This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Will you kindly inform me what is the cause of, and how to remedy, a misfortune that happens to my Pelargoniums - Fancies and others? The lower leaves of the plants wither around the edges and become spotted like the enclosed. The greenhouse has a sheltered position, facing the south-west, 22 feet by 12, and is heated by a flue. If any of your correspondents would kindly communicate with me by post upon the matter, I should be glad to pay expenses, and should feel much indebted. This is going on rapidly now - my show plants are suffering most severely. - Yours faithfully,
Rev. G. Sydenham. The Hall Court Grammar-School, Cannock.
[We submitted the diseased leaf sent to an eminent authority in such matters, and he has thus reported on it: - "The affection on your Pelargonium leaves is very common on a variety of plants. I believe it arises, under certain conditions, from drops of water resting on plants when weak. The effect of drops of water on the petals of Pelargoniums, in destroying the delicate tissues, may be seen in our conservatories almost every day." Possibly our correspondent will be ready to inquire, "But if so, would all the plants in a house be so affected?" Certainly a pertinent question. An affection similar to that complained of appears to be very, we might almost say unusually, prevalent this season. A day or two ago, we pointed out to a successful and honoured cultivator of the Pelargonium the evidences of this affection, and asked if he could recommend a cure. He stated in reply that the best and most effectual cure was to throw the plants under the potting-bench. We do not grudge our correspondent what crumbs of comfort he may be able to glean from these two opinions, and hope some of our correspondents will be induced to express their views on the matter. - Eds].