How to Grow Geranium As an Indoor Plant
By Crisologo Ramasasa
Geranium (Geranium spp.) is an annual, biennial, and perennial plants with 422 species. Its name was derived from the Greek "geranos" meaning "crane". The name cranes bills was derived from the fruit's appearance of the fruit capsule of other species and from the shape of the unsprung column which looks like the bill of the crane in some species, hence the name cranes bills.
Geraniums are excellent for indoors, but mostly they are grown outdoors. For indoor planting you need to follow some planting requirements for your successful indoor gardening.
Some ways to grow Geranium indoors
Soil Medium. The right amount of soil mixture for Geranium consists of the same ratio of garden soil, peat moss, and coarse sand. In the absence of sand, you can replace it with perlite which can be purchased in some nursery stores. There are also some ready made soil mix you buy provided they are in line with the right soil mixture requirements of rich in organic materials.
Container. You should select a potting container with good drainage, light, large to accommodate the plants during its growing period.
Climate. Geranium favors with enough light to produce more flowers during its productive phase. Place your potted plants in a location facing south and west windows where the plants can receive sunlight the whole day. If there's not enough sunlight to supply the plant's need, put up an artificial light at least 12 inches beneath of fluorescent bulb during the day for 16 hours continues supply. Temperatures during the day of 65 to 70 and around 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night are ideal for your success in your indoor plants. Don't place your geraniums in cold, hot or drafty areas.
Water requirements. Geraniums doesn't tolerates with too much wet soil. Monitor the soil mix condition, it should be dry between each day and apply water only when the soil is dry from a depth of 4 - 6 inches from the surface of the pot. Maintain the soil moisture not exceed its water needs, water only as required.
Plant nutrition requirements. Apply fertilizer from slow-release fertilizer solutions directly into the container, not hitting the plants. Fertilize at least once a month. Follow strictly the direction in the fertilizer label to attain a good result. Don't fertilize when the soil is dry, the roots will be damaged by the solution.
Pest and disease control. The most common insect pests of Geranium are the mealy bugs, caterpillars, mites, white-flies, and aphids. These pests can be controlled by any insecticides intended for the purpose. But, for friendly control measures, I have my own homemade insecticides composed of; 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 2 tablespoon baking soda, and 2 tablespoon powder laundry soap. Mix the solution properly and spray directly into the subjects until they're totally eradicated.
Botrytis blossom is prevalent when the condition is cool and damp causing the premature drying and fading of the flowers. To control this disease, remove some old flowers before they starts to fade away and provide the area with good air supply.
About the Author:
Cris Ramasasa, Freelance writer, writes about home gardening and Internet marketing tips. You can get a copy of his latest ebook "Discover How to get started in Flower Gardening" and "Vegetable Gardening Made Easy", also get lots of tips, Free articles, and bonuses at: www.crisramasasa.com.