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here in this guide, we will consider Trailing Gerauiums -how to grow trailing geraniums so if you are a fan of trailing geraniums you will get all information about Trailing Geraniums here.
Pelargonium peltatum is a species of Pelargonium.
Ivy leaf geraniums, which grow quickly and are brilliantly colored, take center stage in any hanging basket arrangement.
Pelargonium peltatum, a member of the Geraniaceae family, is also known as ivy leaf, trailing, or cascading geranium.
By 1704, P. peltatum, a perennial herb native to South Africa, had been introduced to the cool climates of Holland and England.
Only winter hardy in Zones 9-11, was quickly adopted as an annual due to their rapid growth and ease of propagation, and they are still used as such today.
Plants with prolific growth patterns can stretch up to six feet wide and blossom in cascades of bright color all summer long.
Flowers bloom in colors of apricot, burgundy, lavender, orange, pink, purple, red, and white, with bright green, five-lobed leaves that resemble ivy.
Some kinds have variegated foliage with flowers that bloom in shades of apricot, burgundy, lavender, orange, pink, purple, red, and white.
They make a stunning addition to Mediterranean gardens, beds, and borders, window boxes, hanging baskets, planters, containers, and may even be used as a ground cover in warm climates, thanks to their climbing, creeping, trailing, and spreading growth patterns.
The flower heads are grouped in umbel-shaped clusters called “inflorescence,” which are looser in shape and density than zonal variations.
Pelargonium is derived from the Greek word Pelargos, which means “stork.” The set fruit, like those of its close relatives, the garden geranium and the cranesbill geranium, resembles a stork’s beak.
VARIETIES OF GROWTH HABITS
Over 75 commercial varieties of ivy geraniums are available in a variety of growth habits, hues, and plain or variegated foliage for the home garden.
Some types have been bred to endure high temperatures, while others are “self-cleaning,” which means they don’t require deadheading.
The four primary types to be aware of are as follows:
Ivies are known for their big double or semi-double flowers and thick, meaty foliage.
The flowers are attractive, but they aren’t as plentiful as the cascade variety.
Numerous solitary flowers with small green or variegated foliage characterize the cascade or balcony varieties.
The cascades have more branches and are more compact than typical varieties.
Mini cascades and true dwarf varieties have a tighter, more compact growth habit than cascades.
TRUE DWARF AND MINIATURE
Mini cascades and true dwarf varieties have a tighter, more compact growth habit than cascades.
They also have flowers that are slightly smaller and less abundant.
HYBRIDS OF IVY AND ZONES
The flowers and leaves of zonal variants have been joined with the vining habit of ivies to create ivy-zonal hybrids.
Semi-double flowers are comparable in number to traditional and zonal types.
In the spring and summer, you can buy ivy geraniums at your local garden center, or you can buy seeds and stock them online.
Burpee’s bundle of ten mixed-color, heat-tolerant seeds, available on Amazon or directly from Burpee.com, is a good choice.
BEGINNING WITH SEEDS
Seeds, transplants, and cuttings can all be used to grow geraniums.
They need to be started indoors early, in mid-to-late January, because they develop slowly from seed.
The steps are as follows:
1. Dampen a few paper towels, then sprinkle seeds across half of the area. Fold the remaining half over the seeds.
2. Place the damp, folded towels in a zip-top bag and seal them to keep the moisture in. Seeds will begin to germinate in 24 to 48 hours.
3. Fill clean, tiny pots or trays to about 1 inch from the top with a mild beginning soil mix.
We enjoy the organic and environmentally friendly coconut fiber wafers that expand with water, such as these from Window Gardens, which make 12 quarts of soil and are available on Amazon.
4. Plant seeds and cover with a 1/4-inch layer of soil.
5. Using a spray bottle, mist the top of the soil and place containers in a saucer of water to absorb water from the bottom.
6. Provide the seedlings with strong light and consistent temperatures of at least 60°F, as well as moist but not wet water levels.
7. Transplant to larger containers or plant in the garden once plants reach a height of 3-5 inches.
It will take 12-16 weeks from the time the seeds are planted to the time the flowers blossom. Starting new plants from stem cuttings is a faster technique of propagation.
EASY PROPAGATION USING STEM CUTTINGS
Ivy geraniums, like all pelargoniums, are one of the easiest plants to propagate from cuttings. These can be shot in the late fall or just before the first frosts arrive in your area.
Here are some helpful hints for growing strong, healthy new plants:
1. Select a mature, healthy plant from which to collect cuttings.
2. Cut numerous 4-5-inch-long cuttings right above a robust set of healthy leaves with a sharp, sterilized knife.
3. Remove all blooms, buds, and remaining leaves from the stem except the top 2-3 leaves.
4. Set the cuttings aside for a couple of hours, or until the cut end begins to produce a callus, out of direct sunlight.
5. Fill tiny containers with mild potting soil up to 1 inch from the top.
6. Place the pots in a saucer or tray filled with lukewarm water and allow the soil to sip from the bottom until it feels damp but not wet.
7. Drain the surplus water from the containers and discard it.
8. Soak the cut tips in water and, if desired, dip them in powdered rooting hormone.
9. Plant the cuttings 1-3 inches deep in the soil and lightly firm the earth around each stem.
10. For 2-3 weeks, place your pots in a bright, out-of-direct-sunlight position to encourage roots to form. Maintain an even, but not wet, moisture level in the soil.
11. A gentle tug on the stem and the resulting resistance will tell you whether roots have grown after 2-3 weeks.
12. Once the cuttings have grown roots, transport them to a sunny position and keep them moist at all times.
13. After the risk of frost has passed, transplant to permanent containers or into the garden.
If you didn’t get any cuttings in the fall, you can get some from overwintered plants when the weather warms up.
CULTIVATION AND MAINTENANCE
Plants of the genus P. peltatum grow in naturally protected places in South Africa, with moderate light exposure and temperature ranges.
For South Africa, this is moderate, but for much of North America, it indicates a full sun location. However, afternoon shade is recommended for those areas that are particularly hot.
Alternatively, you may try some of the newer heat-tolerant cultivars, such as the Cascade and Alpine series, which are good choices in hotter climates.
For the optimum bloom production, they want the following conditions:
• Plant in moderately fertile soil amended with organic material such as well-rotted manure, worm castings, or mature compost with a sprinkle of bone meal mixed in if temps remain below 80°F, and give partial afternoon shade if temperatures usually reach higher.
• Ensure proper drainage in all garden beds, borders, and containers.
As part of their maintenance, they use a 10-10-10 fertilizer.
• Although many types are now self-cleaning, regular deadheading maintains a steady supply of bloom buds.
• Water in the morning if at all possible, and avoid watering in the late afternoon or evening.
• Regular deadheading maintains a continual supply of flower buds, though many kinds are now self-cleaning.
• Use an all-purpose, slow-release fertilizer with a 10-10-10 mix as part of their maintenance.
OVERWINTERING IN PREPARATION FOR SPRING STOCK
There are a few options for overwintering pelargoniums.
One option is to bring them inside as houseplants for the winter and place them on a bright but cold windowsill.
• Bring plants inside soon before the first frost, cut to 1/3 their original size, and reduce watering until spring arrives.
• Trim another third of the growth in late winter and place in a warm, sunny spot.
• Give a diluted drink (1/3 strength) of an all-purpose liquid fertilizer like 10-10-10 as new growth appears.
• When the weather warms up, transplant to the garden.
Another approach is to shelter containers before the first frost and let them go dormant over the winter.
• Trim plants to a 1/3 of their original size.
• Store the containers in a cool, dark corner of the basement, root cellar, garage, or any other frost-free area.
• Reduce, but do not fully eliminate irrigation. Until the conclusion of the winter, give plants little sips of water on a monthly basis.
• As the days grow longer, reduce another third of their growth and relocate pots to a bright, cool place while continuing to shield them from frost.
• Increase watering to once weekly and use a slow-release all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer. This 33-pound bag of Greenview fertilizer, available on Amazon, is a wonderful choice.
• As soon as spring begins, relocate to a sunny spot in the garden.
We prefer dormant overwintering to houseplants since it results in the most strong bloom set the following growing season.
PESTS AND ISSUES
Pests and difficulties with ivy geraniums are uncommon, however there are a few things to keep an eye out for:
Water blisters or lumps occur on leaf surfaces, then turn brown and corky when the cells explode. Edema is a physiological, non-infectious condition.
Edema is a condition that arises when the soil is overly wet and the amount of moisture taken in exceeds the amount consumed in transpiration.
Edema can be caused by overwatering, so let the soil dry out to a depth of two inches before watering again.
Edema can also be caused by cool, humid, damp, or rainy weather.
If this is the case, symptoms will normally go away once the weather warms up and becomes drier.
ROT OF THE STEM AND ROOTS
Excessively damp soil from overwatering or severe weather can also promote stem and root rot.
Remove any diseased stems and cut back on watering.
Make sure you have enough drainage material in your containers and Add one part of sand to the planting mix for in-ground plantings.
APHIDS AND WHITEFLIES
These tiny bugs love to eat leaves and stems, and they’re especially troublesome when plants are brought indoors to overwinter.
Give your plants a good, hard spray with a strong stream of water as the first line of defense. Some leaves and any spent blooms will be knocked off, but this is fine if you’re getting your plants ready to go dormant.
(Skip through to the following choice if keeping the beauty of your plants is a concern early in the season.)
Allow your plants to dry out for a few days (so they don’t drip all over the place!) before checking to see if the problem has been remedied.
If not, or if you want to speed up the process, you can use a natural pesticide prepared by mixing a few drops of a mild dish liquid like Dawn with a spray bottle of water and spraying all sections of the plant.
Spray affected plants, paying special attention to the undersides of leaves and long stems.
In a few days, check for signs of pest infestation again, especially before bringing your plants indoors.
STEMS THAT ARE BRITTLE
Stems can be brittle and break easily due to their delightfully expanding development.
These plants may struggle if they are exposed to hot temperatures for an extended period of time. Flower production might decrease and stall during periods of exceptionally hot summer weather.
For places with high heat, provide some midday shade or choose some of the more heat-tolerant types.
THE QUEEN OF THE CONTAINERS
Ivy geraniums are excellent performers for container plantings because of their trailing habit, ease of care and propagation, rapid growth, and quantity of flowers throughout the season.