Commonly referred to as a geranium, Pelargoniums are indigenous to South Africa and are hardy sun-loving perennials, virtually trouble-free to grow.
They are happy growing in containers, alone or with other flowers. Also, used as bedding plants they are ideal as colourful space-fillers in borders, and look stunning in hanging baskets. They love a sunny position, and will forgive neglect!
Zonal Pelargoniums (Pelargonium Xhortorium) are the popular ‘bush ‘ variety, found in most South African gardens. They grow well in containers and borders, and there is a huge choice of colours available, from white, pink, red, salmon and purple. The new F1 hybrids are vigorous, disease-resistant and free-flowering.
Ivy-leaved Pelargoniums (Pelargoniums Peltatum) is the trailing variety. The leaves are thicker and similar to ivy leaves, hence the name! They look amazing planted in hanging baskets and window boxes.
Regal Pelargoniums (Pelargonium x Domestica) has larger flowers and the leaves are fan-shaped. They can grow to about 1m tall and can tolerate salt spray.Scented-leaf Pelargoniums : These divinely scented pelargoniums grow easily and there are dozens of different scents available including lemon, apple, rose and mint. The flowers are much smaller and more delicate than other types of Pelargoniums.
Pelargoniums thrive in sunny positions and won’t flower if kept in the shade. However, they will appreciate some shade from the midday heat.
They need a well-drained soil and a mulching in summer. Feed them when planting with a time-release fertiliser. Regular liquid fertiliser is always very important for container-grown plants.
Water Pelargoniums thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry out between watering. Just push a finger into the soil and if it’s dry, then it’s time to water!
Deadhead regularity to encourage more flowers also removing any dried or discoloured leaves as these can cause a fungal infection.
Your Pelargoniums will reward you by looking absolutely gorgeous all season long!
More advice and articles :
We at village gardens have a knowledge of all of your local edible plants here in South Africa. We can happily plant up your garden with edibles of all varieties from Mediterranean herbs and local indigenous edibles. We are surrounded by such stunning hardy indigenous plants, let’s get back to nature and have our own garden of local goodness.