Pelargonium Zonale: Home Care, Transplanting And Propagation

The beautiful flowering plant Pelargonium zonale (Pelargonium) is quite widespread in indoor culture. It is commonly referred to as a geranium, and this crop is part of the geranium family. Its homeland is considered South America. This is a very heat-loving plant. This is what distinguishes it from the real geranium, which is relatively resistant to cold and is found in the middle latitudes of Russia (it prefers to grow in fields and meadows).

Pelargonium zonale was so named because of the special border on its leaves - a circular zone having a dark color. The leaf plates are rounded and emarginate. The shoots and leaves contain special essential oils. Therefore, if you touch them, you can feel a specific aroma.

This plant is a herbaceous shrub.

This perennial can be up to 0.9 m tall. It is a fast growing plant, its average annual growth is about 20-30 centimeters. It needs to be renewed once every 2 or 3 years.

Flowers are seen throughout the summer.

The inflorescences may be macrose or simple. They are part of multi-flowered umbrella-caps. The color can vary from fiery red to white.

Brief description of cultivation

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

  1. Temperature regime. 20 to 25 degrees in warm seasons and 13 to 15 degrees in winter months.

  2. Humidity. Average.
  3. Lightness. Plenty of bright, diffused light needed.
  4. Watering.

    Water moderately in winter and abundantly in summer.

  5. Substrate. Universal purchased soil mixture.
  6. Feeding. April-August once every 15 days.

  7. Potting. In spring time. Carried out when the root system becomes cramped in the pot. Transplanted by the method of transfer.
  8. Propagation.

    By seed method and by apical cuttings.

  9. Care peculiarities. Needs good light, close container, systematic fertilization, regular moistening of the substrate. Frequent pruning and coolness during overwintering are necessary.



Home care of zonal pelargonium

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

Pelargonium zonal is quite easy to adapt to room conditions. It is unpretentious and undemanding.


This plant is heat-loving.

It reacts extremely negatively to temperatures below 8 degrees. The optimal temperature regime for zonal pelargonium: from 20 to 25 degrees - in summer, from 13 to 15 degrees - in winter. The flower can be strongly harmed by a draft, the proximity of working heating devices, sudden changes in temperature and touching the cold surface of the glass.

Air humidity

This culture, growing at home, does not need to be systematically moistened. However, if the summer is too hot, the plant can be moistened from a sprayer with well-conditioned water at a temperature slightly above room temperature.

In cold seasons, the air of apartments is dried by heating devices, which negatively affects the condition of the flower. To avoid this, it is recommended to put the bush with the pot on a deep tray, which is filled with wet expanded clay.


Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

Any varieties of this plant do not tolerate shady places. If the shrub suffers from lack of light it loses its decorativeness: the shoots become elongated and bare at the bottom, the foliage becomes shallow and faded. Pelargonium zonal feels best on a southern window sill.

However, on hot summer days the plant needs shading from the sun, which will prevent the appearance of sunburn on the leaves.

Eastern and western orientation windowsills are also suitable for this culture. But in this case, its flowering will be shorter and less spectacular. For the bush to flower as lushly as possible, it needs at least 16 hours a day of bright light.


Watering should be treated with great care.

If the ball of earth dries out in the tank, it can cause all the foliage to turn yellow very quickly. If the root system becomes stagnant on a regular basis, it may cause the root system to rot.

So only water the substrate in the pot when it has dried to a depth of 20mm: 3 to 4 times every 7 days in summer and once every 1-1.5 weeks in winter. Be sure to remove any water that has run down into the tray some time after watering.


Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

Pick the substrate so that it is not overly "greasy" and nutritious. Due to the very high amount of nutrients in the soil mixture, shoots and foliage will actively grow, which will negatively affect flowering.

For zonal pelargonium, a shop-made universal soil mixture is suitable. To make a soil mixture with your own hands, you should combine in equal parts peat, mulch and turf soil. To increase the drainage properties and friability of the earth mixture is combined with coarse sand.

To prevent the appearance of rot on the root system, the substrate is mixed with a small amount of charcoal. A good drainage layer of pebbles or claydite should be made on the bottom of the pot.


For the plant to flower regularly and abundantly, it should be fed with a mineral complex with a high phosphorus and potassium content. Since nitrogen promotes stronger growth of shoots and leaves, it should be kept to a minimum in the fertilizer. Fertilizing is carried out once every 15-20 days, starting in spring and ending in autumn.

Special fertilizers for pelargoniums or for tomatoes can be used.

If the bush was not so recently planted or transplanted, its feeding only begins after 6 weeks. You can also use foliar fertilization. A solution of Zircon is used for this: 4 drops of the product per 1 tbsp. of water.


Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

Potting such a flower can be done at any time during the growing season. Note that the new container should be a little cramped for the root system of the shrub. In this case, the zonal pelargonium will spend its forces not on the active build-up of green mass, but on the formation of inflorescences.

But if the root system has grown quite strongly, then a slightly more spacious pot is chosen for transplanting the bush. When transplanting an adult flower, only the substrate is replaced, and the pot is left the same.


Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

Flowers quite long and lush from the spring until the beginning of the fall period. Once the umbrella-shaped inflorescences are finished blooming, they should be picked off. This will speed up the opening of new flowers.

The color of the inflorescences is directly related to the variety. They are most commonly colored in pink, red, white and salmon-colored.

There are also unusual varieties: their petals are decorated with spots of different colors.

Pelargonium is quite popular with breeders. That's why today you can find varieties whose flowers are similar in form to tulips, roses and cacti.

Pelargonium zonalis. How to achieve lush blooms.


It is very important to form the bush crown correctly. This will ensure a compact, neat appearance and lush blooms. Failure to trim the bush in the spring and to prune its shoots in the fall will result in elongation and bare stems and poor flowering.

There are 2 pruning operations throughout the year:

  1. In the springtime to improve flowering. Prune the stems (2-5 buds should be left on each stem).

  2. In the fall to make the bush more bushy. Prune the apex buds and remove all weakened and thin branches.

A very sharp knife or blade is recommended for this procedure. All tools should be sterilized to prevent infection.

Propagation methods


Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

The easiest and fastest way to propagate indoor zonal pelargonium is with cuttings.

Plus, the new bush will inherit all the varietal features from the parent plant.

Preparing cuttings is done at the beginning of the spring period or in the last days of summer or the first days of fall. They can be anywhere from 7 to 15 centimetres long. The cut is made with a 5 mm distance downwards from the leaf node. All the lower leaf plates should be removed.

Large leaves should be reduced in size by cutting them in half. This will reduce evaporation.

All flower stems should be cut back as they prevent the cuttings from forming their own root system. When a weakened bush is used for cuttings, it is advisable to dip the lower part of the cuttings in a product that stimulates root growth.

The cuttings take root quickly and well.

If they are kept warm (20 to 25 degrees), the roots will grow after 15 days. Even plain water can be used to root the cuttings. Note that cuttings should not be placed on a cold window sill, otherwise blackleg disease and rot might occur.

Pelargonium (geranium) rooting is quick and easy! 100% rooting!

Growing from seed

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

This crop is quite easy to grow from seed. Each seed has a relatively dense seed coat on the surface.

To increase their germination, scarification is required. To do this, the seed should be gently rubbed on a fine sandpaper.

Soak the seed by putting it between layers of cloth. After a few hours it is dried and you can start sowing. Fill a container with a moist soil mixture of perlite (10 parts) and peat (1 part).

Level the surface of the substrate and distribute the seeds evenly over it. Top them with a thin layer of substrate. Cover the container with foil or glass.

The seeds should be kept warm (20 to 23 degrees). Ventilate them regularly and moisten the substrate if necessary.

The first seedlings should show after half a month. Remove the cover and move the seedlings to a well-lit place (light should be diffused). Prick the young bushes after they grow 2 or 3 true leaf plates.

Pelargonia zonal. Growing from seed.

Possible problems

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

Home pelargonium zonale most often becomes ill because of infected soil or because of care failures. Most often, flower growers encounter problems such as:

  1. The leaf plates have white circles. The plant is affected by rust. Excessively high humidity and heat contribute to the development of this disease.
  2. The stems and underside of the leaves are stained with gray fuzz.

    Gray mold has developed due to stagnant moisture in the substrate.

  3. The foliage changes its color to red. The room is very cold or the humidity is excessively low.
  4. Bottom leaf plates turn yellow and develop brown spots. Watering too infrequently or sparingly.

  5. Stem rot appears at substrate level. Water stagnates systematically in the soil mixture.
  6. The stem turns black. The bush is affected by "black leg". The plant is affected by this disease due to infected soil mixture or excessively high substrate humidity.

  7. Lack of flowering. Excessive lack of light, or excessive nutrients in the substrate, or the bush has wintered in a very warm place.
  8. Spots of yellow on the leaves. Sunlight burns.
  9. Tops of leaf plates turning brown.

    Very low humidity levels.

  10. Leaves die off at the bottom of the stem. This is a quite natural process associated with the growth of the bush.
  11. The edge of the leaf plates has become yellow. The plant stands next to a working heater, has been exposed to a draft or a sudden change in temperature.

  12. Pests. Spider mites, aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs are the most common pests.

Pelargonium species

Geranium zonalis (Pelargonium zonale)

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

This perennial is a strongly branching bush that is about 0.9 meters tall. The emarginate leaflets are roundish, with a circular, dark-colored border.

The umbrella-like cap inflorescences consist of small, simple or abundant flowers (20 to 30 mm across), which may vary in color from red to white. Flowering lasts from spring to fall. During the summer, if desired, the shrub can be planted in the garden.

Geranium Royal (Pelargonium Regal)

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

The stem of this plant is straight and sparsely branched. The folded sharply-lobed leaf plates have a finely serrated edge.

The large, showy flowers are about 50 mm across. The flowers may be macro or simple and vary in color from purplish-red to white. Cultivated exclusively in the home.

Geranium ivy-leaved or shield-shaped (Pelargonium peltatum)

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

The branches of this low-growing shrub are somewhat ribbed and drooping. The fleshy shield-shaped leaf plates have a glossy green coloration.

The umbrella-like inflorescences include 5 to 8 flowers. Blooming continues throughout the summer. Often grown as an ampel plant.

Scented geranium (Pelargonium odoratissimum)

Pelargonium zonale: home care, transplanting and propagation

The crop has a greenish and strongly branching stem. The shape of the carved leaf plates is palpate-lobed.

There are numerous tufts on their surface. If you touch them, you can feel the sharp pleasant aroma. The umbrella-like inflorescences consist of unsightly flowers that have no decorative value. It is grown both at home and in the open air.

Beneficial properties

It has been known since long ago that zonal pelargonium has useful properties:

  1. The essential oil of this plant is used in phytotherapy.

    It helps with neuroses, cardiovascular diseases, insomnia and hypertension.

  2. The foliage is noted for its antimicrobial properties.
  3. The bush helps purify indoor air.
  4. The essential oil obtained from this plant is used in cosmetics.

Pelargonium zonalis care in November cuttings


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