There is a very popular plant, loved by most of us. I am sure that you will find it in most gardens and used in a variety of ways. The only difficult thing about it, is its name. Most people refer to it as a geranium but it is a pelargonium. A geranium is a hardy perennial that we also know as cranesbill and other names.
The pelargonium is a perennial native to Cape of Good Hope in South Africa but in this country is used as an annual. It does not survive outdoors in winter, but they are very easy to over-winter in a conservatory or a frost free garage.
Pelargoniums can be divided into the following main categories:
- Scented leaved are very good for beginners. Put 3 in a pot and you will have a wonderful show for months and a heavenly perfume. There are apricot, apple, mint, strawberry and lemon to name a few of the scented leaved varieties. They do not have showy flowers but can be planted in the herb garden, hanging baskets or own their own. The perfume is divine.
- Regals are among the first to flower and need the least winter protection .
- Angel varieties make bushy plants with small round leaves and pansy like flowers. Two popular varieties are Quantock May, white flushed with lilac and Eskay Jewel with upper petals of deep red and lower petals of white and mauve.
- Trailing ivy leaved pelargoniums are great for hanging baskets and have a long flowering period. Good varieties include the soft mauve Mrs. Martin and dusky purple Choun Cho.
- Zonal pelargoniums are the most widely grown with large tightly clustered blooms.
All varieties are easy to propagate and if you only buy one plant experiment and see how many you can propagate by next autumn.
Happy pelargonium growing.