วันเสาร์ที่ 13 กันยายน พ.ศ. 2551

Create an Indoor Flower Garden With Geraniums

Save Pelargoniums by Over-Wintering Them as Houseplants

Here are several ways to use this year’s annual geraniums and avoid buying the same plants next summer.


Geranium Houseplants
Gardeners should start bringing geraniums into the house in August or September. As a preventive, spray the plant with insecticidal soap before bring it into a house where indoor plants are already present. Geraniums are attractive to aphids, mealy bugs and whitefly. If too many insects are on the plant, discard and plan to purchase new ones next year.
For determined gardeners who wish to save a special geranium, isolate the plant and thoroughly spray the plant. Follow exact directions on the bottle of insecticidal soap for treatments. If mealy bugs are the issue, using rubbing alcohol to wipe the leaves also works.
When the plant is ready for indoors, place the geranium in moist well draining potting soil. Gardeners will see many leaves initially drop off the plant. New leaves will appear after the plant adjusts.


Geranium houseplants tolerate bright indirect light to full sun. They prefer indoor temperatures kept at approximately 60°-70° F (16°-24° C) and nights 45° F (7° C). Water indoor geraniums thoroughly once a week allowing soil to dry out between. If the pot sits on a saucer, empty the saucer of extra water after draining. Indoor with continual moist conditions, such as in bathrooms, will encourage bacterial rot in geraniums.


Geraniums should be repotted in late winter. The plants will need some trimming of old branches or stems. Indoor geraniums develop stems that get thick and slightly woody. Of course, if geraniums are going out into a flowerbed, repotting is unnecessary.
Plants should be fertilized at half strength once per month or use timed-release tablets by mixing a measured amount into the soil. Always check directions and use the measuring spoon that came with the package.


Geranium Cuttings
Geranium cuttings can be taken at the end of summer. Cut three to four inch stem pieces from the tip of a stem, with a sharp knife or cutter. Make sure the stem is not woody. Remove any lower leaves, dip the tip of the cut end into a rooting hormone, sink into a small pot filled with vermiculite or perlite and water well.


Geranium cuttings can also be rooted in water. However, like rooting coleus, geraniums in water are less reliable. Once rooted in about two weeks, repot into a slightly larger container following the directions stated above.


Geraniums Dormant
Geraniums can be stored in a dormant state in a cool but frost-free place such as an unheated basement, root cellar or garage. Although this is an old technique many gardeners have had success with, today’s warm houses make it an unreliable way to propagate a plant. But for this technique, after bringing in a geranium plant:

  • Dry out the plant
  • Unpot the plant
  • Wash all soil off the roots.
  • Allow drying out again.
  • Store in a paper bag.


At the beginning of summer, follow the directions above for repotting. For geraniums kept dormant, initially place outdoors in a shady spot. After new growth appears fertilize and place in a sunny location. Geraniums are an easy plant to grow and a good choice for beginning gardeners.

COPPY FROM http://flowergardens.suite101.com/

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