi Balisha...Funny, I also love the look of red geraniums in terracotta pots. In fact, I have two red geraniums in the garage waiting to be planted in the pots. I've always planted zonal geraniums and have had lots of luck with them. (I like this look so much that I also have a picture of red geraniums in a terracotta pot in my house.)

Balisha said...

It seems we all like geraniums...They seem to thrive on a little neglect.
Christy...we must be kindred spirits..I have seen pictures of them in terra cotta and I love the pictures. One picture had a pot sitting on a window sill. I almost bought it and then thought I might try to paint one like it. Haven't done that yet.
balisha

Stacey said...

I always buy zonal geraniums..don't know why they just seem to be around in the nurseries more. My experience is that they are beautiful until about end of June when it gets really hot here and then they poop out. I was reading a gardening book the other day and it talked about the expected amount of time that certain plants bloom. My expectation has always been that my geraniums would bloom all summer but they don't.

Sharon said...

I have a geranium that is coming back for a third season. We will put it outside when it gets warm enough. The first year we brought it in I didn't expect it to survive, but it thrived and bloomed in the middle of winter. This winter we kept it in the heated garage and there are new leaves on every stem. I think you're right about them thriving on neglect:)

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I am a geranium lover, too. My mom used to always over winter her geraniums upside down in grocery bags down in the basement. It wasn't that cold down there. She would bring them out year after year and replant them. I tried that method last year and my zonal geranium did survive, though just barely. It did not thrive when I planted it.
My mom knew a lot about gardening and she disliked what she called "seed geraniums". I believe that she used to refer to the other ones as hybrid cuttings That must be what they are now calling zonal geraniums.
I am going to give zonal geraniums a try this year, again. I may just try to winter them in the pot in a window this time. I love big bright red ones and pretty big pink ones.

All of the plants seemed more expensive to me this year when I checked them at Home Depot. I need to check some other places out.