Geranium Rozanne wilting after planting

fampoula(5)July 1, 2013

Hello Everyone,

I bought 3 Geraniums 'Rozanne' and one Bloody Cranesbill (G. Sanguineum) this week, and planted 2 of the Rozannes and the sanguineum on Saturday.

One Rozanne started wilting almost immediately after I planted it. The other began wilting within 1-2 hours. I misted both (did not water, since I had watered the hole as I was planting) and the second Rozanne perked right up. The second one was still limp, but started to look a little better. Sunday morning, the 2nd plant still looked good, but the 1st was still wilted. I misted just the 1st, not the 2nd. Around 10 am (which, come to think of it, is right around the time geranium 2 would be getting full sun), the 2nd (good) geranium, started wilting. I watered both. 2nd Geranium perked right up and was good all day, 1st Geranium showed some promise, but never came back. I misted again at around 7 pm. This morning, 2nd plant looked good and 1st plant looked like it was coming back. One branch of leaves was actually open and erect. Didn't water b/c we have heavy clay soil and I was afraid of overwatering. Now, it is 2 pm and both plants are wilted.

Sanguineum is and has been doing fine.

I need help because I think the 2nd geranium will come back, but if I am going to save the 1st, I feel like I should do something today. (This will be the 3rd day of wilting). I am not sure if the issue is with underwatering, or if the plants are in stress from the planting? If watering is the issue, I am tempted to take geranium 1 out of the soil today and re-plant it in our back, where the soil is much better quality. If the plant is in shock and might come back, I don't want to move it again.

About the watering: We have heavy clay soil that I amended it as best I could before planting, but am not sure if I did it right. Worked 20%cotton burr compost into the hole, but the soil was still very heavy when I planted the plants, especially as I watered the holes as I was planting (maybe this was a mistake). As heavy as the soil is, I am afraid to keep watering geranium 1, because I find it hard to believe that the soil underneath is dry. That said, after I broke up the soil as best I could, there were still grape size clumps of clay in there, which may actually be causing the water to drain through the soil, rather than retaining it.

Question 2: if even the second "good" geranium is wilting where it is placed, maybe this is not a good spot? Location is southern exposure, full sun for about 10 hours. We are in northern Illinois, near Lake Michigan.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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Update: because the 2nd plant responded to watering and misting, I went ahead and watered the heck out of the 1st plant yesterday and misted again. I then misted again around 8 pm. The plant perked up overnight and looked the best it has since I planted it. Then, as soon as the morning sun hit it (around 10 am), it started wilting again.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Let it establish roots since it is most likely in shock from replanting. Keep the plants well watered even if your soil is heavy. As long as there is no standing water, your plants will be fine. Don't mist them. That doesn't really do anything to help. Give them nice, deep waterings.

Your geraniums will grow some this year, but you will definitely notice a difference in size and vigor next spring and in coming years when more established.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 11:49AM
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