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Geraniums & Pelargoniums

Course CodeVHT113
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

GERANIUMS AND PELARGONIUMS ONLINE COURSE

Geraniums and Pelargoniums are great collector’s plants with many varieties available. They are a good source of vivid colour, even in winter if a warm situation is provided. This course opens up a wealth of possibilities for growing and using these plants.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • Physiology
    • Information sources
  2. Culture
    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Watering
    • Feeding
    • Soils
    • Pruning, etc.
  3. Propagation
    • Methods of propagating this group of plants
    • Propagation of selected varieties
  4. Using Geraniums & Pelargoniums
    • Landscaping With Geraniums
    • Growing in baskets
    • Hydroponics
    • Rock gardens
    • Tubs
    • Planting design
  5. Pest & Disease
    • Diagnosing problems
    • Hygiene
    • Chemical & non chemical control
  6. Irrigation
    • Manual & automatic
    • Capillary
    • Disease implications etc.
  7. Greenhouse Management
    • Types of Greenhouses & Other Growing Structures
    • Plant Needs
    • Temperature Control
  8. Special Project
  9. A research project into one major group such as species geraniums or pelargoniums, Regals, Zonals, Ivy Leaf, etc.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Select and cultivate appropriate varieties of geraniums and pelargoniums in different situations.
  • Describe the cultural requirements of various Geranium and Pelargoniums. Cultural requirements refer to the aspects that affect the growing quality and performance of the species. This includes soil types, plant nutrition, planting techniques, watering and maintenance. Every variety of plant has its own specific needs and tolerances with respect to the environment in which it grows.
  • Describe propagating Geranium and Pelargoniums. There are specific ways they can be propagated, often with much ease to the home gardener. This is part of the reason they have become so popular, as they are so easy to grow and love.
  • Determine and explain a variety of ways Geranium and Pelargoniums may be used both in landscape and other situations.
    • Most Zonal Pelargonium is used for bright displays in the dullest of places with their vibrant flowers offering a show. Most Ivy Geraniums are used to spill over walls, hanging baskets or climbing a brick wall on a trellis. The options are limitless and we will look at a few.
  • Discuss the various disease problems that affect Pelargonium and Geraniums, and their management.
    • Geraniums, like all plants, can be attacked by pests or diseases, or can suffer as a result of poor environmental conditions, or from a combination of both of these. Unlike humans plants cannot develop an immunity towards disease. The best defence against problems, therefore, is to keep your plants as healthy as possible so that firstly they are more likely to resist such problems, and secondly, if they do suffer problems, to have a better chance of recovery.
  • Understand and manage water requirements of geraniums and pelargoniums, in a way to optimize the plant’s performance.
  • Manage the growing of Pelargoniums and Geraniums in a greenhouse. This can be adapted for climates that are too cool for them to grow outside or for areas where they need protection form frosts or other environmental conditions. This is aimed at commercial production but can be adapted by the home gardener too.
  • Plan the establishment of a collection of different cultivars of a group of geraniums or pelargoniums

An extract from the course notes:

Today many beautiful hybrid pelargoniums are the result of many years of cross pollination and breeding in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nursery  people were deeply impressed by these plants and public interest increased again after World War II with more hybridizing. A lot of progress has been made since the early days; with today's gardeners having an outstanding range of cultivars to choose from.

They are as common place and right
As books and tea and candle light
And all about them is scent
Of home and comfort and content
Annon.

So goes the small poem that honors geraniums. 300 hundred years ago in England the scented - leaved geraniums were used for sweetening the damp rooms of cottages, and they will refresh today's homes in the same way asking very little in return. So much so they could be classed as a flower for 'everyone' as everyone can grow them and use them in landscaping. The red geranium was the favorite flower of Charles Dickens, Henry Lawson wrote a short story called 'Water Them Geraniums', and now in the 20th century they can be grown as a courtyard pot plant, fed and pampered, or left without much attention they will still struggle to flower and give cheer.

Geraniums have for a long time been grown by gardeners who have considered them as an easy and as a 'forget them' type of plant. Even with little care they still produce a floral display. They are frequently used as a 'for-now' plant to fill in an awkward spot until something else can be chosen to be placed there, or until something slower growing can grow to fill the surrounding space.

There are geraniums suitable for borders and small corners, some are suitable for rockeries, hedges and hanging baskets. Large urns, window boxes and retainer walls are decorated (and hidden) by the cascading 'ivy' forms of geraniums. An open garden of regal geraniums provides a splash of colour with smaller growing deacons at their bases. The cut flower industry regularly uses geranium flowers for posies and the foliage for arrangements.

Graduate Opportunities:

Starting your own business in supplying plants for the retail or wholesale nursery industry

Specialise in Pelargoniums

Start a garden club for Pelargoniums

Breed new varieties

 



Meet some of our academics

John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Adriana Fraser Businesswoman, writer, teacher, consultant, horticulturist and sustainable living expert for more than 30 years. Adriana has worked with ACS for over 30 years. She has contributed to dozens of books(including Australia's national Grass Roots Magazine) since the early 1980's and continues to be actively involved as a contributor to Home Grown magazine and other publications. Adriana has a Cert.Child Care., Adv.Cert.App.Mgt., Cert in Assessment and Training., Cert.Hort., Adv.Dip.Hort.
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.


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Scented PlantsScented plants can be either a delight or a curse. For many people, there is nothing more pleasing than a garden filled with fragrance, but for others who suffer allergies, certain plants can make them physically ill; sometimes very seriously.
Getting Work in HorticultureFind out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.