Geraniums: Bring Old Faithful Into Your Garden

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If you have a home garden, chances are you have considered, are considering or will be considering using Geraniums to bring a little extra life to your dirt. These plants have been called �one of the most reliable plants� for your garden, whether that garden is at home, in a small greenhouse or in a small plant box at your place of work.

But why is it that these flowers are one of the best for your garden? For starters, Geraniums can be obtained as seeds, seedlings or as established plants, making them one of the easiest to plant�they�re almost like a �fast food� plant service. You can just grab them and go. This means they�re great for the lazy gardener or the gardener on the go. They�re also terrific for beginners who don�t quite know what they want to plant but are eager to get a garden going.

Another reason Geraniums are perfect for beginners is because they are virtually black-thumb proof. You may have killed nearly every pea plant you tried to grow in elementary school and tomato plants shrivel at your touch, but these are hardy plants and new cultivars have had them recently referred to as nearly �shatter proof.�

In addition, these beautiful, vibrant flowering plants are perfect for nearly every soil�all you have to do is make sure they receive water, that the soil is aerated and has good drainage, that you take care in preparing the bed (with peat moss or compost, for example) and that they get plenty of sunlight.

Sadly, these flowers, like most others, are not immune to frost and you should avoid plating them until all danger of frost has passed. Geraniums most likely will not die if they are damaged by frost and by cold weather but they will not be as likely to produce many flowers and most, regardless of their past color, will probably turn red.

When planting, you should keep individual plants spaced appropriately to keep from overcrowding and diseases that can infect the entire flowerbed. Wilting flowers and discolored stalks should be removed immediately as these are signs of either botrytis or possibly bacterial blight and you will want to protect the other flowers.

Geraniums come in a wide variety of colors, including red, purple, orange, yellow, pink, white and even duo-colored and tri-colored blooms. Because the flowers may also cross-pollinate with themselves and with other plants, you may plant one color in the first year and end up with different blossoms in later seasons. You should be prepared for these changes in your garden�s colors�you should never be discouraged but be excited for the changes that show nature�s natural progress.

Your grandmother planted these flowers in her garden because she could always count on them to come back year after year. So whether you�re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, do yourself a favor and bring the reliable Old Faithful of gardening into your backyard.

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