I think I have geraniums...

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

When I started my seeds this past spring, I think some geraniums managed to get mixed in with my impatiens. I've not grown geraniums before, and I do recall getting some seeds from a friend. I have about 8 of these, various sizes, and as they've gotten larger, it's obvious even to me that they aren't my impatiens. They are in a very heavily shaded bed. What should I do to save these plants? I'm not opposed to digging them up and potting them, but in this heat I'm not sure which is more damaging, no sun or transplanting. Any suggestions would be appreciated. :-)

Thumbnail by justdeb
Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

Do you know what kind of geraniums these are? Anyway, they look like a zonal, so go ahead and pot them up. They're pretty tough and should take to being moved OK. Use a good potting soil like Miracle Grow. Their water requirements are about opposite of impatients. They like full sun and to dry out between watering. In fact, stressing them a bit (keeping dry) will make them flower more. They can be overwintered indoors very easily.

I wouldn't put them in full sun immediately. Gradually move the pots to more and more sun over about a week or so. Just like when you put plants out in the spring, they need to get use to their new environment.

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

what type? oops. There is more than one? ;-)
I have no idea and since they've never bloomed (between the shade and the special 30 minute shower I give them every night with their impatiens....) I've got just the pot for 2-3 of them (how big do these get?). I'll go and rescue them now. It's pretty cool, we've had a good bit of rain today and the temp dropped from the high 90's to mid 70's. Can't imagine a better time to minimize the shock. Some are much larger than others. I have one that was marked as a hollyhock, and now I'm not so sure about it either. I'll see if I can get a pic. We tried a cheap walmart portable greenhouse. One swift wind and everything went crashing, along with their labels...Those that survived I took my best guess. LOL

Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

Hum..I just looked at your pic again. Are you sure it's a geranium? It might be a hollyhock.

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

LOL
I am clueless as to what it is. I just thought geranium for some reason. Would it help to get a close up picture of some leaves?
Anyway, whatever they are, 3 have been moved to seperate pots where they have hope of seeing the sun on occasion. :-)

Midway, TX(Zone 8b)

I bet it is a hollyhock. I looked at the picture several times.

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

really? Well, they survived the transplant and the largest one (the one in the picture) has a bud forming. This will definately help to identify. Watch it be weeds! LOL that's just the kind of thing that I'd do...
:-)

Midway, TX(Zone 8b)

Well it will be a surprise! lol You'll have to post a pick when it blooms. ;) I'm really curious now.
Lin

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

That one lone plant? looks like the zebrina malva miniature hollyhock to me.

Better move it, if it flowers, it will reseed everywhere, they are beautiful plants, but need lots of room LOL

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

It flowered....geranium it is (I think).

Thumbnail by justdeb
Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

It certainly looks like pelargonium to me. These are often called geranium, and they are in the geranium family. True geranium are the hardy cranesbill. That may be where the confusion is taking place. That's a beautiful pelargonium. I love the smell of their leaves... sort of funky!

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

So, what is a pelargonium? :-)
They do have a spice smell to the leaves. It is strange that you mentioned that.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Plants are technically identified by a family tree that, for the most part, starts with the Family...in this case Geraniaceae, then the Genus...in this case Pelargonium, then the Species or Cultivar. Though these lovely 'geraniums' are in the Geranium family, they are not technically considered Geraniums, though most people call them that.

Here is the listing in the Plantfiles for Geranium: http://davesgarden.com/pf/adv_search.php?searcher%5Bcommon%5D=&searcher%5Bfamily%5D=&searcher%5Bgenus%5D=geranium&searcher%5Bspecies%5D=&searcher%5Bcultivar%5D=&searcher%5Bhybridizer%5D=&search_prefs%5Bsort_by%5D=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search

Here is the listing in the Plantfiles for Pelargonium: http://davesgarden.com/pf/adv_search.php?searcher%5Bcommon%5D=&searcher%5Bfamily%5D=&searcher%5Bgenus%5D=pelargonium&searcher%5Bspecies%5D=&searcher%5Bcultivar%5D=&searcher%5Bhybridizer%5D=&search_prefs%5Bsort_by%5D=rating&images_prefs=both&Search=Search

True geranium are the hardy type often referred to as 'cranesbill' or 'hardy geranium'. They share a Family with pelargonium, but not a Genus. Most climates and areas have native geranium. Up here it is Geranium erianthum: http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/38334/index.html

As you can see, many hardy cranesbill can survive cold winters, whereas the pelargonium do not and are usually treated as an annual. Both are beautiful and both have a place in my gardens.

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