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Potting Geraniums

All being ready, put the drainage in a suitable sized pot. Place first a suitable crock, or a large oyster shell over the hole; then lay a few large crocks upon that, and smaller upon those, so that the drainage may occupy about three fourths of an inch.

Place a thin layer of moss upon the drainage, and upon that a sprinkling of soot or charcoal dust; after that a thin layer of the rougher parts of the compost, and finally a layer of soil. Then turn the plant out of the old pot, pick out the old drainage, and loosen part of the old roots, spreading them over the new soil as much as possible.

Then see that the collar of the roots is just below the rim of the pot, and fill in around the ball with the fresh soil, pressing it down gently as it is put in. When the pot is full, give it a smart stroke or two upon the bench to settle the soil; level it neatly, leaving it about half an inch below the rim of the pot. This finishes the potting.

Then give a good watering of tepid water, perhaps with some kind of patio fountain. For four or five weeks, while new roots are running into the fresh soil, they will not need a large supply of water; but when the roots reach the sides of the pots, and the leaves and shoots are advancing in growth, then water will be required in abundance. They should never be allowed to flag.

After a hot, sunny day, let the plants, in addition to the water at the roots, have a gentle syringing. Exercise discretion, however, on this point. The geranium is a spring and summer blooming plant. It is very difficult to obtain a flower from December to April; therefore, during the winter it should be kept cool, and moderately dry.

About the first of February re-pot the plants, give more heat, sun, and water, and your plants will bloom profusely in May. A wall water feature may be helpful in accomplishing this. The varieties grown only for their leaves may have more generous culture during the winter months.

Varieties of Geraniums

Ivy-leaved geranium (P. lateripes), is a pretty trailing species, with ivy-shaped leaves and purple flowers in the summer.

There is also a variety with white flowers. It is a pretty window plant, and always does well. It needs
plenty of light, sun, and generous culture.

The varieties of horseshoe geraniums (P. zonale hybrids), are all good window flowers, and will often bloom in winter.

The following are the best old varieties: Scarlet, Dazzle, Tom, Thumb, Defiance, Cerise, Cerise unique,
Pink, Bosa mundi, White, Boule de Neige, Lady Turner, Variegated Leaved, Flower of the Day, Golden Chain, Alma, and Bijou.

These latter varieties need a greenhouse to develop the rich colors of the foliage, yet they do well as bedding plants in the summer. P. graveolens is the common rose geranium.

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Sarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer based out of San Diego, CA. She specializes in landscaping, home improvement, and gardening. For a patio fountain or wall water feature, visit for a wide selection.

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