Why do geraniums smell bad

So you can enjoy pelargoniums for a long time

Status: 11.11.2020 11:09 a.m.

It is commonly referred to as a geranium, but the real name of the popular, abundantly flowering plant is pelargonium. Tips on care, location and how best to overwinter pelargoniums.

Under ideal conditions, they bloom so profusely that hardly anything can be seen of the leaves of the plant: pelargoniums, better known under the name geranium. From a botanical point of view, however, this colloquial term is not correct. Behind the botanical name Geranium hides the well-known genus cranesbill - a hardy perennial.

What is the difference between geraniums and pelargoniums?

Geraniums in front of the window? From a botanical point of view, the popular plants are pelargoniums.

Pelargoniums, with the botanical name Pelargonium, originally come from southern Africa and are not winter hardy. The only thing they have in common with the genus Geranium: Both belong to the cranesbill family - Latin Geraniaceae. The differences can be seen in the differently shaped leaves: Pelargoniums have three smaller so-called petals on the lower part of the flower and two larger leaves on the upper edge. The cranesbill has five symmetrical petals.

Many different varieties of pelargonium

There are hundreds of different varieties of pelargonium. Hanging ones, which are particularly popular in southern Germany and the Alpine region, are ideal for window boxes and traffic lights, and upright growth forms for pots and beds. Fragrant pelargoniums have an intense smell of mint, roses, lemons or spices. The scent is particularly evident if you rub the leaves lightly, as essential oils are then released. The leaves of fragrant pelargoniums are edible and go well in a salad.

Location and care

Pelargoniums need water regularly, but they shouldn't be watered too often.

Pelargoniums prefer a sunny location and bloom from May to October. They should be kept evenly moist, but can also tolerate occasional dryness. As a rule of thumb, it is better to water less often. Young plants in particular must not be watered too intensively. They then bloom profusely and the risk of disease is reduced. A normal liquid fertilizer for flowering plants is sufficient for fertilization. There are also special fertilizers, but this is not necessary. Remove dead inflorescences regularly.

Cut back pelargoniums and overwinter

Many flower lovers only enjoy their pelargoniums for one summer season and buy new plants every spring. While they are very sensitive to the cold, there is an easy way to overwinter pelargoniums. Before the first frost threatens, the plants are cut back vigorously with sharp secateurs. Leave two to three thickened knots per side shoot and cut off all leaves. Then carefully take the plants out of the bed or pot and remove loose soil, preserving the fine roots if possible.

Place the trimmed plants in a flower pot and cover the roots with a mixture of sand and soil. Place the pot in a light place at five to ten degrees and keep the roots slightly moist over the winter. After the ice saints in May, put the plants in new pots with fresh soil and put them outside.

Conservatory as an alternative

Pelargoniums can also be kept in a light conservatory. The only requirement is the right temperature: the temperature should be between 15 and 17 degrees Celsius at most. The suitable location is directly at the window so that the plants get as much light as possible.

Simple propagation by cuttings

Pelargoniums can be easily propagated by cuttings.

If you want to multiply your pelargonium, you can cut or break off an approximately finger-long shoot with leaves just below the last leaf node. This does not damage the mother plant - on the contrary: it stimulates new flower formation. In order to reduce the evaporation area and to give the cutting the chance to concentrate fully on the root formation, shorten the leaf mass with a clean knife. Also remove the flower stalks and buds. Now put the cutting two centimeters deep in the potting soil, water it gently and keep it slightly moist for the next few weeks.

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11/08/2020 | 13:00 'O clock