Geraniums are a very popular plant and have been for many years. I can’t speak for everyone, but I believe that they are a favorite not only because of their beauty but also because of their strength. Geraniums are able to thrive in hot, dry and sunny locations better than almost any other annual. Red is the color most people request but that should not deter anyone from noticing the beautiful salmons, purples, pinks and whites that are available.

Geraniums perform best when the spent flowers are removed in a process known as “dead-heading”. The small amount of time required to remove the dead flowers is well worth the results. (If you’re not familiar with how to do this, please feel free to ask anyone at Wenke Greenhouses for instruction.)

I’m frequently asked what the difference is between a cultured geranium also known as a zonal or cutting geranium and the seed types. In terms of how we produce them, cultured geraniums are grown from cuttings taken from a stock or mother plant while seed geraniums are produced from seed. We start most of our seed and cultured geraniums in January and February so that they are ready for planting in the garden in May.

The important difference between cultured and seed geraniums is really performance. Cultured geraniums tend to have much larger flower heads and significantly bigger foliage as compared to seed geraniums. As a general guideline, people who are planting in patio pots or baskets tend to want the larger flowers that come with cultured geraniums. People who are planting a large flowerbed tend to go with seed geraniums. Both types can work in either environment.

If you haven’t already, you’ve got to give Calliope® a whirl this season! Calliope® is a cross between an ivy and a zonal type of cultured geranium. Ivy Geraniums tend to have a trailing habit, smaller flowers and just ok garden performance. Zonal types tend to be upright, large flowers and great garden performance. Calliope® is a cross between the two to give the semi-trailing habit, large flowers and excellent performance. You simply won’t believe the color show Calliope®  has in store for you! Calliope® will be your pride and joy all season long, so get those containers ready for some spectacular color!

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