Question: Surfinie

Good morning.
I would have a suggestion to ask the expert: for some years every spring I buy surfinies to put on the balcony (I state that my balcony faces south, so in the sun); I always do everything the shopkeeper tells me, watering, fertilizing, etc., but alas my surfinie they always have a very short life. I envy some balconies! I was advised to put geraniums instead of surfinie, as they are more resistant. Is it so?
Edi Simoni
P.S. congratulations for the site

Surfinie: Answer: Surfinie

Egr. Mr. Simoni,
We thank you for contacting us regarding the question about the cultivation of Surfinia, through the section of the Expert d.
The Surfinies are plants that belong to the Solanaceae family, are native to Brazil and have erect or hanging habit depending on the various species.
They are perennials cultivated for annuals characterized by possessing simple or double funnel-shaped flowers of various colors (violet, pink, white or shaded) and have a long flowering period.
They require frequent watering, sunny positions but possibly sheltered from the wind and under the parasitic profile are quite tolerant to various pathogens except aphids.
They withstand the cold and can be grown outdoors, even in hanging pots to highlight the foliage and flowering.
The presence of a sticky tactile sensation on leaves and branches is a characteristic of plants.
The state of suffering he has found is due to the excessive heat that causes a kind of stasis in his plants and to a possible excessive concentration of fertilizer in the pot.
In these cases it is advisable to increase the wetting times, but not the amount of water to avoid damaging water stagnation. It is good not to spray the plant to avoid damaging the flowers. Even in summer it must fertilize once a week.
As advised you can try to put geraniums on the balcony as they are better suited to the view of your balcony. Geranium is a plant that belongs to the genus Pelargoium and includes over 400 perennial herbaceous species. Most species produce many flowers, with various colors ranging from purple to blue. Generally the plant needs well-drained soils, locations illuminated in the sun, watering and regular fertilizing. To prolong flowering it is recommended to periodically remove the withered flowers. Do not exceed the nitrogen fertilizer to avoid the formation of leaves at the expense of flowers. The cold tolerance of these plants is very limited because they withstand minimum temperatures of about 2 ° C with wide variability depending on the species and their nutritional status. In winter they can be sheltered in a cold environment but with temperatures above 2 ° C, in a dry and well-lit room. The waterings must be void or very small in order to make the plant survive without letting it vegetate. The winter pruning of geraniums has the fundamental purpose of allowing the canopy to be completely renewed and for this reason before their winter shelter it is advisable to reduce the old branches until the best jets are maintained for a height of 10-15 cm from the ground . In the early spring period with vegetative growth, it is advisable to carry out repotting before changing to the outside, with a change in substrate and a gradual return to watering with regular fertilizations.
Geraniums are easy prey to various fungal and insect pathologies.
Starting right from the destructive insects of leaves and sprouts, among these the larvae of lepidopterans of the type of the Noctuids, Tortrixes, and Geometrids are frequently found, so called the latter because they move as a compass.
These larvae are difficult to identify because they can be camouflaged in the vegetation or as the Nottue normally prefer the night (hence the name) to feed on leaves and stems and then take refuge in soil by day. Other insects typical of geraniums are cochineals and white flies that feed on plant sap.
As for fungal diseases, geranium is subject to attacks by: Gloeosporium, Macrosporium or Botrytis, Oidium, Rust.
To solve the problem of insects, at the time of their manifestation, we advise you to intervene with insecticides both at radical and leaf level.