If you grow Zonal Geraniums for their flowers you will want to get a good number of Pips (Florets) or flower buds on each head of flower. After a week in a small vase I have just counted 81 florets on one bloom.
When a geranium flower first appears it will be like a walking stick with the flower head hanging down. As the stem grows above the foliage it will progressively straighten the neck until the first floret points upward. At this stage the petals will start to break through the protective stipule and show colour opening directly upwards. Each day brings more florets open until a well formed flower head and a complete ball of flower is displayed.
If pips are damaged or finished early they can be removed with tweezers. In fact for exhibitions and shows you can remove all partially opened florets 10 days before the show (to avoid them going over) and get a full open flower head at the right time.
With care you can have a Geranium flowering every week of the year and far from ‘giving me the Pip’ they are versatile interesting and easy flowers to grow.
- I have just read two books on Geraniums and both authors said they did not bother ‘Crocking’ pots (putting broken pot at the bottom to aid drainage).
- Since most of the English speaking world call Pelargoniums ‘Geraniums’ join the club and only differentiate when it really matters.
- Most Geraniums can be cross pollinated but Diploid varieties will not cross with Triploids and some varieties are harder than others. ( Diploids tend to have smoother glossier leaves whilst Triploids have the furry feel and appearance to the leaves.