Gypsies are iconic plants on patios and balconies in much of Andalusia. They are a variety of geranium that, despite its popularity in southern Spain, are suitable for cultivation in many areas, and it is that they are very resistant and grateful plants, which will fill the pots and gardens with their showy spring flowering and summer.
If you want to learn more about how to keep gypsies in good condition, join us in this article where you will find a practical and easy guide on caring for gypsies .
These are the main characteristics of the gypsies:
- Its scientific name is Pelargonium peltatum , although it is more commonly known as gypsy or ivy geranium .
- It is a variety of geranium with a hanging shape, so it is common to see gypsies on balconies for decorative purposes.
- As they are not plants with very invasive roots, it is usual to grow them in pots of not very large size, so that the hanging gypsies drop their stems as they grow, adorning any space with their flowering.
- The gypsy flower is not a large one, but its colors, of great diversity, are very showy, in addition to producing a large number of them.
- Despite the fact that strictly only the aforementioned species are gypsies, there are several types of false gypsies , or misnamed so, such as the Pelargonium grandiflora or the Pelargoium Randy .
Location of the gypsies
One of the most iconic characteristics of this plant is its fondness for sunlight. Gypsy women need an outdoor location , where they receive a direct solar incidence for a minimum of 4 hours a day, which is why it is so common to see them on balconies and patios in southern Spain, where they enjoy a warm and sunny climate.
Despite the fact that gypsies cope very well with the heat and the sun, they do not cope well with very low temperatures. Specifically, some can survive frosts down to -3 ºC, but prolonged exposures to very low temperatures will end up seriously damaging them.
Irrigation of the gypsies
Gypsies and geraniums need very frequent watering but never in large quantities, especially during the heat of summer. In the warm months, water your gypsies every 48 hours or so, whenever you notice that the substrate begins to dry out. In the cold months, one or two weekly waterings will be more than enough.
Pot, substrate and compost for the gitanillas
It is advisable to prepare a light substrate that drains moisture from irrigation well and is rich in organic matter to promote flowering. Regarding the container, it is not necessary for the hanging pots to be more than 30 cm deep, since as we mentioned before, their roots do not develop excessively.
And when it comes to fertilizer, what compost is good for geraniums and gypsies? The truth is that gypsies and geraniums are very grateful for liquid-type organic fertilizer , such as those prepared with guano or worm castings.
Pruning is not necessary in these plants, but it is true that it can help them a lot to renew their stems and thus stimulate flowering a lot. And when are the gypsies pruned? The ideal is to always prune at the end of winter , before the plant recovers its activity, to minimize the damage it causes. Remember to always sterilize your pruning tools before use and do it again even when using them between different plants, or you could inadvertently spread diseases between them.
In addition to this pruning that stimulates flowering , you should also clean the plant of the small leaves and stems that become dry or damaged so that it does not waste nutrients on them.
Transplanting the gypsies
Once a year and when acquiring them, we must transplant the gypsies so that the plant remains vigorous and healthy. It is enough that the new container is about 5 cm more than the previous one and the transplant must always be carried out in the warm months , which is when the plant has more energy to face the process.
Why do they put the yellow leaves on the gypsies and what do I do?
There are three main causes why gypsies, or geraniums in general, can suffer from yellowing of their leaves .
- The first is that, simply, the yellow leaves on the plant indicate that it needs more nutrients in the soil. These plants need a good supply of organic matter, so if they deplete the nutrients in their substrate, they will suffer from a lack of nitrogen, losing the greenness in their leaves.
- Another cause may be overwatering or, rather, poor drainage in the soil, substrate or pot. If we allow the soil of the gypsies to puddle when we water them, the plant will start to turn yellow.
- The last of the possible causes is one that is suffering from some pests. One of the most harmful is the geranium moth or geranium borer. It lays its eggs inside the stem and the larva digs galleries inside it. In this case, it will be necessary to identify the affected plants and remove them so that the pest does not spread, in addition to applying pesticides or natural repellants.