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Royal pelargonium belongs to the family Geraniaceae, although in appearance and smell it differs from the geranium known to everyone. Pelargonium appeared on the European continent in the 18th century. She "emigrated" from South Africa. Breeders worked with the samples that came to them and deduced the modern look of this plant. The main advantage of the hybrid is its large flowers.
Acquaintance with the "Queen"
This African beauty is called royal and large-flowered. Its scientific name is Regal Pelargonium or Pelargonium grandiflorum.
It looks great both in a pot on the windowsill and in flowerpots on the balcony. In the warm season, large-flowered pelargonium can become an adornment of your flowerbed.
The stems are erect, grassy. Geranium itself grows in the form of a compact bush. The height, depending on the variety, is 25-50 cm. The emerald-colored foliage completely covers the bush. The surface of the leaves is rough, with a light fluff. They are quite large in size. Although the new varieties are somewhat different: they have small small leaves, but the very form inherent in the "aristocratic" look remains - star-shaped. Royal geranium does not have a specific aroma, like other representatives of this family.
The plant is valued primarily for large, bright flowers. They come in a variety of colors: from delicate white to deep purple. The diameter of the outlet is 5-8 cm. Petals are most often dark on the inside. Sometimes a dark broad line forms in the center against the light background of the petal. This contrast looks very interesting. Depending on the variety, the petals can have a variety of shapes: simple, double, with smooth edges or corrugated.
At the top of the stem are inflorescences. Each of them contains about 10 flowers. They do not exude a particularly rich aroma.
Flowering lasts from early spring to the end of summer, provided that the plant is provided with everything necessary. Royal geraniums must be looked after with special care. This is one of the most capricious representatives of the family.
Species and varieties
Pelargonium grandiflora has more than 50 varieties. Thanks to the efforts of breeders, new species of this exquisite plant are still appearing today. The following are species that are particularly popular.
Quantum May pelargonium bloom is pale white. The inflorescences are large, the edges of the petals are corrugated. Deciduous plates are serrated, dark green. Inflorescences are like white moths crouching on a bush. In general, the plant looks very elegant and will be an ornament in the collection of any grower.
Royal geranium Tip Top Duet is considered one of the best. Has large flowers. Height - 40 cm. Pleasant contrasting color of the petals: the background is dark crimson with burgundy streaks. The lower tier of the flower is pale lilac. The compact size allows you to put a flower on the windowsill next to other indoor plants.
A truly royal look has Fairy Queen geraniums. Its inflorescences are considered one of the largest. Wavy flower petals look very original. The color of Fairy Queen is also unusual: a rich purple color is emphasized by a white border and lower snow-white petals. In the center of each flower segment there are purple dots.
Royal pelargonium requires a special, royal attitude. If you do not know how to care for the "royal person", then in return she will not let you admire her beautiful flowering.
The soil should be chosen non-acidic, ideally neutral. Ash is great for reducing acidity. Pour it into the pot periodically. Proper drainage will help to avoid stagnation of water in the pot.
The optimal frequency of transplantation is 1 time in 2-3 years. Otherwise, the plant will not bloom.
Top dressing should be carried out, starting from spring and ending in late summer. Fertilizer must be applied every 2 weeks. If you use fertilizing with a high content of potassium and phosphorus, then you can extend the flowering for a couple of weeks.
Grandiflora Pelargonium loves a lot of light. But at the same time, you need to ensure that direct sunlight does not leave burns on the leaves. In winter, it is necessary to take care of additional illumination of the plant, otherwise the stems will stretch very much.
Room temperature should be:
- in summer - 24 ° C;
- in winter - 12-15 ° С.
If you do not comply with this condition or put the plant in a draft, then it will not bloom.
Home care always involves timely watering. Royal geranium is a lover of moisture. Between watering it is necessary that the earth is slightly dry. Water must be settled.
It is impossible to spray "queen". It is enough to ensure that the air in the room is not too dry.
For a beautiful and neat crown you need pruning. It must be performed before the beginning of the flowering season - at the end of February. Only the tops of the branches should be removed, there should not be any “radical haircuts” - this is fraught with consequences.
Care and cuttings
There are such ways of reproduction of this beauty:
- seed cultivation;
- grafting to other varieties (used by experienced gardeners).
This method is considered the most simple, convenient, and most importantly - effective. The ideal period for cuttings begins in the second half of August and ends in early September.
You need to cut the tops. The length of the segment should be 7-10 cm. Each handle must have 2-3 knots. After pruning, the future sprout should dry slightly. To do this, he is left to lie for 2 hours.
In water, cuttings can rot and not take root, so it is better to plant them in previously prepared soil.
Preparatory activities include the following:
- The earth is mixed with coarse sand.
- The soil is roasted in the oven or treated with a solution of potassium permanganate.
- Allow the soil to stand for 48 hours.
Do not cover the cuttings with a film after planting. The rooting process takes about a week. At the end of this period, the sprouts can be transplanted into a permanent pot. For more intensive growth, you can gently stop the leaves on a branch. So all the power in the plant will be spent on the development of the root system.
A flower from royal geranium can also be obtained from a seed. Such reproduction will require more strength from you, but as a result you will get a more hardy plant. The flowering period of such grandiflora is longer.
The soil should consist of peat and sand. You can add some ash to improve the quality of the soil. Sowing is carried out in mid-February. Pelargonium seeds are small and oblong; they are planted in shallow containers. It is necessary to make a hole 0.5 cm deep.
A month after planting, the first shoots appear. As soon as 2 leaves are formed on the sprout, it is necessary to dive into a pot.
Symptoms of disease
The beauty of pelargonium is very sensitive to any mistakes when caring for her. Therefore, it is worth knowing the patterns of its "behavior" on the influence of various factors, so as not to completely destroy the plant.
The reasons why the plant does not bloom are as follows:
- Wrong watering.
- Fungal infection or rot. In this case, the affected areas are removed, and the plant is treated with fungicides. Water the flower less often.
- Too spacious pot.
- Low temperatures in spring and winter.
- Frequent transplant.
Grandiflora Pelargonium can drop buds due to dry air or soil rich in nitrogen.
"Queen" can grow, but cease to bloom. The reason for this behavior is the lack of light. But it is worth protecting it from direct rays in order to prevent burns on the leaves.
Yellowed leaves may be the result of improper watering. So, if only the tips became yellow, and the density of the plate has not changed, then additional watering is needed. If the leaves fade and rot, then this indicates an excess of moisture.
If the geranium stalk is blackened, then it must be immediately thrown away with the soil. After this, the bleaching of the windowsill and pot is carried out.
Of the pests, weevils and whiteflies are of particular danger. If they are found, you need to use insecticides.
Royal geranium can become an ornament of any collection. If you are not afraid of the difficulties associated with caring for her, then such a beauty is worth getting.