I saw her in the greenhouse of one of the local agricultural firms and immediately fell in love with her. True, I did not immediately understand that it was a geranium: none of its features coincided with the morphological characteristics of the genus. And all because it was not an ordinary geranium, but royal pelargonium.
The form of the plant of royal pelargonium differs from the structure of ordinary geranium. Pelargonium royal has a wide bush, and the peduncles are not extended upwards, but are on the same level with the shoots. And the flowers themselves are large, up to 10-15 cm in diameter. In appearance, they rather resemble Pansies, because on the upper larger petals of pelargonium there are dark spots.
During flowering, the pelargonium bush is densely covered with open buds and looks like a lush bright ball. Let's talk in detail about caring for royal pelargonium.
Royal Pelargonium Care
Among the huge variety of pelargoniums, this is a real "aristocrat" - royal pelargonium (Regal Pelargonium)... For large flowers it is also called: large-flowered pelargonium (Pelargonium grandiflorum). It differs from other varieties of indoor geranium (pelargonium) primarily in its large flowers. It is also devoid of the characteristic aroma of geraniums, which not everyone likes. And most importantly, unlike its "relatives", royal pelargonium is capricious and whimsical at home.
Breeders have developed many varieties of royal pelargonium over the past decades. They differ in the shape, size and color of the flowers. For example, the flower that I acquired then in the greenhouse has pale pink petals with small dark spots. This is Pink Mikado pelargonium. But its other varieties are also beautiful: Aristo Schoko (pale red with light brown spots), Barkarole (variegated with a silver edging), Imperial (white-pink). And how gorgeous are the dark royal pelargoniums: Black Berry and Black Butterfly.
In a word, today the royal pelargonium flower is represented by a mass of shades: from white to inky purple. And the shape of the flowers is most often not simple, but terry, and the petals of some varieties are wavy or corrugated.
The leaves of the royal pelargonium are serrated, rough, rather large. Although among the new varieties there are varieties with small leaves and small flowers, the shape of the leaves of the royal pelargonium remains unimzied.
Light and temperature
I brought my beauty of royal blood home in bloom and did not dare to transplant right away. I wanted to admire. I put an ugly temporary flowerpot in a spacious, elegant planter (for the queen, and the design should be appropriate) and put it on a stand near the window, where the diffused sunlight fell on it, and it was warm all the time.
After the pelargonium faded, I transplanted it. I used the same soil as for other types of geranium: a well-drained, light, slightly acidic substrate for flowering plants.
It's a pity, but royal pelargonium blooms for a very short time. April to August approximately. In addition, in order for it to bloom at all (and for many amateurs, it does not want to release buds in any way), it needs to be kept cool for several months. The flowers of royal pelargonium generally require a temperature of 10-15 degrees during the dormant period, so try to find the coolest place in the apartment for it in autumn and winter.
In summer, when royal pelargonium is in bloom, it needs warmth. But by no means the heat! The leaves may dry out from the heat, but the buds will not open. When growing royal pelargonium, diseases can appear - insect pests (aphids or whiteflies) or spots from sunburn appear on the leaves.
In the warm season, royal pelargonium can be planted in open ground (the cool night will only contribute to flowering). Anyway, that's exactly what I do. But royal pelargonium is afraid of rain and wind - do not forget about its delicacy. Place it on a veranda or terrace, sheltered from the wind. In the conditions of the apartment, an ideal place for the summer period is a closed balcony.
And in order for the royal pelargonium to bloom and bush, you need to pinch the upper shoots in advance (from February-March to April).
Watering and fertilizing
The beauty of the royal pelargonium is not against abundant watering during flowering. You can water directly into the ground. But moisture stagnation or, on the contrary, drying out of the earthy coma should not be allowed. Leaves and buds will immediately droop and may begin to crumble. With waterlogging, root rot is possible. I water royal pelargonium as the soil dries up.
Like any geranium at home, royal pelargonium will grow and bloom better if fed on time. This should be done only in spring and summer, but not during the dormant period. For feeding, I use liquid fertilizers with a high potassium content (for flowers) and trace elements.
Reproduction of pelargonium
Of course, such a beautiful flower as pelargonium, I want to multiply. For example, to share with your friends. Although troublesome, it is quite possible. The best breeding method is grafting royal pelargonium... The favorable period for this is August-September. Take the apical cutting of a royal pelargonium plant with 2-3 internodes, dry it a little (1-2 hours) and immediately plant it in a moist substrate (a mixture of peat and sand).
Believe my experience: in no case should you put cuttings of royal pelargonium for germination in water - they will rot or simply will not take root. And the young sprout also needs to be watered sparingly.
I planted the rooted sprout in permanent pots filled with a drainage mixture from below and a light substrate to the top. The first year of the royal pelargonium is only settling in its palace - builds up the root system and expels shoots. But already in the second year, truly royal flowers will bloom.
We advise you to read how to grow ampelous pelargonium.
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Royal pelargonium care and reproduction at homeFlowers
Royal Pelargonium care and reproduction at home is quite difficult. Florists need to make a lot of effort to ensure that the royal geranium grows and blooms. Royal pelargonium, unlike other varieties of geraniums, has a weak aroma. The flower does not reach a height higher than 50 cm.
Larger inflorescences have a variety of colors. There are pink, burgundy, white, purple and even almost black geraniums.
On some varieties, patterns in the form of veins and lines may be present. Leaves are double or even. Pelargonium flowers have umbellate inflorescences, covering the entire flower. Geranium blooms in late March and early April. And it ends blooming in September.
The royal pelargonium comes from Africa, its southern part. Royal geranium was bred by scientists by crossing.
Despite the fact that pelargonium is a perennial plant, in winter in the middle lane it freezes out, therefore there are subtleties in its cultivation.
In order for pelargonium to bloom all summer, it needs to create the appropriate conditions. Choose a soil with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction, its composition must be necessarily light, the presence of peat and river sand has a beneficial effect on the plant. In the fall, when you dig up the soil, add humus and mineral fertilizers.
Pelargonium can grow in the garden, but it is better for it to winter at home.
Pelargonium is good for watering, so it should be watered moderately and the soil should not dry out. Although drought can tolerate normally.
But it is better not to plant it in the open sun either: the optimal temperature for growth and development in pelargonium is + 15 ° C, therefore the semi-sunny side is considered the best, or it will still have to be shaded.
Depending on the species, pelargonium has a number of individual characteristics, but the principle of planting and care is by and large the same. To root green cuttings in the garden, you need to plant them in a mixture of peat and river sand. But you can also root it at home using perlite.
How to grow royal pelargonium at home?
Pelargonium, more often called geranium, is a small bush with beautiful carved leaves and bright inflorescences. An unpretentious houseplant in the cold season grows wonderfully on the windowsill, and with the onset of summer it migrates to the veranda or garden.
Pelargonium royal, unlike other representatives of this genus, requires special growing conditions. For the flowering of this plant, lighting, soil moisture in the pot, and air temperature are important.
And only after fulfilling all the whims of the beautiful "queen", it will be possible for a short time to admire the flowers of amazing sizes and amazing beauty.
Features of Royal Pelargonium
The birthplace of royal pelargonium (Pelargonium Regal) is South America, so the plant loves a hot climate with high humidity. Indoor pelargonium is a bushy plant, reaching from 30 to 60 cm in height, and differs from other geranium species in large inflorescences and unusual folded leaves.
Large flowers, like umbrellas, are collected in spheres. The size of one flower can reach 7 cm, so sometimes this type of geranium is called large-flowered (Pelargonium grandiflorum). With proper care, the houseplant blooms from early April to late August. Depending on the variety, the flowers can be simple and double or have a wide variety of colors - from white to dark purple. Plants with multicolored petals look very attractive.
The leaves of the royal pelargonium, as well as the flowers, are rather large, rough to the touch, with a curly jagged edge. The plant does not exude the specific smell inherent in ordinary geraniums.
Unlike the usual geranium, which does not require special attention from a grower, royal pelargonium is extremely whimsical and capricious. To provide this plant with comfortable conditions and ultimately enjoy the view of beautiful flowers, you need to try hard: choose the right place, water and feed on time.
Large-flowered geranium loves a lot of sun and light, so the lightest windows are assigned to it indoors. If the flower is left in a shaded place, its stems will stretch out and become bare, the intensity of flowering will decrease, and the already set buds will wither and fall off. With all its love for warmth, pelargonium does not tolerate heat at all, therefore, on hot summer days, the plant must be shaded and protected from burns.
Royal pelargonium should not be planted in a garden or on an open veranda, as the plant is very afraid of drafts and cold winds. Under natural conditions, large-flowered geraniums will not bloom or even die, therefore this beautiful plant is grown exclusively in residential premises or on closed loggias and verandas.
In the warm season, royal pelargonium requires abundant watering and does not tolerate the drying of the surface layer of the soil in a pot. Watering can be done directly into the ground, but at the same time, strong waterlogging of the soil should not be allowed, since root decay is possible.
If the air in the room is too dry, geraniums can be sprayed with warm water, and care must be taken that the wet parts of the plant are not exposed to direct sunlight.
Like any home-grown geranium, royal pelargonium loves to be fed occasionally. As a top dressing, you can use ready-made complex fertilizers for flowers with a high content of potassium and useful trace elements. It is better to feed the plant in summer and spring, during the period of active growth and flowering. To prolong flowering, it is necessary to remove wilted peduncles in a timely manner.
During the summer heat, aphids or other harmful insects can attack the plant, so you need to periodically examine the leaves and stems in order to come to the aid of your pet in time.
How to care for royal geraniums in winter?
With the onset of autumn, the flowering of royal pelargonium ends. Now the plant must rest and regain its strength in order to please the grower with beautiful flowers again next year. It is necessary to take care of the plant in winter in a completely different way than in summer.
Geraniums are placed in a cool place with good lighting. The optimum air temperature for winter storage of pelargonium is + 15 ° С. Watering should be sharply reduced, the soil should be moistened just enough so that the plant does not dry out at all. All feeding stops.
Before the onset of the sleepy period, it is recommended to remove the remaining buds, flowers and cut off the shoots by 1/3. Such treatment of the plant stimulates the formation of flower buds, and the lush flowering of pelargonium after the winter rest will be ensured.
All varieties of geraniums quickly build up both the aerial part and the root system, so plants sometimes need a transplant. Usually this houseplant is transplanted once every two years.
If the clod of earth taken out of the pot with the plant is completely penetrated with roots, the pelargonium must be transplanted.
For royal geraniums to bloom, it is very important to choose the right pot size and potting mix. Some growers mistakenly believe that it is better to take a large container in order not to transplant the plant so often. This opinion is erroneous, since geranium primarily seeks to strengthen its root system and continues to grow it as long as there is free space, forgetting about flowering.
At the bottom of the pot, it is necessary to pour fine gravel or expanded clay, which acts as a drainage, since pelargonium does not tolerate stagnant water. The soil should be loose, breathable and retain moisture. It is best to use a mixture prepared from the following ingredients, taken in equal proportions, as filling the pot for growing royal pelargonium:
- disinfected garden soil
During transplantation, thick shoots are pruned and the roots are shortened in half. If an old pot is used for transplanting a flower, it must first be disinfected with bleach.
One of the reasons that royal pelargonium does not bloom may be incorrect or untimely pruning of the plant. The buds form at the top of the shoots, so pinching or cutting off shoots that are too long is enough to increase the number of buds. It is better to do this in July or August.
The formation of the crown of the plant will allow you to get lush flowering in the next season and at the same time give the bush a beautiful regular shape. Cuttings of royal pelargonium obtained by cutting off the tops can be used for reproduction.
You need to cut the plant gradually, trying to injure it as little as possible. After completing this operation, pelargonium should be fed.
All varieties of royal pelargonium are propagated using cuttings, which root best during the warmer months, in spring and summer. Seed propagation is used only by breeders to obtain new plant varieties.
To obtain a cutting, you need to choose a strong shoot with at least two pairs of leaves and cut it off with a sharp knife or blade half a centimeter below the node. All leaves, except for the top three, must be removed, and the place of the cut must be covered with crushed charcoal and left to dry for a day.
You can prepare cuttings in another way. Treat the cut site with "Kornevin" and plant in a small container filled with a moistened mixture of sand, leafy earth and peat. The soil substrate can be replaced with peat tablets, having previously moistened them with water.
Plantings are watered with "Fitosporin" to protect young plants from decay, and for 3 days they are placed under the covering material. The optimum temperature for fast rooting of cuttings is + 23 ° C.
If all of the above conditions are met, the rooting of cuttings takes from 8 to 12 weeks, after which the seedlings are placed in a permanent place. In order for the bush to immediately start branching, pinch off the top of the main shoot above the third pair of leaves. The first flowers on young plants will appear next spring.
Royal Pelargonium varieties
The genus Pelargonium has about 280 different species, the most popular of which is the king geranium. This plant is dearly loved by all flower growers in the world, and therefore more and more new varieties with amazing color of flowers constantly appear. Terry pelargoniums with a wide spherical shape of peduncles are more common.
Here are some of the more popular varieties.
- Pink Mikado. A compact bush with rich dark green leaves and a fluffy stem topped with beautiful pastel flowers. Pale pink or salmon petals have a dark spot in the center, inherent only in royal pelargonium.
- Aristo Schoko. This variety of royal geranium is distinguished by a rich bright red color of the petals with a burgundy oval spot in the middle.
- Barkarole. The inimitable exotic plant species of this variety provides a variegated color of petals bordered with a silvery stripe. Inflorescences can be yellow, orange, white and pink.
- Imperial. The classic version of royal pelargonium is a compact plant with delicate milky petals adorned with rich pink spots in the center.
What problems are possible when growing geraniums?
Even with proper care, growing royal pelargonium can cause some problems.
- Rotting legs. Decay of the plant's legs most often occurs due to over-watering. If this trouble happens, the flower will have to be removed, and together with the soil, since decay products may remain in it.
- Leaves turn yellow. If the leaves of the pelargonium begin to turn yellow and dry around the edges, it means that the plant does not have enough moisture, light or space in the pot.
- Leaves wither. Evidence that the soil is waterlogged.
You should not propagate the plant if it is sick or affected by harmful insects, since all problems will quickly go to cuttings.
Royal Pelargonium reproduces well and does not create any particular problems for the grower if he observes the established rules for caring for this crop. In order for the flower to please the eye, it is necessary to provide the plant with drainage and good lighting, water it in a timely manner and not overmoisten the soil, protect it from drafts and direct sunlight.
How to propagate?
Cutting is an artificial method of vegetative propagation of plants, in which parts separated from the mother plant are used - cuttings. A stalk is a specially separated part of a plant (shoot).
The tops obtained as a result of cutting off the faded pelargonium are used as cuttings. An important condition: the stalk must have 2 - 3 internodes, its total length is from 8 to 20 cm.
It is not recommended that the selected shoot contains more than 5 - 6 leaves, as they will take up some of the nutrients and moisture, which will negatively affect the rooting process. It is better to remove the lower leaves from the cutting completely, and cut the upper ones in half.
The shoot is cut from the mother plant with a sharp knife just below the node. and at a slight angle. The cut can be treated with charcoal. It is imperative that the cutting should be slightly dried before rooting, that is, leave it indoors or outdoors for 2 to 8 hours (but not in direct sunlight).
It is necessary to root royal pelargonium immediately into the ground. If the stalk is immersed in a container of water, then with a 100% guarantee it will rot and, accordingly, die.
Before planting the cutting in the ground, you can process its lower tip. (it is cut at an angle) with any stimulant of root formation ("Kornevin", "Heteroauxin", "Epin - Extra", etc.).
We suggest watching a video on how to propagate royal pelargonium by cuttings:
The stalk is buried in a moistened substrate by 2 - 2.5 cm, which is tightly pressed around the plant in order to avoid the presence of air bubbles, which negatively affect the process of root formation.
Pelargonium does not like excess moisture, therefore it is undesirable to install a "greenhouse": it is enough to place the container in a warm (+ 20C - + 25C), moderately lit place, but without direct sunlight falling on the future plant. Shelter (plastic bag or glass jar) can only be used as a last resort: if the leaves have turned yellow or wilted.
Shoots should be watered regularly, but in moderation. Spraying should not be done. After about 1 to 2 months, the cutting will take root. A sign of this is the appearance of young leaves and the relative growth of the shoot.
From the video you will learn how to properly root cuttings of royal pelargonium:
By dividing the bush
Reproduction of royal pelargonium by dividing the bush occurs during plant transplantation.
- After removing the plant from the old pot, you must carefully examine its root system, all rotten or dried elements must be removed.
- Next, you should separate a part of the pelargonium with a sufficient number of shoots and viable roots, place it in a pot in the center, previously prepared for planting (drainage, substrate), fill the resulting voids with soil and crush it around the plant with your hands.
- After planting, the plant should be watered abundantly enough, and then moderately, otherwise the root system or stems may rot.
When propagated by seeds, the traits of the parent plant may not be preserved.
- Royal Pelargonium Seeds can be collected with your own hands, or can be purchased at any specialized store. But in any case, they are processed: they are soaked in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for 4 hours, and then they are rubbed between sheets of sandpaper, since their shell is very hard.
- Loose soil (peat and sand) with humus is poured into a shallow container, seeds are placed on its moistened surface, which are sprinkled with a thin layer of substrate.
- The container is placed in a "greenhouse" (a bag or a larger container with a tight-fitting lid). The first shoots will appear in 2 - 3 weeks.
- Systematically irrigate the soil surface and ventilate the seedlings to avoid rotting.
Tsar's Pelargonium is perhaps the most beautiful and capricious to care for among all members of the family. Violation of the conditions of detention can lead to stretching of internodes. From this, the plant becomes less decorative and weaker. Most often, the reason lies in a lack of lighting and a lack of minerals.
The reason for the yellowing of the leaf edge is insufficient soil moisture. Waterlogging can lead to a general lethargy of the bush and yellowing of the entire leaf plate, as well as to rot, damage by bacteria and fungi.
Many factors affect flowering as well. Large-flowered pelargonium does not like frequent transplants. It should not be disturbed and transplanted more often than once every 3 years. A pot that is too large will result in a lack of flowers. Fallen flower stalks and buds indicate too hot and dry indoor air or the presence of disease.
If all the conditions are met, and the flower refuses to bloom, the reason may be in the ground. A nitrogen-rich soil will result in lush greenery and a strong bush, but no flowers.