21 FebStarting Coconut Geranium From Seed

The seeds of Pelargonium grossularioides are tiny. The easiest way to grow them is to sprinkle them on the surface of your pre-moistened growing medium. Mist the surface to bring the seeds into full contact with the soil. Place your seed tray (or pot or margarine bowl) into the magical high-tech greenhouse known as a ziploc bag. No more watering while you wait for your seeds to “hatch”.

Coconut geranium seeds are the small dark dots.
Coconut geranium seeds are the small dark dots.

Before planting, I soaked my seed tray in water until the Jiffy Mix was totally wetted.
Before planting, I soaked my seed tray in water
until the Jiffy Mix was totally wetted.

After sprinkling the seeds, I sprayed the surface with water to make sure the seeds were in good contact with the surface.
After sprinkling the seeds, I sprayed the surface with water to make
sure the seeds are in good contact with the surface.

A ziploc bag makes an effective and inexpensive greenhouse.
A ziploc bag makes an effective and inexpensive greenhouse.

11 OctThe Pelargonium In Winter

I’ve heard from a couple of people who wondered how to keep their geraniums over the winter. Unfortunately, I am blissfully ignorant of such matters. I overwinter my geraniums outside. Fortunately, I found a great article on the subject from the University of Illinois Extension:

Winter Care of Geraniums

“It is foolish to try to save diseased plants, but healthy and vigorous plants do have a good chance of surviving the winter with some care,” says David Robson, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

It turns out, the choices for overwintering pelargoniums in cold climates are three:

  • Bring them indoors as potted plants
  • Start cuttings indoors
  • Make them go dormant

Read the article for the details.

08 OctScarlet Sage

Scarlet Sage
Scarlet Sage

Scarlet sage has run amuck in my rose garden. A few years ago I brought home a six-pack of scarlet sage seedlings. The next year, they were coming up all over the place! I started digging them up and giving them away. They add a lot of visual excitement to late summer and fall. And they shade the soil at a time when it is so necessary. Best of all, hummingbirds are crazy about scarlet sage!

26 SepSqueezing Into The Sunshine

Max the desert tortoise fits himself into a little block of sunshine.
Max the desert tortoise fits himself into a little block of sunshine.

Now that the morning low is getting down around 70 degrees, Max needs a serious dose of sunning to get going every day. Sun for the tortoise is like coffee for people. Once he gets warmed up, he spends his time patrolling the perimeter of the yard and eating, eating, eating. The mulberry tree is dropping leaves right now and Max couldn’t be happier! YUM! He eats the yellow ones first.

21 SepRound Ball Topiary

Pelargonium 'Dr. Livingstone' has a roundish shape naturally
Pelargonium ‘Dr. Livingstone’ has a roundish shape naturally

I am trying to grow this Dr. Livingstone geranium, also known as Skeleton Rose, into a round ball topiary. I am turning it a quarter turn once a week and may also do a little light pruning.

16 SepNew Scented Geraniums – Part 3 of 3

Pelargonium 'Peacock', P. x fragrans (Nutmeg), P. 'Village Hill Oak' (L to R)
Pelargonium ‘Peacock’, P. x fragrans (Nutmeg), P. ‘Village Hill Oak’ (L to R)

This is the final group of new scented geraniums from Mountain Valley Growers.

P. ‘Peacock’ – Crazy splashes of cream varigation. Peacock is a rose scented geranium.

P. x fragrans – The nutmeg scented geranium is charming with small white flowers and soft grey-green leaves.

P. ‘Village Hill Oak’ – This is a robust plant with cute pink flowers. It is oak scented and the leaves have kind of an oak leaf look.

Pelargonium 'Peacock', P. x fragrans (Nutmeg), P. 'Village Hill Oak' (L to R)
Pelargonium ‘Peacock’, P. x fragrans (Nutmeg), P. ‘Village Hill Oak’ (L to R)

15 SepNew Scented Geraniums – Part 2 of 3

Pelargonium 'Mrs. Taylor', P. capitatum, P. 'Mint-scented Rose' (L to R)
Pelargonium ‘Mrs. Taylor’, P. capitatum, P. ‘Mint-scented Rose’ (L to R)

Here is another group of new geraniums:

P. ‘Mrs. Taylor’ – A pungent scented geranium with nice green leaves and upright growth.

P. capitatum – A rose scented geranium. Nice round leaves with red-tipped edges. Trailing growth habit. This plant was blooming – deep lavender single flowers – when it arrived! Also called True Capitatum.

P. ‘Mint-scented Rose’ – This charming geranium is wildly splashed with cream variegation. Upright growth habit.

Pelargonium 'Mrs. Taylor', P. capitatum, P. 'Mint-scented Rose' (L to R)
Pelargonium ‘Mrs. Taylor’, P. capitatum, P. ‘Mint-scented Rose’ (L to R)

14 SepNew Scented Geraniums – Part 1 of 3

Pelargonium 'Finger Bowl Lemon', P. crispum (lemon scented), P.'Cinnamon' (L to R)
Pelargonium ‘Finger Bowl Lemon’, P. crispum (lemon scented), P.’Cinnamon’ (L to R)

I ordered some new plants from Mountain Valley Growers. I was very pleased with what I received. The plants were in 2 1/2″ pots but nice and big. The plants were all labeled with stickers on the pots.

So what did I get? Nine scented geraniums! Here is another view of the geraniums above:

Pelargonium 'Finger Bowl Lemon', P. crispum (lemon scented), P.'Cinnamon' (L to R)
Pelargonium ‘Finger Bowl Lemon’, P. crispum (lemon scented), P.’Cinnamon’ (L to R)

P. ‘Finger Bowl Lemon’ – Upright plant with very tiny serrated and ruffled leaves. Strong lemon scent.

P. crispum – Upright plant with small serrated and ruffled leaves. Lemon scent.

P. ‘Cinnamon’ – Upright plant with small wavy serrated leaves. Cinnamon scent.

04 AugFrom Broken To Beautiful

Pelargonium 'Strawberry'
Pelargonium ‘Strawberry’

August in Las Vegas: we find ourselves saying things like, “It’s so nice out – only 102!” I’ve been grooming my container plants – deadheading, trimming, and removing debris. Two of my favorite scented geraniums were injured a few weeks ago. A strong wind blew them off the railroad tie they normally sit on.

Pelargonium ‘Strawberry’ has recuperated beautifully with a zen-like grace. Pelargonium ‘Orange’ split three ways at the center trunk. I wasn’t sure if it would make it, but it has and is now sprouting new growth at the center.

Pelargonium 'Orange'
Pelargonium ‘Orange’

New growth emerging near the split trunk
New growth emerging near the split trunk

24 JulSeed Starting for Pelargoniums

Pelargonium grossularioides seedheads and seeds Pelargonium elongatum seeds and seedheads
Pelargonium grossularioides seeds (L) and P. elongatum seeds (R)

I ran across an interesting article – Raising Pelargoniums from Seed by the Sprouting method. It reminded me of Jeanne’s seed starting method that she describes in her blog Uncle Tom’s Garden.

I have seeds aplenty of Pelargonium grossularioides (Coconut) and they start easily. You could almost call them invasive! But I was nervous about how to grow the P. elongatum (Upright Coconut) seeds because I have far fewer for experimentation. So the damp paper towel method it will be!

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