Probably, many housewives will be surprised to learn that the flower that adorns their window sill with its flowering corollas and is called "geranium" is actually pelargonium. The difference between these plants is quite significant, although they belong to the same family. How do they differ and what kind of care they require?
"Stork" and "crane"
To begin, remember the school biology course: the geranium family combines 5 genera and 800 plant species. It is not surprising that many members of this family are identified with each other. Confusion with geraniums and pelargonium arose as early as the 18th century, when the Dutch botanist Johannes Burman was not allowed to separate the two flowers into different genera, arguing that their fertilized pistils are very similar. Not for nothing, for their elongated shape, resembling a beak, they got their names: pelargos from Greek means "stork", and geranium means a crane. These plants are also similar:
- the arrangement of the leaves and their texture with thin short hairs;
- stem shape;
- pleasant aroma;
- love of light (only without exposure to direct sunlight);
- unpretentious care.
As for the difference between geranium and pelargonium, it is, first of all, their origin: “crane” came to us from the northern countries, and “stork” came from the southern. Therefore, frost-resistant guest can bloom even at a temperature of +11 degrees Celsius. It is genetic differences and explains the fact that these two flowers can not be crossed. Besides:
- Pelargonium grows on window sills, balconies, and geranium grows in gardens;
- the southerner needs warmth in the winter, and the northerner suffers frosts quite normally;
- Geranium flowers consist of a single 5 or 8 petals, which, as a rule, are not collected in inflorescences. And pelargonium blooms with a halo of irregularly shaped flowers - two large upper and three small lower ones.
Another interesting feature of plants is that there are no red geranium flowers, and pelargonium has no blue in the palette.
How to grow pelargonium?
If you want to decorate the house with potted flowers and fill the dwelling with a subtle pleasant aroma, breed pelargonium. Especially since you will not need much effort.
Temperature and lighting
"Stork" from the family Geranium loves warmth. Therefore, in winter, make sure that the temperature does not fall below +11 degrees Celsius. But in the summer you can take the flower to the balcony, as pelargonium hardly endures the heat. As for the lighting, it should be enough, otherwise the flowers will become faded and small. But there should not be an excess of light, otherwise the plant will simply wither.
Pelargonium greatly appreciates the free space. So you have to take care that the flower has no neighbors nearby. But it is better to choose a small pot: in tight containers, the plant feels more comfortable. But if the roots begin to look out, then you have missed the size of the pot. It is better to purchase a “dwelling” for a green pet from clay so that excess moisture can freely evaporate.
Watering the green "stork" should be plentiful, while avoiding overwetting. That is, in winter, the irrigation regime - once every 2-3 days, but in summer it is necessary to moisten the soil every day, during particularly hot periods - 2 times a day. Water should be poured in small portions so that it does not accumulate on the surface. But spraying pelargonium categorically does not like.
Pelargonium, like all geranium, loves a mixture of garden soil with sand and peat. At the bottom of the pot must be laid out a layer of drainage (expanded clay and sand). So you protect your flower from moisture overload. To the plant could fully develop, it must be fertilized. The feeding period of pelargonium - from April to September. Fertilizers will suit any complex type "Begonia".
Transplantation and reproduction
It is better to replant a flower in March, during the period when the plant does not bloom so actively. After changing the pot, the pelargonium stems are cut so that no more than 10 cm of soil looks out of the ground. At the same time, it is possible to prepare an escape for reproduction, cutting off flowers and buds from it. After that, it will remain to plant the cutting in the ground. You can also dilute the green pet and seed. But this is usually done for the breeding of new varieties, that is, practiced by professional growers.
How to grow geranium?
A garden plot where geranium grows always attracts the eyes of others. Bright, elegant flowers give a special chic and unique elegance, without requiring frequent watering: they are quite enough to moisten the soil 1-2 times a week. Consider the nuances of caring for this plant.
In principle, the "crane" grows in any soil. But if you want to enjoy a long period of flowering, then the earth should be loose and always ventilated. Before planting geraniums, the soil is fertilized with moss with peat and manure.
Temperature and lighting
A garden flower, like its indoor relative, loves light and does not tolerate direct sunlight. But the amplitude of the temperature regime in the "northern" guest is much greater. The plant can withstand even light frosts. The only condition - the geranium is cut for the winter. If the climatic conditions are too harsh, then the winter flowers can be covered with brushwood.
Planting and reproduction
Geranium is planted in spring or early autumn. Since the flower loves space, the distance between the stems should be about 30 cm. This gap allows the adult flower to grow to such an extent that weeds do not have to weed. Planting procedure is that any part of the geranium (rhizome, cutting, seeds) are planted in the ground. Consider only that if you quickly need a flowering adult plant, then it is advisable to plant a piece of rhizome.
The difference between geranium and pelargonium is very significant, because these relatives, not only came from different parts of the world, but also live in different places. From this change and the conditions of care for them. But in any case, you do not need to put a lot of effort to dissolve these beauties in your front garden or on the windowsill.