GERANIUMS & PELARGONIUMS

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

Become an Expert with Geraniums and Pelargoniums

  • Learn to Grow and Identify Pelargoniums and Geraniums

  • Course developed by John Mason (author of Hyland House book -Growing Pelargoniums and Geraniums) with experts from Australia and the UK.
  • Indulge a passion or enhance a career

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.

 

Hybrids

Gardeners today are spoiled for choice, with more types of geraniums and pelargoniums to choose from, than ever before.

Many of today's cultivars come from many years of hybridization between species -cross pollination and breeding that began 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.

Three hundred years ago in England the scented - leaved geraniums were used for sweetening the damp rooms of cottages, and they will refresh modern day 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.

 

Opportunities

  • Start your own pelargonium or geranium nursery business
  • Expand your plant knowledge as a gardener, garden designer, plantsman
  • Write about pelargoniums, teach, advise, consult

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 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
    • 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

  • To develop your ability to select and cultivate appropriate varieties of geraniums and pelargoniums in different situations.
  • To 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.
  • Learn about the options for 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.
  • To become aware of the various disease problems that affect Pelargonium and Geraniums. Also learn ways to manage pest problems on pelargonium and geraniums. 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.
  • Learn how to plan the establishment of a collection of different cultivars of a group of geraniums or pelargoniums

Meet some of our academics

Bob James Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry. He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Masters Degree in Environmental Science. He has worked a Grounds Manager at a major university; and a manager in a municipal parks department. Over recent years he has been helping younger horticulturists as a writer, teacher and consultant; and in that capacity, brings a diverse and unique set of experiences to benefit our students.
Diana Cole Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Permaculture Design Certificate, B.A. (Hons)-Geography, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development Diana has been an enthusiastic volunteer with community garden and land conservation projects since the 1980's. She has worked full time in horticulture since 2001, as a nursery manager, landscape and garden consultant, and a horticultural teacher (both with ACS and in the classroom with a local college where she lives in England).
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.
Rosemary Davies Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences. Initially she worked with the Department of Agriculture in Victoria providing advice to the public. Over the years she has taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing


Check out our eBooks

HerbsHerbs are fascinating plants, mystical and romantic. They have a rich history dating back centuries. Used by monks, apothecaries and ‘witches’ in the past, herbs are undergoing a revival in interest. They are easy to grow, scented, culinary and medicinal plants. In a formal herb garden or peppered throughout the garden, herbs rarely fail! Find out how they are used as medicines, for cooking, perfumes and more.
Plant Pests & DiseasesAre you one of those people that kill every plant you touch? Perhaps it's not you. Perhaps it's a pest or disease. A little bit of reading might just turn your garden into an oasis. Learn how to identify pests and diseases and bring the spring back into your plant...visit the bookshop to find out more...
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.
What to Plant WhereA great guide for choosing the right plant for a particular position in the garden. Thirteen chapters cover: plant selection, establishment, problems, and plants for wet areas. Shade, hedges and screens, dry gardens, coastal areas, small gardens, trees and shrubs, lawns and garden art.

 

 

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