IVY LEAF GERANIUMS Pelargonium peltatunri

These plants are sold mainly for window box decoration in summer, and due to their habit are also popular for hanging baskets. There is only a small demand as flowering pot plants. Being half hardy, they are not used out of doors until June.

Propagation

Soft tip cuttings are best taken from stock plants set aside for this purpose, I.e. grown in pots permanently. When grown for use in May in 125mm pots, cuttings should be taken in the previous July, early August. Where plants in about 85mm pots are required cuttings can be taken in September-October. Cuttings can be taken in March to give plants for sale in June/July. Cuttings imported from sunnier climates permit rooting of this good material in January, February, March for plants for sale from May.

The best cutting material is short jointed. Use the tips of the shoots, leave the top intact, remove lower leaves and cut below a node. A suitable rooting compost is half peat and half sand. Insert cuttings firmly and avoid overwatering.

Where bottom heat can be provided, I.e. by soil-warming cables this gives quick rooting. Seradix or other rooting aids can be used as well as captan against blackleg.

Small quantities of cuttings can be inserted in 75mm deep trays or directly into the rooting medium in a propagating case or on a bench, for large batches.

Potting

When rooted, plants should be potted up singly into 85mm pots. Pot fairly firmly. J.I.P.l. is a suitable compost, or loamless mixes may be used.

Pot on early struck batches into 125mm pots, using J.I.P.2 or equivalent compost. These would be huge extra fine plants – Kew Gardens quality as it were, as against the much smaller offerings more frequently used and which don’t develop the number of flowers needed to make a show until later in the season.

Stopping

Pinch out the growing point to encourage a bushy plant, but taking care to stop plants to a leaf joint where a shoot growth bud shows. Side growths which develop from the first stopping can be stopped when they have two pairs of leaves.

Pest control

Aphids can be troublesome and spraying with malathion or fumigation with HCH may be needed regularly. White oil emulsions will reduce aphids, red spider and white fly problems.

Staking

The taller varieties will need careful staking and tying.

General points

Space out the plants when in flower, pay close attention to watering and avoid high temperatures.

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