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The Plant Guide

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Geranium

Pelargonium crispum ‘Variegatum’

pel-ar-GO-nee-um KRIS-pum

This lemon-scented, shrubby, upright pelargonium has cream-margined leaves.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsP. crispum cultivars are good for topiary because of their small, dense foliage.

CareScented geraniums do not tolerate poor drainage. In a container, ensure drainage and adequate moisture by using a good potting mix that contains ingredients like peat moss, pasteurized compost, and perlite. Use a timed-released fertilizer in the soil or an all-purpose liquid fertilizer when you water. Pelargoniums like magnesium, and a teaspoon of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) added to each gallon of fertilizer solution every few waterings will adequately supply this nutrient. As with plants in the ground, place containers in the full sun. When temperatures get above 90°F pelargoniums appreciate some afternoon shade. Bring potted plants indoors before outdoor temperatures drop below 45°F, to avoid shocking them. Place them in a south-facing windowsill that gets at least four hours of direct sunlight a day.

PropagationSow seed at 70°F in late winter and early spring, or take softwood cuttings in spring, late summer, or early fall.

ProblemsThrips, spider mites, mealy bugs, caterpillars, gray mold, mildew, black leg, flower break virus, Xanthomonas blight, and edema are common problems.

  • Genus : Pelargonium
  • Plant Height : 1 to 3 feet
  • Zones : 10, 11
  • Uses : Containers
  • Bloom Time : Fall, Summer
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : Perennials
  • Flower Color : Pink
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Plant Width : Under 6 inches
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