Please help ... Will this geranium survive?

mindstorm(z6 MA)July 11, 2012

Just planted geraniums for the first time - am very ambivalent about them. The gardeners were supposed to plant 4 or 6 but planted 9 instead.

In trying to restructure the plantings in one of my beds, I was a bit rough with moving one and the plant "separated" from its roots - really, much to my surprise, I was left holding the plant while the base and roots - which were exposed - were left on the ground. I don't like to kill plants - especially perfectly healthy ones - so feel a bit guilty (although, once again, I really don't care for geraniums).

I did bury the roots in the ground and stuck the plant in as well just in case the blasted thing sets roots here and there and can take off again.

Can you help me determine if the plant will live? If not, I'll have to rejigger all the other plantings so as not to have this unnatural spacing.


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If you are referring to pelargoniums - zonal geraniums - yes, it is very likely both parts of the plant will regrow. But whether or not either or both will develop to an equal size and flowering stage as the remaining undamaged plants this season is up for grabs.

If your concern is the uniformity of appearance of the planting and the spacing, then I'd replace the plant(s).

    Bookmark   July 11, 2012 at 4:55PM
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mindstorm(z6 MA)

Gardengal, Thank you so much for your response. It is much appreciated.

I had to look up what a pelargonium is - I don't believe mine is one. I have the Cranesbill Rozanne which I understand to be quite hardy. I hope your cheerful message extends to these plants too although the above-ground part of my decapitated geranium is looking quite woeful this morning.

I'm not worried about uniformity of appearance this season - they are all uniformly scraggly in their beds at this point; I wanted to know if my less-than-gentle garden behaviour will cost a poor plant its life simply because I couldn't bring myself to be more careful. I hope it will survive long term and so far what I assume from your message is that it might do. Is that fair for a cranesbill too?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Unfortunately, hardy geraniums/cranesbills do not necessarily act the same as the zonals/pelargoniums. Separation of the root crown from the topgrowth generally spells doom for the plant. If you have any hope at all, it is with the roots. And I think you may have a decent chance with that......plants tend to be amazingly resilient and can take the most appalling abuse (not that yours was the slightest bit intentional!) and still come back fighting. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 2:55PM
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mindstorm(z6 MA)

Bless you gardengal. Your words warm my heart - if the roots do push off a plant, I think I might get lucky and get two because a couple of the shoots associated with the decapitated plant seem to have stabilized with the shoots green a couple of leaves looking jolly good and a couple of the buds starting to perk.

I know that conventional wisdom would suggest that I disbud to let the plant focus on developing its infrastructure rather than the energy draining parts but I'm frankly afraid to thwart any part of the plant that still clings to life!

Thank you so much for your guidance.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 12:56PM
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