Geranium dropping leaves.. over or underwatering??

sahm2Jordan(z8 Coastal NC)July 7, 2004

Hi everyone! This is my first gernanium bought on impulse at walmart a few months ago bc of the beautiful lavendar blooms. I have had a problem of leaf dropping that I just can't figure out.

When I first got the plant it was huge and full and pot bound. It required daily watering and sometimes twice daily to keep from drying out and losing the buds so I repotted it. I was actually 3 in one pot so I did them into three pots.

This may be the cause of my problem but they have florist foam packed around the base of the plant and roots. It cannot be removed without doing serious damage to the root ball so I left it.

They get about 4 or 5 hrs of full mid day to afternoon sun. They constantly produce buds and blooms and new leaves. I see no signs of pests or disease. It's humid and hot here. I do not water in the heat of the day unless I have to and if I do I put them in the shade so not sunshine on wet leaves here.

If I let them dry between waterings like the tag on them says the buds dry up and fall off so I water when the top of the soil feels dry and the buds still look healthy. I water completely until it drains out of the bottom. This is about every 2-3 days depending on the heat.

The leaves turn yellow and then they turn brown and dry and fall off or more likely get plucked off by a frustrated me! Here are some pictures I took of them around noon today. Any suggestions? I am going to take the cuttings and overwinter them in the house since I love this color. But I'd love to stop losing my leaves since they are beginning to look scraggly.

Thanks to anyone who can shed some light on this. It's been driving me crazy! LOL

Michelle

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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

They look overwatered (possibly over-fertilised) but not excessively so. The plants look basically healthy. I've never had buds dry up and fall off from too little water.

Having lots of foam in amongst the roots probably isn't helping, those roots won't be able to get water and nutrients. Rip out the foam (and any roots that get in the way!) and repot with a good well-drained soil. Don't water for a couple of days after repotting to let the roots heal.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 7:53AM
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sahm2Jordan(z8 Coastal NC)

Thanks! I think it's the foam and the soil. I found a thread on the container gardening board that mentioned some major problems with the walmart soil which is what I repotted with. So... I'm going to get some lighter soil.. tear our all that foam and repot and take a few cuttings to be sure the plant is preserved one way or another! LOL

Thanks a bunch and I'll let you know how my plant in a week or so! As for over fertilized.. I don't think so even though I do feed it weekly bc I tried to fertilize to see if it helped with the leaf dropping. So that problem started long before I started fertilizing at all. I think it's bad soil that doesn't drain well combined with foam stuck in around the roots.

Well! I have work to do! Thanks again!
Michelle

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 10:29AM
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Dawny(5 MI)

It does look overwatered. They like lots of sun and like to dry out between waterings.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2004 at 9:47PM
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