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Report From PIA – July 1

This is a tale of four ‘Rozanne’ Geraniums, differences in genetics or locations, and taking action when something no longer serves.

I’ll begin with my four plants. I have one Geranium ‘Rozanne’ that was sent to me as a test plant from the good people at Blooms of Bressingham. I had already grown this plant in my previous garden and liked it, so I was happy to receive another to plant at Poison Ivy Acres. I placed the sample ‘Rozanne’ at the end of the lakeside mixed border.

The same summer I decided that I wanted to include this perennial in my entry garden where I’ve been planting perennials and annuals that have blue, yellow, coral or white flowers. I bought three more ‘Rozanne’ for this bed from the garden center, and all four plants were put in the ground in June.

The test plant has grown in a manner that I remember my original ‘Rozanne’ geraniums to grow – a bit low to the ground, flower filled and sprawling. Nice.

The three that were planted in the entry garden grow to be almost two feet high before they start to flower, and once the blossoms begin, the plants lean to one side or the other, or fall open reveling bare stems. Not so nice.

It could be the difference in location – soil, fertility or moisture – that causes three of the ‘Rozannes’ to be so different from the single plant in the back. It might also be that the ones I’ve planted in the front aren’t true ‘Rozanne’ Geraniums. Genetically different, perhaps, or even mislabeled. Such things happen.

At this point I might never know why one ‘Roxanne’ is so much nicer than the others. What’s important right now is to take action: the three in the entry garden are not an asset to the garden, and must go. I have to either cut them back to the ground, or remove them all together. I think that this year I’ll try the cutting to the ground method, and see if they are better behaved for the rest of the summer. If not, they are getting moved out of Prime Time into a less coddling environment.

Sometimes it’s important to discover why we’re seeing particular outcomes, and sometimes it’s necessary to just take what action we can to make things right again.

Not very pretty, would you agree?

There is no reason to put up with a plant that looks like this at the beginning of July. Who cares why it's so floppy...just get it out of my garden!

This is the one that the BOB people sent me. Perhaps it gets less water or the soil isn't as rich. Sometime I'll have to take cuttings and see how this one responds to rich soil and more water. In the meantime, this is how I want all of my 'Rozanne' plants to look.

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