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The Trouble With Geraniums


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According to Rhode Island University, geraniums are one of the most reliable ornamental plants in home landscapes. Despite their low maintenance growing requirements and successful yearly blooms, geraniums can contract fungal infections, acquire pest problems and succumb to winter damage. Signs of geranium problems consist of reduced flower production, leaf spots and wilted stems. It is essential to diagnose your geranium’s problems to offer the best in care to get your flowers back on track.

Difficulty:
Moderate

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Bypass shears
  • Shovel
  • Pesticide
    1. Cut fading flower stalks during the wet season to prevent your geranium from contracting a bacterial infection such as botrytis. Make 45-degree downward cuts near the main stem to remove entire stalks. Pick up geranium debris underneath the plant.
    2. Plant your geraniums at the same depth as they were planted in their nursery container. Geraniums planted deeper than they were in their container can die from stem rot. Space your geraniums 12 inches apart from each other to increase sunlight and air circulation. Lack of air circulation promotes fungal diseases.
    3. Remove plants that display signs of bacterial blight from the yard by digging them up and throwing them away. Signs of bacterial blight include wilting leaves during temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
    4. Transfer your geraniums indoors during the winter and do not place them outside until the threat of frost has passed. Geraniums that receive winter damage exhibit red foliage and produce few blossoms. May is the best time for setting your geraniums outdoors.
    5. Monitor your geraniums for pests such as bollworm, cabbage looper, thrips, spider mites, mealy bugs and cutworms. Remove these bugs by hand or spray the geranium with a pesticide.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plant your geraniums in well-draining soil or in containers if your lawn consists of clay soil.

  • Avoid getting any fertilizer on the foliage or blossoms of geraniums. Wash off the areas that came into contact with fertilizer with water immediately.

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