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.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.