Pelargonium x hortum 'Elite Red'

Pelargonium x hortum Elite Red

Pelargonium x hortum 'Elite Red' is the first geranium that I have grown from seed. Most of the time we grow geraniums from cuttings and they do very well, but growing them from seed is a new experience. Pelargonium x hortum is a complex hybrid largely derived from P. inquiuans and P. zonale. The Elite series by Park Seed is a great geranium for bedding or container culture. From seed, the geraniums flower in 13 weeks from sowing; plants at this stage are about 6 inches (15 cm) tall. The plant's overall height is about 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) tall. Even though the plants are considered annuals in zone 7, they are very hardy in zones 9-11.

Blooming: In the greenhouse, geraniums bloom all year long. Plants of the Elite series have flower heads 4 inches (10 cm) across and are about 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm) above the foliage.

Culture: Pelargonium x hortum 'Elite Red' needs full sun to partial shade, with a well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. Although geraniums are very drought tolerant, we try to keep them on the moist side for optimal growth. Plants are fertilized every other week with a balanced fertilizer. Since we use these plants in classes, they have to be grown under lights in the winter months and fertilized just as you would in the summer.

Propagation: Pelargonium x hortum 'Elite Red' is propagated from seed or from cuttings. Seed obtained from Park Seed germinate in 12-14 days after sowing.

Pelargonium x hortum 'Elite Red' was featured as Plant of the Week April 1-7, 2005.

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