Thursday, June 5, 2014

Eclipse Zonal Geraniums

Geranium Eclipse Rose Splash.  Click on the image to see a slide show of this week's Cranial spec. load

Geranium Eclipse Hybrid. Pelargonium X hortorum
Geranium is no longer the tough plant that grew in neglected gardens and was ignored by all but Grannie who stole a few cuttings.  Modern breeding has produced a series of plants with compact growth habits, striking large flowers, brilliant colours and strong stems. 

You are probably well aware of the BIG series of Geranium, led by the Biggest of them all: BIG Red, actually Calliope Dark Red but let's not split hairs.  The BIG series are just that, big and bold and ideal for garden planting or large containers.  More about the BIG series in weeks to come, but the Calliope (BIG) series has a little brother. 

Geranium Eclipse White Splash.
The Eclipse series.  Eclipse shares the Calliope genetics but these varieties have been selected for compact growth.  They are just as vigorous and disease resistant but they maintain a compact shape making them ideal for containers on the patio or the back yard picnic setting.

At a glance:
Pelargonium X hortorum
Zonal Geranium. The term zonal refers to the dark "zonal" markings on the leaves. (at least that's my theory)
Position: Full Sun
Soil: Well drained but can be quite hungry.  Use Premium potting mix in containers.  Our potting mix is slightly acid, pH 5.5
Cutting flowers regularly encourages more blooms.
Pruning: Prune willingly.  Best done in Winter in preparation for a Spring flush of growth but can be done any time you want to tidy the shape up.
When pruning plants in pots, cut them back within the circumference of the pot and give them a feed. We recommend a controlled release fertilizer eg. Osmocote.
Flowering Season: In theory Spring - Autumn but in our mild climate they will flower year round.  Here's a tip; Prune and feed in the first week of October for a Christmas flush of flowers.

Geranium Eclipse Confetti

PS. Check this nice thank you from the Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden people.

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