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Geranium is a plant that has been cultivated in gardens and homes for over three centuries.
To understand why it is so popular and how to breed geraniums, you should familiarize yourself with the history of the plant and its botanical features.
The flower is quite popular with the florist all over the world due to the fact that its cultivation has long been a territory developed by man and therefore florists rarely have problems with this.
- Geranium flower: history and features of the plant
- Geranium propagation and the benefits of it
Geranium flower: history and features of the plant
The appearance of geraniums in Europe is closely related to the development of navigation and trade. British and Dutch sailors, skirting the African continent, made a stop on the coast of the Cape of Good Hope.
Here they had the opportunity to replenish food and water supplies. Here they found several flowering plants, which in the 16th - 17th centuries were first brought to Holland and England, and then spread throughout Europe.
In 1738, the famous botanist J. Burman isolated the genus Pelargonium from the Geraniev family. However, his colleague, Carl Linnaeus, did not separate geranium and pelargonium in his classification, therefore both genera and pelargonium and geranium in the scientific botanical world were called by the common name geranium.
When neither J. Burman nor his friend and colleague Linnaeus was alive, the French botanist Sh.L. Lhéritier singled out pelargonium as a separate genus from the geranium family. It happened in 1789.
To distinguish geranium from pelargonium is enough simply that all five geranium petals have the same size, while in pelargonium they are of different sizes, since the top two are much larger than all the others. Also, pelargonium does not have blue flowers, and geraniums, its second name is crane, are red.
In addition, one can conditionally consider pelargonium mainly as an indoor flower, and geranium as a garden flower, although as pelargonium grows well in the summer in the garden, it can be grown as an annual crop, and geranium in the cold season feels great in a pot at home.
Given the climatic conditions of most European countries and Russia, with negative temperatures in winter and moderately warm summers, geraniums of the following species can grow in open ground:
tall geraniums, from 50 cm in height: red - brown, marsh, magnificent
low geraniums, less than 50 cm in height: large-rhizome, Himalayan, Dalmatian.
Considering that there are geraniums that are both demanding on sunlight and shade-tolerant species, it is possible to grow geraniums in almost any garden plot.
Geranium propagation and the benefits of it
All representatives of the Geraniev family reproduce both by seeds and vegetatively. Vegetative propagation is carried out either by dividing the bush or by rooting cuttings.
In the case of vegetative propagation, young plants of varietal geraniums fully possess the characteristics of the mother bush, while with the seed method this may not happen.
Breeding geraniums by cuttings
For successful cultivation by cuttings, you need to have a strong, healthy plant. Before cutting off parts of the stem to obtain planting material, flower stalks must be removed from the plant for some time, preventing it from blooming.
The optimal time of the year for harvesting cuttings begins in mid-spring and lasts until early July. The lower cut of the cutting must be straight.
It is advisable to keep the parts of the shoots prepared for rooting in the open air for several hours. Then they are planted in a greenhouse.
Wet sand is suitable as a soil. You can also root cuttings in separate pots. In the first ten days, young plants must not only be well watered, but also sprayed abundantly.
At a temperature of no higher than 20 degrees, rooting occurs faster than at higher values. As a rule, after 15 - 20 days, rooted geranium cuttings are ready for transplantation to a permanent place.
Dividing the geranium bush
Considering that dividing a bush is the most traumatic method of reproduction for a plant, you need to water the bushes selected for dividing in advance about 24 hours in advance.
It is best to coincide with the planned transplantation of plants to a new location. Taking into account that geranium feels great in one place in the garden until 6 - 8 years old, then you need to focus on this period.
A geranium bush extracted from the ground should be carefully disassembled into the required number of shoots, trying to minimize the damage to the roots. Place the separated parts immediately in a new place in the garden or in a new pot.
Geranium propagation by seeds
It makes sense to grow geraniums through sowing seeds in the case when you need to get a lot of young plants, but there is not a sufficient number of adult bushes for grafting or dividing.
It is necessary to sow geranium seeds in the soil, which has been well washed and calcined before, since there is a great threat of infection and death of seedlings from fungal and other diseases.
During the growing period, it is important not to flood the seedlings and do not allow them to dry out. After about thirty days, when there are three real leaves on the sprouts, geraniums can be planted. It is not worth pulling longer, as the overgrowing roots can intertwine with each other, which will complicate the transplant.
With the above methods, you can breed geranium and pelargonium both in a garden and in indoor cultivation.
In the 18th, 19th, 20th centuries, Dutch growers made huge profits by growing geraniums for sale, there is a benefit from this plant today.
Geranium or crane, is widely used in folk medicine to stop bleeding, treat diathesis, pneumonia, as a sedative and anticonvulsant.
But still, the main purpose of geranium and pelargonium is to decorate territories and dwellings with beautiful flowers.
How to propagate geranium, basic rules of care: