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The Beauty of Perennial Geranium Varieties: A Comprehensive Guide


perennial geranium varieties
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Perennial Geranium Varieties:

When it comes to gardening, there are few plants that can match the beauty and versatility of perennial geraniums. Also known as cranesbills, these plants are generally easy to grow, require little maintenance, and come in a wide range of colors and sizes. Whether you're looking for something to add color to your garden or simply want a plant that's easy to maintain, a perennial geranium variety may be just what you need.

History of Perennial Geraniums

Perennial geraniums have been cultivated since ancient times. The Greeks and Romans used them for medicinal purposes, while the Chinese and Japanese valued them for their ornamental qualities. Today, there are over 300 species of perennial geraniums, each with its own unique characteristics and growing requirements.

Types of Perennial Geraniums

There are many different types of perennial geraniums, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular varieties include:

1. Rozanne

Rozanne is one of the most popular perennial geraniums, thanks to its beautiful blue-purple flowers that bloom from June until September. This variety is also easy to grow and maintain, making it a great choice for beginners.

2. Johnson's Blue

Johnson's Blue is another popular variety, known for its stunning bright blue flowers. This plant typically grows to a height of around 18 inches and blooms from May until July.

3. Patricia

Patricia is another popular choice, thanks to its bright pink flowers that bloom from June until August. This variety also has a long blooming season and is easy to maintain.

4. Geranium phaeum

Geranium phaeum, also known as the mourning widow, is a unique variety that blooms in shades of purple and maroon. This plant typically grows to a height of around 24 inches and blooms from May until July.

How to Grow Perennial Geraniums

Perennial geraniums are generally easy to grow and maintain. Here are some tips to help you get ed:

1. Choose the Right Location

Perennial geraniums prefer well-draining soil and full or partial sun. Be sure to choose a location that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

2. Plant at the Right Time

Spring is the best time to plant perennial geraniums. Be sure to plant them after the last frost of the season.

3. Water Regularly

Perennial geraniums require regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Be sure to water them deeply once a week, rather than giving them frequent shallow waterings.

4. Fertilize Occasionally

While perennial geraniums don't require a lot of fertilizer, they can benefit from an occasional feeding of a balanced fertilizer.

Common Pests and Diseases

Like any plant, perennial geraniums can be susceptible to pests and diseases. Some of the most common problems include:

1. Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that can cause a white powdery coating on the leaves of the plant. To prevent powdery mildew, be sure to water your plants deeply and avoid overhead watering.

2. Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails can be a problem for perennial geraniums, especially during wet weather. To prevent these pests, try using a slug bait or copper tape around the base of your plants.

3. Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny pests that can cause yellowing and browning of the leaves on your plants. To prevent spider mites, be sure to keep your plants well-watered and avoid over-fertilizing.

Uses for Perennial Geraniums

Perennial geraniums have many uses in the garden. Some popular ways to use them include:

1. Borders and Edging

Perennial geraniums make great borders and edging plants, thanks to their low-growing habit and long blooming season.

2. Groundcovers

Some varieties of perennial geraniums, such as Geranium macrorrhizum, make excellent groundcovers, thanks to their ability to spread quickly and suppress weeds.

3. Containers and Hanging Baskets

Perennial geraniums can also be grown in containers and hanging baskets, making them a great choice for small gardens or balcony gardens.

Caring for Perennial Geraniums

Caring for perennial geraniums is relatively easy. Here are some tips to help you keep your plants healthy and thriving:

1. Deadhead Regularly

Deadheading, or removing spent blooms, can help encourage your plants to produce more flowers throughout the growing season.

2. Divide Every Few Years

Perennial geraniums benefit from being divided every few years to prevent overcrowding and promote healthy growth.

3. Prune in the Fall

Pruning your plants in the fall can help promote healthy growth and prevent disease.

4. Mulch in the Winter

Adding a layer of mulch around the base of your plants in the winter can help protect them from cold temperatures and frost.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the best time to plant perennial geraniums?

The best time to plant perennial geraniums is in the spring, after the last frost of the season.

2. How often should I water my perennial geraniums?

Perennial geraniums require regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Be sure to water them deeply once a week, rather than giving them frequent shallow waterings.

3. Can I grow perennial geraniums in containers?

Yes, perennial geraniums can be grown in containers and hanging baskets, making them a great choice for small gardens or balcony gardens.

4. How do I care for my perennial geraniums in the winter?

Adding a layer of mulch around the base of your plants in the winter can help protect them from cold temperatures and frost.

5. How can I prevent pests and diseases on my perennial geraniums?

To prevent pests and diseases on your perennial geraniums, be sure to keep them well-watered, avoid over-fertilizing, and remove any dead or diseased foliage promptly.

Perennial geraniums are beautiful, versatile, and easy to maintain. Whether you're looking for something to add color to your garden, or simply want a plant that's easy to care for, a perennial geranium variety may be just what you need. Be sure to follow the tips in this guide to help you grow healthy, beautiful plants that will thrive for years to come.


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