Pelargonium zonale

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Pelargonium zonale

Geraniaceae

Life form: subshrub
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   9

Moisture: moderately moist bis Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam

Arrangement: alternate
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: reniform

Division: simple

Shape: five-stellate
Fruit: schizocarp

40C / e7422b 

Inflorescence: umbel

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Rosidae
Superordo:
Geranianae
Ordo:
Geraniales

Pelargonium zonale is a subshrub.

Naming

Pelargonium zonale was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1789.

Taxonomy

Pelargonium zonale is a species in the genus Pelargonium which contains approximately 62 to 1479 species and belongs to the family of the Geraniaceae (Geranium Family). The type species of the genus is Pelargonium hirsutum.

Characteristics

Pelargonium zonale - flowers

Growth

The subshrubs reach heights of 50 to 100 centimetres.

Wood and Bark

Leaves

Pelargonium zonale is evergreen. The simple leaves are alternate. They are reniform, crenate and petiolate.

Flowers and Fruits

Pelargonium zonale produces umbels of salmon-red five-stellate flowers from May to October.

The subshrubs produce schizocarps.

Root System

Distribution

Pelargonium zonale is native to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Cultivation

The subshrubs prefer a sunny situation on fresh to moist soil. The substrate should be sandy loam. They tolerate temperatures down to -7°C (USDA zone 9). Under glass use loamy potting compost.

In summer the plants prefer protection from hot midday sun. In winter the plants prefer not too bright light.

Uses

The subshrubs are suited for cultivation in a cold house. Suited as cemetery plant and as container plant.

Maintenance and Propagation

  • Remove withered flowers.
  • Repot as necessary at the beginning of the growing season.
  • For healthy growth apply a compound fertilizer every 2 to 3 weeks during growth.
  • Water moderately in summer, give little water in winter.
  • Lightly cut back at the beginning of the growing period.

Propagate by cuttings in summer.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Small dark-coloured beetles feeding on the plants are very likely vine weevils. Their larvae feed on seedling, cuttings, roots and tubers. Handpick and destroy pests and improve hygiene. Additionaly use insecticide or biological control (nematodes).

Mottled leaves indicate an infestation with leafhoppers. These sap-sucking insects spread viruses and fungal spores and can be controlled by applying an insecticide.

Waxy fibres and honeydew on leaves and shoots indicate an infestation with mealybugs. Apply insecticide or control biologically with predatory ladybirds.

Honeydew, galls and distorted leaves are a sign for an infestation with aphids. Use an insecticide or control biologically , e.g. with parasitic wasps or predators such as Aphidoletes aphidimyza.

White spots on flowers and leaves in combination with buds that do not open indicate an infestation with thrips. These insects can be controlled by improving ventilation and by watering regularly as well as by using an insecticide or biolocial pest control (predatory mites).

Rot on leaves, shoots, flowers or fruits indicated an infection with grey mould (botrytis). Remove and destroy affected plants. Apply fungizide. Improve ventilation and hygiene and avoid injuring the plants to prevent infections.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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