What was once exceptional is becoming more and more the norm: days of spring and summer unbearably hot in which even the sidewalks seem to glow. These periods now last for weeks. But not only people suffer from the heat, also plants cope with these temperatures extreme. The geraniums are better prepared to withstand summer heat waves than most balcony flowers. The experts from Pelargonium for Europe explain to us the reasons and the way to relieve geraniums on balconies and terraces during hot days.
Geraniums love sun and heat. After all, these gorgeous summer ambassadors hail from South Africa. Geraniums can withstand temporary drought without permanent damage because their fleshy stems and leaves store water. But at the same time, they have been bred for high performance in terms of bloom And that high performance requires one thing above all: water. In the hottest months, need more water than on normal summer days to develop the abundance of flowers we expect from them.
On hot days and tropical nights, evaporation increases. The soil evaporates water and the plant also. If the soil is too dry, the metabolism stops. Plants bloom and grow weaker than they should. If the soil remains dry for a long time, the plants resort to stored water. They become flaccid because the supply is depleted and internal cellular pressure drops as a result. If this condition, called plasmolysis, lasts too long, it can no longer be reversed. The plant dies. This happens very rarely with geraniums, because they store a lot of water in their stems and fleshy leaves for a rainy day, but even so, there are a series of tips that we must take into account to take care of them in the best way.
Water in due time
Geraniums need water to flourish and grow. That’s why it’s important make sure the soil is moist enough. If the compost feels fresh, no watering is necessary. If it’s dry and hot, it’s worth taking a shower. If the soil is pulling away from the rim of the pot, it’s time to do it!
In the morning or in the afternoon
At morning or evening, when the sun is low in the sky, less water evaporates when irrigating than during the midday hours. That is why in those moments the geranium can take better advantage of the humidity.
straight to the roots
The best is hold the shower nozzle directly between the plants, very close to the ground, so that the water reaches where it is needed. It is easier to plant in containers with a water reservoir. You fill the deposit directly and the plants serve themselves. Tip: Avoid cold tap water.
At least one large glass per plant
The goal of irrigation should be soak the earth. This is achieved by adding approximately ten percent of the pot’s volume at each watering. If we want to know exactly, we can find volume calculators for different pot shapes on the Internet that will help us determine the exact capacity. If not, we can simply use a large glass of water per plant as a general rule. Important: Excess water should be able to drain off, but dry soil also needs time to swell. It does not absorb water well, so it is recommended to water in sips.
The quality of potting compost greatly influences the amount of water available to geraniums. a good compost it retains many times its own weight in water and remains structurally stable thanks to a balanced ratio of coarse and fine pores. Therefore, a high quality compost is good for the roots.
The fertilization trick
Due to the high rate of evaporation in hot weather, it is better pay twice a week with half the dose of liquid fertilizer than once with the full amount. Never pour liquid manure on dry soil as it can damage the roots.
You can reduce the amount of watering you have to do by giving your plants an umbrella or moving them to a more shady place. Light-colored pots heat up less than dark pots, and glazed clay pots evaporate less moisture than unglazed pots.
What do you think of the proposals? Do you already follow this type of advice?
More information | Pelargonium for Europe
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