Growing large-flowered pelargonium
Large-flowered pelargonium (Pelargonium grandiflorum, Geranium family) is less common than its close relative, zonal pelargonium (Pelargonium zonale), although its large colorful flowers are no less attractive. Often this species is called pelargonium home. Large-flowered pelargonium is a herbaceous plant 30 to 40 cm high with large light green, serrated leaves, along the edges. There are varieties of large-flowered pelargonium with simple and double flowers about 4 cm in diameter. Their color is the most diverse: from white to maroon. Often the flowers are mottled, speckled, darker in the middle, light outside. Large-flowered pelargonium blooms with proper care almost year-round.
Throughout the year, the plant needs a lot of light, it is better to place it on the windowsill of the western or eastern window. In summer, you can take out a pot of pelargonium in the open air. The temperature for pelargonium is needed moderate, in winter it is desirable to have a cool content at 10 - 12 ° C. Pelargonium is undemanding to air humidity, from time to time the leaves should be sprayed to get rid of dust.
Pelargonium is watered abundantly, preventing only stagnation of water at the roots. They are fed once every two weeks with liquid fertilizer for decorative-flowering plants with a high content of potassium. Pelargonium propagates by cuttings. This is best done in June. Cut the upper parts of shoots 10-12 cm long into cuttings, remove the lower leaves and place the cuttings in a container with light sandy soil. For rooting, put a container with cuttings in a bright, but without direct sunlight place, gently watered, spray in dry, hot weather. As soon as young shoots appear, the plants are planted in pots and transferred to a permanent place. The substrate is prepared from turf and leaf soil, humus and sand in a ratio of 1: 1: 1: 1.
© Luigi FDV
To keep flowering as long as possible, faded inflorescences are removed, and pinch shoots to prevent them from stretching. Young plants bloom more abundantly, so it is recommended to propagate pelargonium every year. But if you want to preserve the old plant, then you need to remove it from the pot in the fall and prune both roots and shoots. After that, plant pelargonium in a fresh substrate, then in the spring it will produce no less peduncles than young plants.
Pelargonium is affected by whiteflies and aphids. To combat these insects, drugs such as Actara, Actellik or Fufanon are used. With excessive watering, high humidity and poor lighting, pelargonium can become sick with gray rot. The infected plant must be treated with a Bordeaux mixture or copper sulfate, and all damaged parts must be removed.