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Pelargonium is grown for the essential oil (geranium oil) obtained from its leaves. The rose-scented oil is one of the most widely used fragrance materials and an essential component of most rose-scented perfumes and soaps. Its adaptability for tropical conditions and the relative uniformity of geranium oil from different origins are suitable for growing this crop in the conditions of e.g. South-East Asia and South Africa.
Ecology and planting
For optimum growth the plant requires average annual rainfall of 1,000 - 1,500 mm and average daytime temperature of 20 - 25°C. Pelargonium is propagated in a vegetative way, mostly by stem cuttings. Some 20 - 25 cuttings can be taken from a vigorous plant. Direct planting is common (in moist soil), but nursery planting is also used. Cuttings should be planted immediately after preparation; 30,000 - 50,000 cuttings are needed to plant 1 ha. The economic life of a well-managed plantation can be 10 years. The first harvest can be taken when the crop is 6 - 8 months old, then 2 - 3 times per year.
Mycorrhiza & Bio-fertilizers
The inoculum can be introduced by dipping the cuttings into the gel formulation of inocula before planting or in a nursery by mixing dry inoculum formulation in the planting substrate. The expected effect of mycorrhiza combined with biofertilizers in the field is a larger number of branches and more vigorous growth. It was shown that treated plants have about 15% more flowers which set earlier and last longer. Total biomass of the plants in the field is expected to be 20% higher. Mycorrhiza was also reported to increase production of essential oils for numerous medicinal plants.
Recommended products:
Symbivit: mycorrhizal product
Conavit: slow release fertlizer

Contact: info@plantaglobe.com

More details:
Info sheet Pelargonium [PDF]