SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GERANIUM & PELARGONIUM SOCIETY INCORPORATED

To promote and encourage the growing of all members of the Geraniaceae family of plants, in particular, Pelargoniums and Geraniums.

Caring for Pelargoniums in Australia

February
  • This is the time to prune your plants.
March
  • Allow plants to settle from being pruned in February.
  • The heat is not over so watch the pots don’t dry out
  • Water early in the morning so plants can absorb the moisture
  • Give a light feeding of suitable fertilizer.  Mix according to manufacturer’s instructions on the packet
  • Fine roots should start to appear on your cuttings
  • New plants and older plants need to be watched for shaping
April
  • Plants should have lots of new shoots
  • Watch watering – nights are cooler but plants can still get very dry
  • Keep shaping and pinching out shoots
  • Keep centre of plant open to allow light and air circulation
  • Rotate pots regularly to ensure even growth
  • Cutting can be potted on if root and leaf growth is good. Allow a day or two to settle then lightly fertilize with Phostrogen or Fish Emulsion
May
  • Keep shaping plants, remembering to rotate plants regularly
  • Pinch
  • Start planning what you will bring to the October Show!
  •  out tips to encourage lower growth
  • Watch for green caterpillars. Pick them off or spray with a safe spray.  Read the instructions, use gloves and face mask if required.  Don’t leave sprays out where children can get them!
  • Keep plants moist but not wet
June
  • Keep pinching tips
  • Establish a balanced feeding regime from now on, to keep plants going through the cooler weather.  Plant growth is slower, so only light feedings will be required
  • Keep a watch for insect attack, pick off caterpillars, use “soft” sprays such as pest oil, sulphur or pyrethrum
  • Do not allow plants in pots to become too wet
July
  • Before planting Pelargoniums in the garden, prepare the garden beds by adding compost and fertilizer, planting can begin in August
  • Pots should only be watered when the top 5 cm is dry. Water plants in the morning, Later watering means that soil is cold and wet overnight and roots may be damaged
  • Keep pinching scented varieties
  • Watch for ongoing insect attack
  • Colour leaf varieties should be at their peak. They do best in a sheltered outdoor position.  Prepare to take them to the July Coloured Leaf Show
  • Watch for hail storms, these can cause much damage to plants that are unprotected.
August
  • Keep up fertilizing as plants will tend to put on more growth from now on
  • Take care with watering, fine days do not necessarily mean that plants need more water
  • Keep up the vigilance for insect attack
  • Some plants, especially scented leaved varieties, can now be planted into the garden beds that were prepared in July
  • Keep shaping plants especially those that have “show potential”.  Rotate pots regularly to keep growth balanced
  • Begin to think about some displays or exhibits that you or a group of members might like to prepare for the October show.   The show is now only 2 months away!
September
  • Keep giving plants light liquid fertiliser and a small amount of Osmocote
  • Watch for bugs and caterpillars; squash them or spray them with Pyrethrum or one of the safe sprays
  • Keep turning plants to get even growth
  • Decide which plants will be suitable for the show, either for the competition or our exhibit area
October
  • Continue to feed the plants to increase the flower size
  • Watch watering as there can be occasionally hot days – plants seem to be more tender after the cool weather
  • Don’t forget that plants for the Show need to be in terracotta colour pots
  • Read the Show schedule and rules carefully if you are exhibiting – label plants correctly
November
  • Plants need a light feed and allow time to settle after the Show
  • Keep dead heading plants so they flower longer
  • Keep an eye out for white fly as the weather warms up