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Geraniums: Pelargonium 'Dark Red Irene'

Botanical name: Pelargonium 'Dark Red Irene'

Common name: geranium

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created by:
chief cultivator

Mercer island, Wa

at a glance

Soil: dry, neutral, sand
Zones: 9a thru 11a

butterfly attracting, bee attracting

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description for "Geraniums: Pelargonium 'Dark Red Irene'"

The common garden and pot "geranium" is really the botanical Pelargonium. Although the genus Pelargonium and the genus Geranium are in the same family, and many Pelargoniumsare commonly known as "geraniums", these should not be confused with true Geraniums. Having said that, the Pelargonium genus is a much hybridized group and many are crosses. They are compact plants with succulent green to pale bronze stems. The strongly aromatic, slightly hairy leaves range in shape from almost circular to kidney-shaped, with scalloped margins. There are often distinctive darker markings or "zones" on the foliage. The flowers, massed on long-stemmed heads which may be single or double, are usually brightly colored and appear over a long season. Plants become shrubby with age. Generally grow to about 24 inches in height. These are frost tender plants and should be treated like annuals in cold climates. In warmer climates with long hours of daylight, they flower almost all of the time. Extreme heat and humidity is not preferred, however. The planting site should be sunny with light, well drained, neutral soil. Avoid over watering. These geraniums in particular rot at the base if the soil remains wet. If soil is alkaline, add peat moss or sawdust to the planting bed. Remove spent blooms to encourage new bloom. If grown in pots, deadhead and fertilize when necessary, and water every other day. Can also be grown as a house plant or topiary. 'Dark Red Irene' is from the Irene series which have slightly larger flowers than others. -- edited by dtd pbcouchman

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