Parisian geranium

Parisian geranium

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Characteristics and healing properties of Pelargonium

This kind of plant belongs to the Geraniaceae family, order geraniales, magnoliopsida class, magnoliophyta division, eukaryota domain (this is the scientific classification). He is originally from South Africa. The Parisian geranium It is to be considered the most popular of the so-called balcony flowers, for its excellent resistance to cold and heat, but also for its appearance, which is very pleasant due to the obvious decorative qualities, which made it ideal for giving life to true and its own multicolored waterfalls on terraces or in garden planters of all shapes and sizes. The pelargone however does not survive temperatures lower than - 4 or - 5 degrees and consequently, at the end of the warm season, it must be pruned and placed in an environment with a temperature higher than this limit threshold.

Reproduction and colors of the geranium

It reproduces easily, multiplying by cuttings, that is to say simply planting a twig in the soil, to make it root. It has hanging stems and green but hard, almost woody branches, and glossy and fleshy peltate leaves, which may also have reddish or brownish streaks, which must not arouse the grower's concern. Generally it reaches the length of one meter and a half. The color of the leaves is bright green, with a rounded shape. Different colors of pentapetal flowers of Parisian geraniums that nature offers us: white, pink, red and even purple. They appear at the apex of the axillary stems. They can be simple, double or semi-double. The flowering period begins in April - May and lasts until late autumn (generally until October).

Properties of geranium

The name geranium derives from the Greek geranos. In Greek it means crane and refers to the shape of the head of this swamp bird. In aromatherapy the properties of geranium are used to rebalance the nervous system (ie as an antidepressant), as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic or astringent. The functions of stimulator of the lymphatic system and of tonic for the liver and for kidney functions are also appreciable. It can also be used to treat blisters, burns, acne, eczema, neuralgia and sore throat.
From an economic point of view these plants are a real bargain, given that they are available to everyone. If you do not have the possibility to buy them, you can in fact proceed with the breeding, which consists in cutting the branch of a friend's geranium to plant it in the desired jar, taking care to eliminate the flowers (even those that have not bloomed) and the lower leaves. . You must then exert some pressure on the edges around the cutting. The most favorable period for this operation is in the months of March or April.

The importance of a suitable location for the balanced development of the plant

For their characteristic hanging posture, i Parisian geraniums they are perfect to be placed in vases and boxes to hang on the balconies of houses, a habit very common in central Europe, so that the branches can descend freely downwards, adorning the building just like ivy. The exposure must be in full sun or in partial shade. When placed in places without light, the leaves turn yellow quickly.
The Parisian geraniums bear the wind badly, which disturbs not a little growth. Careful care of the plant involves the removal of withered leaves, which must be removed from the vessel promptly, since they have the effect of inhibiting the formation of geranium seeds. If placed in a shadow-only area, these plants bloom little, but develop many leaves (you can also notice the thinning of the stem) and therefore are able to produce different effects depending on their location in the living context.
If your house is in a very sunny position, the plants should be placed on the south-east side, in order to avoid drying. It is advisable to periodically stir the earth in the vessels, to prevent the formation of the characteristic crusts, which prevent both the absorption of the indispensable nourishment-water, and the correct respiration of the plant's roots. For this simple operation you can use a shovel or a small rake: it may seem a paradox, but this plant suffers more due to the stagnation of water than to its lack. Also the residual water in the saucer must therefore be promptly eliminated, in case there are drainage problems. During the summer the plant must be observed carefully, because in case of excessive heat prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause imbalances. Repotting and changing the soil is recommended in the month of May.

Advice for home cultivation of the Parisian geranium

The best land to plant is composed of river sand, woodland and peat. The boxes in which the earth is to be placed must have a depth of at least 20-25 cm. On the bottom must be put draining material, ie shards or pebbles. The individual seedlings should be placed at a minimum distance of 20 cm from each other, so that the geraniums can have the space necessary to develop at their best. These plants must be watered frequently, almost every day, early in the morning or in the evening. However, do not overdo the amount of water poured. It should be noted that the watering must take into account the climatic conditions. Every 20 days it is advisable to carry out the fertilization activity, which consists in dissolving specific fertilizers that must be enriched with slow-release nutrient or granular microelements.

Parisian geranium: Diseases of Parisian geraniums

Damage to the plant can result from the presence of insects, aphids or cochineals, which require the use of specific pesticides. In the case of mushrooms, copper and sulfur must be used. Damage to the aerial parts of the Parisian geranium can derive from the presence of larvae of Mamestra brassicae, Plusia Gamma, Pyrausta nubilalis and from the caterpillars of Cacyreus marshalli. The roots can instead be attacked by the larvae of Melolontha, Gryllotalpa and Agriotes lineatus. Attention also to the licenide of geraniums, whose larvae - particularly aggressive - dig tunnels inside the stems to reach the stems, which subsequently necrotize, thus causing the rapid death of the attacked plant. The current phenomenon is noticeable because the stems turn black. In this case you can still try to save the geranium by cutting it off at the base and totally changing the haunted soil. The gray mold deriving from Botrytis cinerea is also dangerous, which manifests itself with the presence of dark spots on the stems and leaves, to the point of causing the death of the plant. The eventual bacterial blackening of the stem is caused by Xanthomonas pelargonii. In theory, when watering the Parisian geraniums, care should be taken not to wet the leaves, so as not to weaken or damage them. According to some, however, occasional washing of the same are appropriate, since they are useful for removing the eggs that some parasites can deposit on the leaves. It is important to point out that in autumn and winter the watering must be suspended. In fact, the Parisian geranium enters the natural rest period. When the flowers begin to dry it is advisable to trim them, proceeding to cut them until the base of the floriferous branch.