Geranium is a plant native to South Africa, much appreciated by lovers of colorful flowers, in fact this splendid plant is suitable both in pots and in flower beds. The colors of this bushy plant can vary depending on the species, ranging from red, white, orange, lilac and pink. To keep in mind that the geranium species are more than four hundred, usually the Geranium Pelagonia, with the red flowers, the Imperial Geranium, with the pink or lilac petals, the famous Geranium Edera, with the light pink petals and are cultivated and preferred. the ivy-shaped leaves and the very fragrant Geranium Odoroso, with more sparse flowers, the fragrances may vary depending on the species, you can smell the scent of almond, apple, lemon, coconut, rose, strawberry, nutmeg, mint and many other fragrances. Geranium in general does not require specific care, as it is very resistant, the only thing is to pay attention to watering and sun exposure. The geraniums are usually placed in rectangular planters or in round vases from a minimum of 20 cm in diameter up to 40 cm, it reproduces in cuttings, just immerse it in water and rooting hormones and then place it in soft and soft soil and then about a month you can put it safely in a vase. This bushy plant suffers a lot from the intense cold, in fact, it is advised in winter to talk about it again with sheets such as non-woven fabric, or with dry leaves or straw. The geraniums also suffer from excess water, which is why we must not fill the under pot with water. In spring it is important to prune them, eliminating the excess vegetation, once the leaves or flowers are dry you need to export them using scissors, avoiding tearing them.
Like all plants, geraniums can also get sick, the main causes of diseases can be caused by bacteria, fungi and insects.
The rust, the gray mold and the rot derive from the fungi that can hit the geraniums plants without problems. Rust mainly affects the Pelagonia geraniums, this disease is very dangerous, as it has the power to infect other nearby plants as well. The rust manifests itself with yellow spots, the diseased leaves dry quickly destroying also the flowering. The Botrytis mushroom instead, causes a gray mold causing spots on the flowers and leaves. This disease can be avoided by paying close attention to nitrogen fertilization, as well as to abundant irrigation. Finally, the rot is caused by the Pythium fungus which proliferates thanks to the abundant stagnant water, which leads to the deterioration of the root system. The symptoms of this disease can be recognized through the almost black coloring of both the branches and the plant itself. All these diseases affect plants purely in spring, when it is the period of flowering and in summer when the climate is hot and with a very high humidity. To counter these problems we must first reduce irrigation and nitrogen fertilization, if the disease is already in an advanced state we must also proceed with antifungal treatments.
The geranium can also be affected by bacterial diseases, sometimes even destructive and deadly, as in the case of the Bacterium Xanthomons Campestris Pelagoni, which is very powerful and can extend into other plants and flowers placed near the infected one. Once this bacterium is able to settle in the plant there is nothing more to do except to completely remove the infected plant by pulling it out and burning it. In this case it is very important to eliminate the infected soil and the pot if it is not possible to disinfect it to perfection. When this powerful bacterium hits the plant it starts to turn yellow and lose the leaves very quickly. This disease can be caused by incorrect pruning or the use of inadequately cleaned and infected tools.
The geraniums without distinction of species can also be affected and destroyed by aphid insects such as cochineal and red spider mites but not only these are the most widespread in our country. These insects aphids feed on the nymph that they manage to ingest by pricking the leaves, covering them with sugary substances harmful to the plant itself. When the geranium is hit by the cochineal, the plant begins to have spots on the lower part of the leaves, while the red spider can quickly lead to the yellowing of the same, until they crumple on themselves. These insects can be fought with the use of anti parasitics if the disease is caught in time, otherwise nothing can be done to save our plants that in spring and summer give us balconies and colored terraces.