Carefully cultivate, propagate and hibernate geraniums

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Carefully cultivate, propagate and hibernate geraniums: geraniums

For the sun-drenched balcony or terrace, geraniums are just the right plants. Because the decorative and flowering plant loves a full sun, it requires little care. So scented geraniums, which are also known as medicinal plants, especially because of their beguiling scent so popular near the seat in the summer. In addition, they are ideal as potted plants.


The decorative scented geraniums exude an intense scent of mint, roses or lemon and are therefore in summer the ideal companion on a terrace or balcony. The plant has a bushy habit with purple or pink flowers. Since the origin of the plant originating from South Africa, the fragrance from the leaves and not from the flowers, it can be enjoyed outside the flowering period. The care of the unfortunately not hardy plant is quite simple.


Scented geraniums like it especially airy, bright and sunny. If they get a suitable location, reward them with a rich flowering. Rain and wind are not so good for them. Since the plants are those that have to be cold-drawn and frozen in the winter, they are ideally cultivated in the tub. This is what the appropriate location for the geraniums looks like:
  • sunny and sheltered
  • sheltered from rain under a roof
  • covered terrace or balcony ideal
  • not suitable for the garden bed
  • in winter in a frost-free place
  • Basement, frost-free garage, garden shed or conservatory
Tip: Since the Duftpelargonien feel particularly comfortable in the summer at temperatures between 18° and 22°, they are also well suited for less hot climates, when often the sun is shining here.


Geranium Pelargonium Geranium

From the decorative geraniums no waterlogging is tolerated. Therefore, the tubs or balcony boxes in which the plants are cultivated, must be provided with a drainage. For this purpose, potsherds, stones or expanded clay are distributed over the drainage holes in the soil before filling the soil and planting it. Plant fleece is placed over it, so that the earth can not clog the drainage. Further, when planting the Duftpelargonien proceed as follows:
  • Fill prepared substrate in half
  • Use plants
  • pay attention in boxes to sufficient distance
  • 20 to 30 cm between individual plants are ideal here
  • fill in the remaining soil
  • Lightly press
  • to water
Tip: In the well-stocked garden trade are now balcony boxes on offer, where a drainage is already installed.

Substrate & soil

As a substrate is normal potting soil for flowering plants from the trade. But it can also be taken extra geranium soil, which is also tolerated by the related geranium. So that the soil is loose and no condensation due to wetness, a part of sand can be mixed.


In order for the fragrant geranium to develop the decorative flowers in addition to the scent emanating from the leaves, it should be fertilized from April to mid-September. This should be done as follows:
  • Use liquid fertilizers from the trade
  • There are extra geranium fertilizers
  • this is good for pelargonium
  • never put on dry earth
  • then the roots could burn
  • it is ideal to give the fertilizer with the irrigation water
Tip: For the frequency of fertilizer you should follow the manufacturer's instructions. In general, the plants should be supplied with fertilizer every two to three weeks, but this may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

to water

Geranium Pelargonium Geranium

Scented geraniums tolerate better a little dryness than too much water. Therefore, the plants should be watered only moderately on hot days and if it is really necessary. If the soil is superficially dried off, moderate watering can take place. Ideally, rainwater is used for this purpose, but tap water does not harm the geranium, since it has no calcium intolerance.
Tip: Even if the plant shows sagging leaves due to dryness, this is no reason to panic, because with an immediate supply of water, it will recover immediately.

To cut

Scarlet geraniums only bloom on the new, this year's shoots. Therefore, the plants must be regularly cut back for a rich flowering. Hibernation may also require a cut. Therefore the following should be considered:
  • before the winter
  • Remove buds, shoot tips and flowers
  • almost all leaves
  • Shorten bare stems to 10 - 20 cm
  • alternatively cut in spring
  • Cut the stems before the first shoot
  • all year long, withered shoots remove
  • stimulates the renewal
Tip: Depending on how the plant is wintered, it should be cut back in the fall or spring. This will be dealt with in detail in the sub-item "Wintering".


The Duftpelargonien can easily be propagated via cuttings, which usually always succeeds. For this shoots are taken with leaves and without flowers in the spring or summer of the plant. These can be simply clicked with your fingers. Then proceed as follows:
  • remove the lower leaves all
  • the upper leaves can remain on the shoot
  • Place stems in a jar of water
  • alternatively directly into a pot with Anzuchterde
  • keep the earth moist here
  • if necessary, put on transparent foil
  • bright, warm location
  • no direct sunlight
If the geraniums are propagated early in the year by cuttings, then in the same year can be expected with small flowers. The next spring after the cut, the young plant is already big and is in full bloom in the summer.
Tip: If the removed cuttings are first placed in a container of water, it can be better recognized when they start to roots. If the first roots show up here after a few weeks, the new plants can be potted and transported to the desired location.


Geranium Pelargonium Geranium

Scarlet geraniums can also be sown. The seed for this is commercially available. It should be noted that these are light germs, where the seeds may not be placed far into the ground. These lie on the ground and are only thinly covered. When sowing, proceed as follows:
  • Prepare pots with potting soil
  • best time for sowing is January
  • Lay seeds on earth
  • the best is a room greenhouse
  • alternatively put the cut-off PET bottle over it
  • optimal germination temperature between 20° and 22° degrees
  • pique young seedlings
  • in the spring after the Eisheiligen into the open air
  • now allowed to their final location
  • avoid direct sunlight
Tip: Before the young plants are resettled in the spring in the spring, they should first be slowly accustomed to the outside temperatures and the brightness. So they can be spent from March during the day outside and inside at night again to facilitate the settling in.


In Duftpelargonien, which are removed from the pot in winter, a repotting is unnecessary. If the plants have become larger, simply choose a larger pot for re-planting. For plants that are wintered in the pot, it is necessary to repot in spring, whenever roots grow out of the tub. Then a larger vessel is needed. Otherwise, the pelargonium should be given a fresh substrate every two to three years. Repotting is done as described under "Plants".

Hibernate in the dark

Pelargoniums are not hardy and must therefore be protected from frost and cold. Unlike many other plants, the geranium is removed from the vessel. For this you need the autumn cut in advance. For the wintering should be done as follows:
  • Remove all leaves, buds and new shoots
  • Shorten empty shoots to 10 to 20 cm
  • Remove the plant from the pot
  • remove excess soil
  • Put plastic bag around root ball
  • hang naked geranium upside down
  • in a dark, cool place
  • Temperatures between 8° and 10° Celsius
Thus the Duftpelargonie does not have to be poured in the winter, by the plastic foil over the root ball the plant does not dry out. From February, the plants are awakened from their hibernation, planted in fresh substrate, poured and regularly fertilized from April. The location should be bright but not too warm. Only after the icy saints the plants are allowed to return to their original summer location.

Hibernate in the light

Geranium Pelargonium Geranium

If the plant is to hibernate brightly, it will remain in the pot and will not be properly cut back until spring before the new shoot. In such a case, however, it requires regular little watering over the winter. When hibernating in the Hellen should therefore proceed as follows:
  • Spend pelargonium with pot in a sheltered location
  • an unheated conservatory is ideal
  • otherwise a not so warm room
  • Stairwell, bedroom or hallway with window
  • the fertilization is stopped
  • Water plant if necessary
  • cut in the spring before the new shoot
  • Flowers only form on this year's shoots
  • from March slowly get used to warmer temperatures
  • Begin fertilization from April
Also, the plants that are wintered in a pot, must be cut back strongly at least in the spring, otherwise this is at the expense of a lush flowering.

Care mistakes, diseases or pests

As geranium belongs to the geranium genus in a broader sense, this decorative plant can also be attacked by geranium rust.This shows up on brown leaves and arises especially when the plant has become too wet overall. A change of location and the drying of the earth are helpful in such a case. The damaged leaves should be removed. Otherwise, the pelargoniums have little to fight with pests, on the contrary, they are often placed in the vicinity of other plants, so that they are also not affected.
Tip: Recently, unfortunately, it has been found more and more frequently that the horse chestnuts miner moth spreads and this also settles on the Duftpelargonien. The caterpillars infest the stems from inside and eat them from the inside. If an infestation is detected, the entire plant must be cut back and placed in fresh substrate. Wasps are natural predators of caterpillars.

Video Board: Plantele mele in Ianuarie 2017 | Update.

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