Plant highly appreciated for the beauty of its flowers and the consequent ability to embellish the balconies with the classic vases: a fashion particularly widespread in central Europe, the geranium is native to southern Africa.
In addition to the common type geranium, which has hairy leaves, there is in nature the ivy geranium (with typical hanging ornamental stems), the butterfly geranium, with beautiful flowers, and the fragrant geranium (with aromatic leaves).
Many possible colors of flowers, the result of numerous selections: they can be white, pink, fuchsia, red and even orange.
The success registered by the remarkable diffusion of geranium is motivated by its cheapness (it reproduces by cutting, a procedure really within everyone's reach) and by its ability to adapt to certain climates.
If it maintains well in sunny areas, it must be said that it can survive even in partial shade. The watering operations must be constant, without excesses that can be harmful.
This plant must be watered three times a week, but in summer the feeding-water administration must be intensified and carried out every day, taking care not to wet the leaves, especially if the geranium is located in a particularly sunny area of the house or of the garden.
Warning: pouring too much water, especially in summer, can cause the geranium to rot. In the art of gardening, just like in life, it is a good general rule to always avoid overdoing it.
Normal cleaning, interventions before and after winter
From April to October, geranium does not require drastic interventions under normal conditions. To encourage the production of new flower stems, it is important to take a few minutes every day to clean them. The bunches must be eliminated at the base as soon as most of the individual flowers are withered or damaged by heat or rain. At the same time we eliminate the yellowed or ruined leaves.
When the cold season arrives, especially in the North, we will have to be more determined. Before sheltering the pots it is good to cut a few cm from the base: we will avoid the onset of rotting. At the end of February we will have to fork the scissors again to eliminate the stems possibly produced in the winter at the base: they are usually weak, spun and pale green (if not white) and of no use for the future development of the plant.