I used to HATE geraniums. I thought they were the biggest public rip-off that a plant could be. People purchased them in the early spring when those big beautiful blooms were prolific and enjoyed them for several months until the heat of late spring or early summer arrived. Sometimes in Texas, “spring” only lasts for a couple of weeks before the HELL of summer arrives. After the heat starts, the geraniums look terrible and even bloomless!! People try to nurse them through until the cool of fall revives them, but sometimes the plants just die. That has all changed with the introduction of several new geranium selections — the ‘Strawberry Sizzle’ and ‘Violet’ geraniums from Ball Flora Horticultural Company Fantasia series.
The ‘Strawberry Sizzle’ and ‘Violet’ geraniums produce attractive and colorful flowers on the most heat tolerant geranium plants EVER grown in Texas. During two years of testing in 2005 and 2006, these two geranium varieties actually grew and thrived growing in direct sunlight during the hottest summers in San Antonio history. With big blooms and durable dark foliage, show off the healthiest appearance through the hottest conditions. This was also confirmed in Tennessee and Ohio tests in 2006. These new Zonal geraniums are available in 11 colors: Cardinal Red Improved, Coral Improved, Flame Improved, Flamingo Rose Improved, Neon Rose, Pink Shell, Salmon, Shocking Pink, Strawberry Sizzle, Violet, and White BUT THE MOST HEAT-TOLERANT during both summers were ‘Strawberry Sizzle’ and ‘Violet.’
David Rodriguez is County Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. For more information, call the Master Gardener ‘Hotline’ at (210) 467-6575 or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu, click under Horticulture and Gardening.