Growing Pelargoniums in pots
Pelargonium grown as an annual is very much popular among home gardeners. It blooms all the year and comes in red, pink, purple color. Leaves are almost round and thicker than normal. Pelargonium is ideal for garden beds, hanging baskets and containers. It can be grown outdoors as well as indoors. In winter, it can be brought inside and grown. Pelargoniums are grown as perennial where it doesn’t freeze.
Pelargonim is propagated from seeds and cuttings. April is ideal for sowing seeds. Prepare garden bed by tilling and adding compost to it. Tilling loosen up the soil so that it becomes easy for roots to grow faster. A layer of compost will add nutrients in the soil which is used by the plants. Do not bury seeds deep in the soil as they need light to germinate. Sprinkle water to make soil moist. In case of containers or pots sow 2-3 seeds per container and thin out (keeping only healthy plants) them later.
Pelargoniums are easy to grow by cuttings too. Start taking cuttings in spring (March-April). Cuttings can be taken in autumn too. Select a healthy looking 5-6 inches long stem having minimum two nodes (place where leaf comes out on stem). Make a cut just below the lower node and clip off all leaves but 2-3 at top. Cut the stem tip and remove any bud present on the cutting otherwise they will consume most of energy of the plant. Dip cutting in rooting hormone or in honey to promote rooting faster. Make a 2-3 inches deep hole in the soil with help of pencil or any other object. Place the cutting in the hole, water it and cover with a plastic bag to help in retaining moisture. Place the container in shaded place where it is not getting direct sun light.
Pelargonium can be rooted in water too. Take around 6 inches long stem cutting, remove all but top leaves. Put it in a water filled jar and place the jar in bright location but not in direct sun.
Decide the size of container depending on the Pelargonium variety. Container should be well cleaned. It should contain drainage holes to ensure smooth passage of water as Pelargonium doesn’t like to stand in water. If you are using old container then wash it properly before use.
Pelargonium grows in almost any kind of soil. Add compost to enrich it with nutrients. You can add a layer of mulch (dried leaves, straws etc) to keep environment around plant moist.
Sun / Temperature
Pelargonium needs 5-6 hours of sun light to grow. However it can be grown in shaded place too where it is getting enough light exposure.
Allow soil to dry out before watering again. Scratch the soil surface with finger, if the soil is barely moist or dry then plant needs water. Cut down watering in winter as that time plant is not growing actively.
Use solid granular fertilizer at starting of growing season. Or you can use liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength in every 2-3 months. Plant doesn’t feed fertilizer in winter.
Clip off dead flowers (deadheading) to increase blooming. Prune Pelargonium in fall (November to January end) to encourage bushiness.
Read Also : How to grow Impatiens at home.
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