Diseases of geranium

Diseases of geranium

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Diseases of geranium: tips to prevent and combat the most common diseases that can attack geranium in pots or in the ground.

Those who live in southern Italy cangrowing geraniums outdoors, in the garden, directly in the ground. Those who, on the other hand, cannot enjoy a mild climate all year round, will be forced tocultivate geraniums in pots to be moved quickly outside around April, when the outside temperatures have softened and above all, when the risk of late frosts has passed.

How to prevent geranium diseases

To prevent the appearance of diseases, it is advisable to change the soil (even without repotting), the renewal must be carried out by adding already fertilized soil or specific soil for ornamental flowering plants with the addition of fertilizer as explained in the article on how to care for geraniums.

Note: universal potting soil is not very suitable for geraniums because it does not have the ability to retain nutrients. Use a specific soil or soil for flowering ornamental plants. Soil for green plants is not suitable either.

In addition to the annual renewal of the soil, you will have to clean up the root bread, eliminating the old earth and above all by slightly widening the roots by cutting the dead or rotten roots.

In practice, every year you will have to perform onepruningof the root system leaving only the turgid and alive roots. To facilitate drainage, 1 cm of expanded clay or gravel must be prepared on the bottom of the pot.

Crowded geraniums are more prone to get sick, so it's okay to give the plants an appropriate space. How big does the pot have to be to grow geraniums? In a 50 cm planter there are two geranium plants.

Diseases of geranium

The most common diseases that can attack geraniums are:

  • Rust
  • Lack or excess of fertilizer
  • Radical rot
  • Minor parasites such as aphids, whiteflies and scale insects
  • Geranium butterfly (Cacyreus marshalli)

In case of rust spots on the leaves, know that geranium rust is fought exactly as seen in the article dedicated to the rust of roses, in practice you will have to perform treatments with copper-based products, to be carried out, for preventive purposes, also in the following spring. In order not to fall into fertilization errors, in the article on how to care for geraniums you will find the ideal formulation for fertilizing these plants.

Radical rot can be resolved with two strategies already reported:

  • Pruning of the root system
  • Use of suitable soil
  • Adding a cm of gravel or expanded clay to the bottom of the pot to facilitate water drainage
  • irrigation only when needed

Minor parasites counteract with good aeration and this also involves pruning.

How to prune geranium

In reality we cannot speak of a real onepruning, but only of thinning cuts. Plants need decisive cuts, eliminating intertwined stems, excessively long, bare, frail, dry or damaged stems.

Zonal geraniums need onepruningmore sensitive: they should be pruned short leaving only about 10 cm in length for each stem.

The drooping geraniums, on the other hand, see less sensitive pruning and the stems must be left longer. This means that inivy geraniums(ivy-leaf geraniums) and Parisian geraniums, almost 2/3 of the length of the stem must be cut.

Geranium butterfly

Betweengeranium diseases, the most terrible is linked to the infestations of the butterfly Cacyreus marshalli. During geranium pruning, if you notice entry holes of this larva, directly remove the entire affected stem.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to use natural remedies against the geranium butterfly as most of the natural remedies must come into contact with the parasite. The larvae are found in the stems and a treatment based on pyrethrum or natural macerates becomes really difficult.

Despite ourselves, we are forced to suggest the use of tablets based on insecticidal substances to be inserted directly into the ground. These tablets gradually release the active ingredient that will eliminate the geranium butterflies and prevent the deposition of new eggs.

Where to buy them? These pads can be bought in any garden center and also on Amazon. Among the best gradual release products we point out the Bayer “Combi Stick” which, in addition to releasing an insecticidal active ingredient, nourishes the soil with compounds useful for flowering plants such as geranium. For all information, the official Amazon page dedicated to the “Combi Stick“ is available.

Please note: the insecticide has a gradual release, so you should not be in a hurry and above all you must not exceed the doses. If you have several geraniums close by, add a preventive tablet to healthy plants as well.

Video: How to Grow Geraniums. Garden Ideas. Peter Seabrook (July 2022).


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