Landscaping NZ
Yates
Waimea Nurseries
Herb Herbert
Tui - A Friend In Your Garden
handy helpers

Geraniums and Pelargoniums 

No flower captures the essence of summer more than brightly coloured Geraniums and Pelargoniums.

Plant them in pots and hanging baskets to brighten up walls and fences, patios and front entrances.

At a Glance:

  • Plant a sunny, frost-free position
  • Dead head regularly to prolong flowering
  • Feed every 2 weeks with a liquid plant food

Description

Although both geraniums and pelargoniums members of the same plant family, each is in fact a distinct genus.

Main types include:

 

  • Regal - large, frilly flowers
  • Zonal - big flowers, zonal pattern on leaves
  • Fancy Leafed - leaves banded with yellow, white or coral,
  • Ivy - ivy like leaves and a trailing habit
  • Scented - aromatic leaves smelling of citrus, apple or mint.

Flowers come in a range of colours from white through to pink to red, purple and orange.

They make excellent pot and container plants.  Thrive in glasshouses and conservatories.

Requirements

  • Plant in full sun, in a frost free location.
  • They prefer a loose, free draining soil with added compost.
  • Feed with a slow release fertiliser at planting time and fortnightly with a liquid or soluble fertiliser such as Phostrogen.
  • Water regularly in hot periods.
  • Dead head and trim dried or yellow leaves to keep in good condition.
  • When growing in pots or baskets use a good quality potting mix with added slow release flowering fertiliser.

When to Plant

Geraniums and pelargoniums are best planted from spring through to mid summer.

You can buy them as individually named plants or in mixed 6 packs for use in bedding displays.

 

Where to use

Geraniums and pelargoniums can be used all round the garden to good effect. Try using them in some of the situations listed below:-

  • Plant in mixed borders
  • Full sun spots in the garden
  • In pots and containers
  • In conservatories and glasshouses
  • Over archways and frames
  • Spill over walls, banks etc

Popular Varieties

There are dozens of varieties, but here are just some of our favourites:

Fancy

Frank Headlye - single salmon flowers

Mrs Pollock - single scarlet flowers

Occold Shield - double orange/red flower

Ivy

Pac Tomcat - semi-double dark velvet red

Pac Tomgirl - large double blooms of velvet red

Zonal

Pac Flower Fairy Berry - cerise with eye

Pac Glacis - white flowers

Pac Victor - velvet-red blooms

Pelargonium

Aristo Beauty - burgundy with white edged flowers

Joseph Hayden - rose pink with eye

Scented Pelargonium

Orange Fizz -  lemon scented

Fragrans—apple and nutmeg scented

 

            Autumn is the best time to sow a NEW LAWN and rejuvenate an old lawn. Lawns establish better from March to mid April when the autumn rains will soak well into the soil while it is still warm.

                First remove all perennial weeds, such as couch and dock, with a fork and then with a rotary hoe cultivate a seed bed about 20cm deep. Hollows and high places must be levelled out. Use a long board as well as much tramping with your heals - this will find all the soft spots that would sink and create hollows after the very first rain. A roller is not suitable at this stage for developing a level surface as it will simply roll the mounds and straddle the low bits.

                Most lawns are sown with fine leafed grass seed such as Fescue and Browntop and this is fine for a show lawn. But for a hard wearing lawn that will take the punishment of family cricket and playful dogs select a lawn mixture that contains some Rye in the mix. Clover is not recommended in a good lawn as it produces a large head of leaves that spread over a largish area in summer then shrinks back in winter, allowing weeds to take over before the clover re-grows.

                Because the seed is so small divide the whole lot into four parts and sow up and down the area then across as well as diagonally for an even coverage. Rake the seed in very lightly and roll. Moisten each morning to stop the birds from enjoying wonderful dust baths and you will find cats are not fond of digging damp soil either. Moisture is also vital for germination.  When the grass is 6cm to 8cm high it may be cut with a lawn mower set high.

                OLD LAWNS that are only slightly uneven and have good grass can be transformed into a really nice lawn. Spray out dandelions and daisies and 

            Autumn is the best time to sow a NEW LAWN and rejuvenate an old lawn. Lawns establish better from March to mid April when the autumn rains will soak well into the soil while it is still warm.

                First remove all perennial weeds, such as couch and dock, with a fork and then with a rotary hoe cultivate a seed bed about 20cm deep. Hollows and high places must be levelled out. Use a long board as well as much tramping with your heals - this will find all the soft spots that would sink and create hollows after the very first rain. A roller is not suitable at this stage for developing a level surface as it will simply roll the mounds and straddle the low bits.

                Most lawns are sown with fine leafed grass seed such as Fescue and Browntop and this is fine for a show lawn. But for a hard wearing lawn that will take the punishment of family cricket and playful dogs select a lawn mixture that contains some Rye in the mix. Clover is not recommended in a good lawn as it produces a large head of leaves that spread over a largish area in summer then shrinks back in winter, allowing weeds to take over before the clover re-grows.

                Because the seed is so small divide the whole lot into four parts and sow up and down the area then across as well as diagonally for an even coverage. Rake the seed in very lightly and roll. Moisten each morning to stop the birds from enjoying wonderful dust baths and you will find cats are not fond of digging damp soil either. Moisture is also vital for germination.  When the grass is 6cm to 8cm high it may be cut with a lawn mower set high.

                OLD LAWNS that are only slightly uneven and have good grass can be transformed into a really nice lawn. Spray out dandelions and daisies and rake or scarify up old thatched grasses that tend to choke out a lot of lawn grass which is often the cause of a thin patchy lawn. Fill in the low areas with soil and tramp, rake, level and sow lawn seed. Scatter some seed over scarified area and sprinkle a little top soil on top of the seed and keep it moist to help the germination.

            If GRASS GRUB has been a problem in the past, attack these pesky pests immediately. Many families of young grubs are silently underground eating the grass roots and it is not until the damage has already been done that we notice the destruction. If damage is already beginning to show sprinkle Soil Insect Killer over the lawn on a mild dewy night.

rake or scarify up old thatched grasses that tend to choke out a lot of lawn grass which is often the cause of a thin patchy lawn. Fill in the low areas with soil and tramp, rake, level and sow lawn seed. Scatter some seed over scarified area and sprinkle a little top soil on top of the seed and keep it moist to help the germination.

            If GRASS GRUB has been a problem in the past, attack these pesky pests immediately. Many families of young grubs are silently underground eating the grass roots and it is not until the damage has already been done that we notice the destruction. If damage is already beginning to show sprinkle Soil Insect Killer over the lawn on a mild dewy night.