Geranium


1 entry found.
Picture of Geranium Geranium
Common Name: Geranium, Potted Geranium
Botanical Name: Pelargonium X hortorum. (pel-ar-GON-e-um x hor-TOR-um)
Decorative Life: In a garden setting can last the entire season and beyond, the latter if weather permits.
Post Harvest Care:
  • Knowing which cultivars to grow for the intended markets is critical.
  • Water imbalances including too much water can cause small bumps to appear on foliage called oedema. There are both seed and cutting propagated cultivars, each with their own pros and cons.
Harvest Instructions: Plugs can be stored for 4 weeks in the dark (4 weeks in light) at 36F and subsequently grown into very acceptable plants and/or flowers. Irrigating with water containing very low levels of chlorine (2-8 ppm) can cause significant growth reductions with some cultivars.
Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Geraniaceae or geranium family, its only common relatives are other Pelargonium species and Geranium (cranesbill) species, of which there are many.
  • Native to South Africa.
Personality:
  • One main difference separating the genus Pelargonium from the genus Geranium is that the former has flowers with spurs while the latter have no spurs.
  • Flowers single or double in rounded clusters at stem ends.
  • Stems succulent, leaves kidney-shaped, velvety, often multicolored.
  • While fragrant flowers in this species are very rare, leaf and stem tissue have characteristic odors. Leaves of other species are very fragrant such as P. crispum called Lemon Geranium.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Mostly red, white, pink, salmon or violet, all of various shades and/or intensities.
Storage Specifics: Minimize dark storage, regardless of temperature, as flower fall often results. The antioxidant morin was shown to delay leaf and flower senescence when used as a postharvest dip or spray, especially just prior to shipping or storage (Meir et al. 1994).
Tidbits:
  • Common "geraniums" are mostly in the genus Pelargonium whereas there is a genus called Geranium that contains many wild species.
  • Some favorite cultivars and their respective flower colors include 'Sparkler Red' (red with white stripes) and 'Peaches' as well as the Pinto (red, white, rose, salmon, violet), Ringo, Orbit, Patriot, Designer and Rocky Mountain series, each having a wide range of colors.
  • From the Greek "pelargos" (stork) named for the beak of the fruit looking like that of a stork. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology list this species as an allergy-safe pollen producing plant.
  • Often associated with Memorial Day and their placement in cemeteries to remember those who have passed on before us.
  • There is a very large group of geraniums that are grouped together and called Pelargonium cultivars. They are mostly smaller flowered, have scented leaves and are of a wide range of habit and foliage. Some of the "scented" geraniums fit this cultivar group while others are specific species.
Recent Findings: Studying leaf Botrytis, Uchneat et al. (1999) noted that genotypes introduced to the commercial markets since 1990 in general have greater susceptibility to this disease than older ones introduced earlier. In another study, Behe et al (1999) determined that flower color was the most important consumer consideration in the purchase of this species followed by leaf variegation and finally price.