Hello folks ! Its almost two weeks since we returned from attending the“Ratha Utsav” (“Teru” in Konkani) in Katapady . And on our return, I was saddened by the plight of my plants especially the geranium plants as they were in full boom before we left. I had no choice but to attend to them which I did it right away. I am glad I had photographed them when they were at their best. I thought this would be a good time to write about them.
Geraniums are hardy plants and easy to grow and require minimum care. They can be easily grown from cuttings too. I learnt this some years back from my neighbour who gave me a cutting while she was pruning it. I was hesitant to add new plants since I have limited space in my balcony. But my neighbour encouraged me to grow it in the pot, assuring me that this little plant will give me pleasure once it blooms. Thus began my love-affair with geranium!
A little insect pollinating the flower
Simultaneously, while it was taking root, I tried to learn more about it from the net. It is a perennial plant and throughout the year, you will be rewarded with these lovely bunches they put forth time and again. Like all flowering plants, they need sunlight and water for its survival.
Close up of the single flower of the cluster
As for soil, I bought it from a nearby nursery and prepared the pot – added some gravel at the bottom for better drainage. Then added the soil (mixed with sand and compost) and filled two-thirds of the pot. Initially, I kept the pot in the corner of the balcony and away from sunlight. Also take care to see that water should drain easily without being collecting at the base/root.
Till it takes root, water it regularly and once you see some green shoots appearing (this may take about a month) you can shift the pot where it can get indirect sunlight. Once it takes root, and puts forth some leaves, you can rest assure that it will survive and will also be able to withstand some harsh weather.
In full bloom during the rainy season
Once the flowers have bloomed and withered, snip off the dead ones. Also take care to see any dead branches or leaves are promptly snipped off. This will enable the plant to grow new branches and gives it an overall healthy look. When fully bloomed, they are a sight to behold.
My geraniums are growing in three different pots. I have also distributed the cuttings time and again to my friends and neighbour.
My Balcony Garden - Once Upon a time !
Sadly, I have lost most of the flowering plants due to our constant travelling. The Geranium being the hardy plant has survived the ordeal along with some other plants like the Lily and periwinkle. With some care, they will bounce back to normal.
For more info on growing geranium see the following sites: