I have a geranium plant which has a yellowish coloration on a leaf.

Picture is here

Not only is it yellow but it seems to be caving at the tip, as if it is being eaten away.

Also, this bottom leaf is the only one that seems to be affected.

Second pic here: https://i.imgur.com/7LoQQuV.jpg

As you can see, other leaves look healthy and green.

This geranium receives a lot of indirect sunlight, and I give it a bottle-cap full of water once every 2 days. I have not provided any fertilizer.

I suspect that either I am giving it too much water, or I need to give it some fertilizer.

I have some blood and bone meal - will this be suitable?

I am also not watering the plant til the soil is dry to the touch - taking about 4 days.



Actually it looks like you are doing everything right. There is a nice vigorous shoot growing up that could end up being your main shoot. The leaf you are concerned about might well just have come to the end of its contribution; as the plant sets about allowing it to fall off it will start cutting down the communications with that leaf and the tip is the first to suffer. Likely in a few days a little tug on the leaf will allow it to separate from the plant quite naturally. Just check for any signs of odd bugs, but don't look too hard, I think everything is fine.

  • There are draining holes in the bottom of the plant's pot (actually an empty metal can). I have been only giving it a small amount of water, but should I actually let water soak and drip through the drainage holes as well - to help the plant develop extensive roots? – achacttn Jan 6 '19 at 23:56
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    No, a small amount is good. Geraniums like to be on the dry side. They have hairy and thick leaves that help them store water. They come originally from South Africa where it can get very dry. – Colin Beckingham Jan 7 '19 at 0:04
  • Thanks for the advice. I've removed the brown flower stems, and will keep an eye of whether the leaf-browning spreads just in case. – achacttn Jan 7 '19 at 0:23

You're in the southern hemisphere where I believe it is currently summer - this plant's true name is Pelargonium, though they are commonly called geraniums; by the look of the leaves, yours is what's known as a Regal Pelargonium (Pelargonium regale). Its a summer flowering plant, and you now need to increase feeding and watering to get it to flower well until autumn begins. I don't know what you mean by a 'bottle cap full' of water, but it sounds like way too small an amount, the sort of quantity one might give to try to overwinter one in its pot rather than one in full growth - water when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, but not so dry its shrunk from the sides of the pot, and when you do water, water well with maybe half a litre of water, allowing the excess to drain away freely. Adding a liquid feed suitable for flowering plants once a week (or whatever the bottle says) is a good idea, but if you want to keep the plant over winter, stop feeding in late summer. Also give it full sun if at all possible - the more sun the better.

By this time of year where you are, it should be approaching the sort of size shown in this link https://www.thompson-morgan.com/p/geranium-aristo-collection/t44587TM

  • Thanks for your informative post. The amount of water is however much fits into the cap of an empty 2L milk bottle cap. – achacttn Jan 7 '19 at 0:49
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    Oh goodness, that;'s nowhere near enough for summer time... – Bamboo Jan 7 '19 at 0:50

I am glad you put holes in the bottom of the cans. Make sure you use ONLY sterilized potting medium. Do not use bark on the top of the soil. That is not sterilized and causes loss of nitrogen.

Soak the soil and then allow to dry out before watering again. This shallow watering makes absolutely NO SENSE. Perhaps for cactus but not for geraniums. They do tolerate more dryness than other plants that aren't succulent or cactus but if you don't water deeply and then allow the soil to drain and dry out a bit your plant will be very stressed.

You MUST add fertilizer. A balanced fertilizer; Less is Best, More is Death and None is Dumb...grins, my very own little ditty that is important to remember. Fertilizer is NOT plant food. Compost is not fertilizer, a balanced fertilizer. Blood meal is not balanced fertilizer nor is fish emulsion. Never use a fertilizer that is higher in N than in P and K. 14-14-14 is fine, it is equal in numbers. More N in a percentage relative to P and K will promote vegetative growth, few flowers! N should be lower than P and K such as; 5 - 9 -7 to grow more flowers...you have to cut those flowers off! Once an annual is allowed to set seed that plant has done its duty in this life and the plant will die.

By cutting off the flowers you frustrate your plant trying to make seed. The plant grows larger, more focused on producing more flowers to be more successful at producing seed. Seriously...cut the flowers off at the beginning and pretty soon you won't be able to keep up with all the flowers. But you have to be brave...at the beginning of the growing season!

Potting soil, drainage, deep watering then allow to dry out, proper light, a little balanced fertilizer, no non sterilized mulch added, no other 'goodies' or food added. Lift the bottom of the pot off the surface it is sitting on for the best drainage. If you want to put this plant into the direct sun you have to acclimate your plant FIRST. As long as this plant is under cover and has stable temperatures, your plant will thrive. Best in full sunlight but if you did that now you would kill your plant via sunburn.

Cut those flowers off of your plant as soon as you can stomach cutting off the flowers! Your plant will be more vigorous, get larger and grow MORE flowers...

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