The influence of fertilization on the morpho-decorative characteristics of geraniums (Pelargonium zonale)


  • Andreea MOLDOVAN University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Horticulture and Business in Rural Development, 3-5 Mănăștur Way, 400372 Cluj-Napoca (RO)
  • Antonia ODAGIU University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Agriculture, 3-5 Mănăștur Way, 400372 Cluj-Napoca (RO)
  • Ioana MOLDOVAN University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Horticulture and Business in Rural Development, 3-5 Mănăștur Way, 400372 Cluj-Napoca (RO)
  • Catalina DAN University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Horticulture and Business in Rural Development, 3-5 Mănăștur Way, 400372 Cluj-Napoca (RO)
  • Maria CANTOR University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Horticulture and Business in Rural Development, 3-5 Mănăștur Way, 400372 Cluj-Napoca (RO)



aesthetic, correlation, nitrogen, pelargonium, predictor, score


Geraniums (pelargoniums or storksbills, officially named as Pelargonium zonale (L.) L'Hér. Ex Aiton) are appreciated worldwide due to their ornamental potential and versatility. The research was conducted to emphasize the evolution of morpho-decorative and qualitative traits of two geranium cultivars of high aesthetic value, namely ‘Tango Salmon’ (Montevideo) and ‘Tango Dark Red’, depending on two different fertilization, conventional-chemical fertilization, and unconventional scheme, with a homeopathic solution respectively. It is excessive repetitiveness and is not the case.) cultivar, unconventional fertilization scheme tested conducted to the best results regarding most morpho-decorative characters investigated (33.40 cm height, 21.10 leaves/plant, 34.75 flowers/inflorescence, 2.35% nitrogen, and 48.34 SPAD). For cultivar ‘Tango Dark Red’, the conventional fertilization conducted to the best results in terms of height (18.90 cm), stems/plant (5.90), leaves/plant (14.95), and flowers/inflorescence (37.55), while unconventional fertilization led to higher nitrogen accumulation (2.18%) and enhanced chlorophyll synthesis (47.08 SPAD). Between nitrogen and chlorophyll contents within geranium leaves, strong positive correlations were identified in ‘Tango Salmon’, and weak to moderate in ‘Tango Dark Red’ cultivar. Higher scores were attributed to aesthetic indicators for ‘Tango Salomon’ compared to ‘Tango Dark Red’. The unconventional fertilization of geranium cultivars is an eco-friendly solution for enhancing their morpho-decorative characteristics.


Aboksaria HA, Hashemabadib D, Kaviani B (2018). Application of bio-fertilizer for Pelargonium peltatum growth in new organic substrates, Journal of Plant Nutrition 41(2):137-149.

Álvarez-García M, Urrestarazu M, Guil-Guerrero JL, Jiménez-Becker S (2019). Effect of fertigation using fish production wastewater on Pelargonium × zonale growth and nutrient content. Agricultural Water management 223:105726.

Andrade MA, Cardos MG, Batista LR, Freire JM, Nelson DL (2011). Antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of essential oil of Pelargonium odoratissimum. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 21:47-52.

Araya HT, Soundy P, Steyn JM, Teubes C, Learmonth RA, Mojela N (2006). Response of herbage yield, essential oil yield and composition of South African rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium sp.) to conventional and organic nitrogen. Journal of Essential Oil Research 18:111-115.

Balasubramanian V, Morales AC, Cruz RT, Abdulrachman S (1999). On farm adaptation of knowledge intensive nitrogen management technologies for rice system. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 53:59-69.;1009744605920

Blerot B, Demarne F, Baudino S, Prunier C, Toulemonde B, Caissard JC (2015). Botany, agronomy and biotechnology of Pelargonium used for essential oil production. Phytochemistry Reviews.

Bojović B, Marković A (2009). Correlation between nitrogen and chlorophyll content in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Kragujevac Journal of Science 31:69-74.

Bonaguro Je, Coletto L, Sambo P, Nicoletto C, Zanin G (2021). Environmental analysis of sustainable production practices applied to cyclamen and zonal geranium. Horticulturae 7:8.

Brentari L, Michelon L, Gianquinto G, Orsini F, Zamboni F, Porro D (2020). Comparative study of three low-tech soilless systems for the cultivation of geranium (Pelargonium zonale): A commercial quality assessment. Agronomy 10:1430.

Cantor M, Buta E, Buru T (2021). Cultura plantelor ornamentale în climat controlat [Cultivation of ornamental plants in controlled climate]. AcademicPres, Cluj-Napoca.

Conversa G, Bonasia A, Lazzizera C, Elia A (2015). Influence of biochair, mycorrhizal inoculation, and fertilizer rate on growth and flowering of pelargonium (Pelargonium zonale L.) plants. Frontiers in Plant Science 6:429.

Domokos E, Janka B, Bálint J, Molnar K, Fazakas C, Farkas LJ, Domokos J, Albert C, Mara G, Balog A (2000). Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis influences Artemisia annua plant parameters and artemisinin content under different soil types and cultivation methods. Microorganisms 8:899.

Dunn BL, Shrestha A, Goad C (2015). Determining nitrogen fertility status using optical sensors in geranium with controlled release fertilizer. Journal of Applied Horticulture 17(1):7-11.

Duttarganvi S, Channabasavanna AS, Rao S, Halepyati AS (2014). Effect of LLC and SPAD based nitrogen management on growth and yield of lowland rice (Oryza sativa L.). Bioscan 9:663-665.

García-Sogo B, Pineda B, Roque E, Antón T, Atarés A, Borja M, Beltrán Jp, Moreno V, Cañas La (2012). Production of engineered long-life and male sterile Pelargonium plants. BMC Plant Biology 12:156.

Gauvin A, Lecompte H, Smadja J (2004). Comparative investigations of the essential oils of two scented geranium (Pelargonium sp.) cultivars grown on Reunion Island. Flavour and Fragance Journal 19(5):455-460.

Gong X, Li S, Sun X, Wang L, Cai L, Zhang J, Wei L (2018). Green waste compost and vermicompost as peat substitutes in growing media for geranium (Pelargonium zonale L.) and calendula (Calendula officinalis L.). Scientia Horticulture 236:186-191.

Güiza-Castillo LL, Pinzón-Sandoval EH, Serrano-Cely PA, Cely-Reyes GE, Serrano-Agudelo PC (2020). Estimation and correlation of chlorophyll and nitrogen contents in Psidium guajava L. with destructive and non-destructive methods. Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Hortícolas 14(1):26-31.

Hsouna AB, Hamdi N (2012). Phytochemical composition and antimicrobial activities of the essential oils and organic extracts from Pelargonium graveolens growing in Tunisia. Lipids Health and Disease 11:167.

Iancu C, Cioanca O, Hancianu M, Mircea C (2017). Dried extracts and essential oils of some Pelargonium species: chemical and biological assessment. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research 3:421-4.

James J (2002). Cultivation and sales of Pelargonium plants for ornamental use in the UK and worldwide. In: Lis-Balchin (Ed). Geranium and Pelargonium, Medicinal and aromatic plants - industrial profiles.

Lennon N, Rolfe L (2004). Homeopathic Cell Salt Remedies: Healing with Nature’s 12 Mineral Compounds. Garden City Park, NY, Square One Publishers.

Marcussen and Meseguer (2017). Species-level phylogeny, fruit evolution and diversification history of Geranium (Geraniaceae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 110:134-149.

Massa D, Malorgio F, Lazzereschi S, Carmassi G, Prisa D (2018). Evaluation of two green composts for peat substitution in geranium (Pelargonium zonale L.) cultivation: Effect on plant growth, quality, nutrition, and photosynthesis. Scientia Horticulturae 228:213-221.

Manuel MSJ, Michel OSC, Milagro GB, Araceli AQM, Fernando AP, Daulemys BS, ... Boris BM (2019). Agricultural Homoeopathy: A New Insight into Organics. In: Multifunctionality and Impacts of Organic and Conventional Agriculture. Moudrý J, Ferreira Mendes K, Bernas J, da Silva Teixeira R, de Sousa RN (Eds). IntechOpen.

Merce E, Merce C (2009). Statistică – paradigme consacrate și paradigme întregitoare [Statistics – consecreted paradigms and fulfilling paradigms]. AcademicPres, Cluj-Napoca.

Minuto A, Grasso V, Gullino Ml, Garibaldi A (2005). A chemical, non-chemical and biological control of Phytophthora cryptogea on soilless-grown Gerbera. Acta Hortiulturae 698:153-158.

Mukerji N, Ernst E (2022). Why homeopathy is pseudoscience. Synthese 200:394.

Norman Dj, Huang Q, Yuen Jm, Mangravita-Novo A, Byrne D (2009). Susceptibility of geranium cultivars to Ralstonia solanacearum. HortScience 44:1504-1508.

Orroño D, Lavado RS (2009). Heavy metal accumulation in Pelargonium hortorum. Effects on growth and development. Phyton 78:75-82.

Papasavvasa A, Triantafyllidisb V, Zervoudakisa G, Kapotisa G, Samarasc Y, Salahasa G (2008). Correlation of SPAD-502-meter readings with physiological parameters and leaf nitrate content in Beta vulgaris. Journal of Environmental Protection and Ecology 9(2):351-356.

Ribeiro HM, Vasconcelos E, dos Santos JQ (2000). Fertilisation of potted geranium with a municipal solid waste compost. Bioressource Technology 73:247-249.

Saberioon MM, Amin MSM, Gholizadeh A, Ezrin MH (2014). A review of optical methods for assessing nitrogen contents during rice growth. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 30(4):657-669.

Schroeter-Zakrzewska A, Wolna-Maruwka A, Kleiber T, Wróblewska H, Głuchowska K (2021). Influence of compost from post-consumer wood on development, nutrition state of plants, microbiological and biochemical parameters of substrates in zonal pelargonium (Pelargonium zonale). Agronomy 11:994.

Șara A, Odagiu A (2005). Controlul calității nutrețurilor [Forage Quality Control]. AcademicPres, Cluj-Napoca.

Toma F, Petra S (2020). Floricultură și compoziții florale [Floriculture and Floral Compositions]. Total Publishing București.

Zawadzińska A, Salachna P (2018). Ivy pelargonium response to media containing sewage sludge and potato pulp. Plant Soil and Environment 64:180-185.

Wang Y, Dunn BL, Arnall DB (2012a). Assessing nitrogen status in potted geranium through discriminant analysis of ground-based spectral reflectance data. HortScience 47(3):343-348. https:///

Wang Y, Dunn BL, Arnall DB, Mao P (2012b). Use of an Active canopy sensor and SPAD chlorophyll meter to quantify geranium nitrogen status. HortScience 47(1):45-50.

Zanin G, Sambo P (2006). Using SPAD-meter in nitrogen fertilization of Rosa chinensis Jacq. var. mutabilis. HortScience 41:969-970.



How to Cite

MOLDOVAN, A., ODAGIU, A., MOLDOVAN, I., DAN, C., & CANTOR, M. (2023). The influence of fertilization on the morpho-decorative characteristics of geraniums (Pelargonium zonale). Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 51(2), 13173.



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha51213173

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>