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Growing Together, Issue # 87
April 27, 2014

Ivy Leaf Geranium Excellent Container Plant

Welcome to the April Growing Together newsletter from landscape solutions for you. It is a pleasure to be with all of you. As always, welcome to our new members, as well as all of you getting together again. This month I wanted to share a little insight on a special variety of the Geranium family, the Ivy Leaf,

This geranium is know best for its leaves that resemble ivy. Cascading stems create an ideal atmosphere for using this specie in a container garden. There are two different types of ivy leaf. One variety from Europe is a single-flowered specimen, and is considered more heat tolerant. The other variety is a semi-double bloom. The semi-double bloom produces less blossoms, but does well all summer. A great aspect of the ivy leaf is all varieties provide you with the cascade look.

There are miniature varieties that will mature to only 12 inches in width. The large varieties can top out at five feet high. Ivy leaf grows best in cool coastal, or mountainous climates. If you don't live near the coast or in the mountains, recommendation is to give this specie partial shade. If you are considering a container garden using the ivy leaf, be aware if temperatures go in the mid 80's or above. You will have to move the specimen to an area that gets east or northern exposure. It is also very important not to let the plant get too dry. All container plants need to be watered more than ground plants. Also, put outside after the danger of any frost.

The best way to propagate is from cuttings. You can take cutting from plants that are between 9 and 11 weeks from going outside. The key to success with propagating from cuttings, is to pinch tips a couple of times to promote branching out. Besides container and ground gardens, the ivy leaf geranium does well in hanging baskets, window boxes, and patio planters. The different varieties present you with a range of colors. The Sofie cascade is a light pink with a deeper tone center. Bright cascade is a vibrant red. Lila Compact blooms in a delightful lavender color. Some of the semi-doubles are Yale, a deep crimson; Galilee, a hot pink; Salmon and Snow are a cherry red.

The Summer Showers group is the only ivy leaf that can be seed grown. If you germinate this variety from seed, you can get red, pink, lavender, white, and a rich plum tones. Whether you decide on the ivy leaf ot zonal geraniums, the result is beautiful color for you to enjoy throughout the warm summer months. A great addition to your landscape or gardens.

Tip For The Month

Here in the southeast, due to the bitter cold winter months, many trees and shrubs didn't make it through the winter. One of the biggest varieties in South Carolina was the Indian Hawthorn. The Hawthorn not only got hit with extreme cold temperatures, but also a disease that turned leaves to brown. I have seen this a lot since working at the nursery. Make sure with any plant that is in stress, or looks dead to do the scratch test. Scratch off a little bit of the bark of the trunk or a branch. If is shows any signs of green, the specimen is still alive. If it is brown, it may be in severe shock or dead. Before getting rid of the Indian Hawthorn or other cold damaged plants, give your ground temperature a chance to warm up to see if the specimen may bounce back.

Thought For The Month

As each of us enter a new season, it is important to take your check list out for your gardens and landscape. Run through the different items you need to get done to ensure healthy plants for the upcoming seasons that lie ahead. This is also true of each of us. You can write daily goals and check them off to see if you and your family are healthy and happy. Each day brings new challenges to all of us. Take each day with a positive attitude, a willingness to help others, and the time to step outside to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

When you receive this newsletter this month, make sure you check out landscape solutions for you new look and feel. Now all the site isn't updated yet, but you will be able to meet the ultimate plant grower. I hope all of you have a happy and healthy May. Look forward to being with you again at the end of May. Thank you for joining me this month.


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