Check out our detailed guide for Martha Washington Geranium Care and include this amazing plant in your collection!
Martha Washington Geraniums produces vibrant and showy blooms in shades of pink, purple, and white. With proper care and attention, these plants can provide color and beauty to your garden or home for years to come!
Botanical Name: Pelargonium domesticum
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Martha Washington Geranium Plant Information
The Martha Washington Geranium was developed in the early 1800s by crossing together different wild species. It is a perennial flowering plant that is popular for its showy flowers and long blooming period. It is native to South Africa and is grown as an annual in most temperate climates.
The Martha Washington Geranium was named after Martha Washington, the wife of the first president of the United States, George Washington. It was developed in England by hybridizing several species of wild geraniums, including the Pelargonium zonale and the Pelargonium cucullatum. The goal of the hybridization was to create a geranium that would bloom for a longer period of time.
The Martha Washington Geranium has bright pink, purple, or white flowers with five petals. The leaves are rounded and slightly fuzzy. They are usually green but may also be grey-green or purple. The plant blooms from late spring until fall and is easy to care for. It prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil.
Propagating Martha Washington Geranium
Propagation of Martha Washington Geranium is relatively easy through stem cuttings. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Choose a healthy stem from the mother Martha Washington Geranium plant. It should be about 4-6 inches long and have at least two to three sets of leaves.
- Using sharp scissors or pruning shears, make a clean cut on the stem, just below a node (the point where a leaf meets the stem).
- Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem, leaving only the top leaves intact.
- Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder.
- Insert the stem into the potting mix, making sure that the bottom half of the stem is buried in the soil.
- Water the cutting thoroughly and cover the pot with a plastic bag or a clear plastic container to create a humid environment.
- Place the pot in a warm, bright location but out of direct sunlight.
- Check the cutting regularly and mist it with water if the soil feels dry.
- After about 3-4 weeks, the Martha Washington Geranium will show new growth.
Once the new plant has grown to a few inches tall, it can be transplanted into a larger pot or into the garden.
Here’s all you need to know about propagating Geraniums
Requirements for Growing Martha Washington Geranium
If you’re growing this geranium in a container, the perfect pot size would be 10-12 inches deep and wide similarly.
Martha Washington Geraniums require full sun to partial shade. It needs at least 5-6 hours of sunlight per day to thrive well.
However, too much direct sunlight can damage the leaves and flowers, so it’s best to provide some shade during the hottest part of the day.
This plant prefers well-draining soil that is slightly acidic with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Add plenty of organic matter, such as compost, to improve its texture and nutrient content.
Avoid using heavy or clay soils that can retain too much moisture, as this can lead to root rot.
Martha Washington Geraniums require moderate watering but do not end up watering the plant on a daily basis, as this can cause the roots to rot.
Water the plants at the base only when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch, and avoid getting the leaves wet to prevent disease.
Temperature and Humidity
Martha Washington Geraniums prefer moderate temperatures between 60-70°F (15-21°C) during the day and 50-60°F (10-15°C) at night.
They can tolerate temperatures as high as 100°F (38°C) if grown in the shade and as low as 40°F (4°C) but are sensitive to frost and freezing temperatures.
A relative humidity level of 50% or more is ideal for these plants, but they won’t mind growing in dry air as well. You can increase the humidity level by misting the plants regularly with water or placing a humidifier nearby.
Here are the best tips on keeping the Geraniums blooming for long
Martha Washington Geraniums Care
Martha Washington Geraniums require regular fertilization during the growing season to promote healthy growth and blooming.
Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 formula, every two to four weeks during the growing season. Do remember to dilute the strength to 1/2 of the recommendation on the packet. Reduce fertilization during the winter months if you don’t live in a frost-free zone.
Pests and Diseases
These plants are susceptible to pests, such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. Inspect the plants regularly for signs of infestation, such as yellowing leaves, stunted growth, or sticky residue on the leaves. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat the infested plants.
Proper watering and good air circulation can help prevent these diseases. Remove infected leaves and flowers immediately to prevent the spread of the disease. Use a fungicide or bactericide to treat the affected plants.