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Q & A / FAQ  (Frequently/ some not so frequently asked questions.)  

Send us your questions or comments on answers.   Remember: there is no bad/ naive/ unacceptable question.

A question from Florida about Regals

Who is the patron saint of gardening?

    St. Fiacre, a Seventh Century Irish monk, is the patron saint of gardening.

    See St. Fiacre and his connection to Geraniaceae.

1.   Is it true that a Geranium was the Perennial Plant of the Year in 2008?

Geranium 'Rozanne'

 Yes. Geranium 'Rozanne' was designated as the 2008 Perennial Plant of the Year. This perennial, recommended by USDA

 Zones 5-8, has brilliant, violet blue flowers, with small white centers and reddish purple veins on the petals. The flowers are

 2.5 " across.  The plant grows 18-24" tall and spreads 20-24" wide.  The foliage turns bronze-red in the fall.  This is a

 patented cultivar (Blooms of Bressigham) and is a sterile offspring of an apparent interspecific cross between G.

 wallichianum and G. himalayense.  This is another lovely addition to the hardy geraniums available for temperate gardens.

2. . How and when can I cut a slip of geranium from its "mother" plant?   Will I disfigure the "mother" plant if I cut on it?   

        See Propagating pelargoniums/ geraniums

3. What disease(s) are geraniums susceptible to?   

        See Pests and Diseases of Pelargonium

4. What care should I routinely give my geraniums plants in the ground to make sure they stay beautiful and healthy? 

        See Growing and Caring for pelargoniums 

5. Should geraniums be fertilized?  If so, when?  What is a good fertilizer to use on them? 

        See Plant Nutrition

6. Why plant/ grow Geraniums, especially Pelargonium ?   

Because they:  a)... are beautiful,  b)....  bloom a lot, thus providing color in the garden,  c).. are easy to grow,

d).. require less water, e) ...   e)...are tough,  f)...  and adapted to Mediterranean climates, including the Central Coast of California.   

But, especially,  because they are beautiful.

7. What about mint-scented from rose-scented cultivars that look the same?

          Rose scented Lady Plymouth   Mint scented rose

                 Roses                                  vs.                                Mints

Debby Lipp points out that there are two very similar, variegated leafed cultivars on the market. One of these is rose scented and the other is mint scented. ‘Lady Plymouth’ is the rose scented cultivar (if you brush the leaf and smell it). A nearly identical cultivar with variegated leaves and a minty fragrance is ‘Variegated rose mint’ or ‘Mint scented rose’ in Brawner’s book. Debby reminds us that your nose will tell you every time which is which.

8. Is Pelargonium fragrans a species?

Pelargonium fragrans is not known in the wild so there is a question as to its origin and its status as a species. It has been proposed that it is a hybrid between P. exstipulatum and P. odoratissimum. Attempts to cross these two species have not been very successful to recreate a documented hybrid that resembles P. fragrans. If this had been done then we would be fairly certain that P. fragrans was of hybrid origin and we would refer to it as P. x fragrans; the “x” being the correct way of referring to a hybrid. Lis-Balchan et al. have approached the question of origin in a different fashion. She and others have analyzed the composition of the essential oils produced by the three taxa. These studies show that the amount of the different essential oils of P. fragrans is intermediate between those of P. odoratissimum and P. exstipulatum. These facts are taken as evidence that P. fragrans could be of hybrid origin.

9.    What type of fragrances do geraniums have? 

See "Why Do Those Geraniums Smell Like That?"    and      Why Do Rose Geraniums Smell Like That?

10.  What rhymes with geranium?   (Thanks, Marcia.)

columbium     erbium     terbium     ytterbium   scandium    compendium    palladium    radium     stadium    vanadium    medium    tedium    cryptosporidium    cymbidium    idiom     iridium    rubidium    indium    exordium    Gordium     rutherfordium    odeum    odium    plasmodium    podium    sodium    allium    gallium    pallium    thallium    valium    berkelium    epithelium    helium   nobelium     Sealyham    beryllium    cilium    psyllium    trillium    linoleum    petroleum    thulium     cadmium    epithalamium     prothalamium

                         

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