Pelargoniums Fit For A King
The indigenous Pelargonium grandiflorum (regal pelargonium) is a gardener’s delight with so much visual interest, it can be hard to know where to look.
These vibrant plants are largely grown for their aesthetic appeal. The flowers come in a wide range of hues, from delicate pinks and deep reds to brilliant whites and royal purples. Their patterned leaves and strong growth habit also contribute to their charm – a picturesque addition to any garden.
Pelargoniums are also the epitome of versatility. They thrive in a wide range of conditions, from sunny flower beds to partially shaded balconies, and can be planted in containers, hanging baskets, or directly in the ground. This adaptability means that they’re well-suited to different garden types and sizes, from city balconies to sprawling cottage gardens.
Another compelling reason to welcome pelargoniums into your garden is their enduring blooming period. Unlike many other flowering plants, pelargoniums boast a prolonged flowering season. With appropriate care, these hardy plants can produce a spectacular display from early spring and into the colder months, adding a consistent colour to your garden when many other plants have stopped blooming.
Although pelargoniums will grow in most soil types, they prefer rich, fertile soil that drains well. In containers, enrich good potting soil with compost and add drainage supporters like vermiculite or perlite.
Try these Pelargoiums
If you’re looking for impressive flowers and compact growth ideal for containers, you can’t go wrong with the Pelargonium grandiflorum ‘Elegance’ range. These reliable plants produce showstopping blooms with little effort or attention, filling your garden with whatever colour your heart desires.
These are just a few of our favourites:
‘Adriana’ – features vibrant pink blooms with deep purple centres.
‘Coral Sunset’ – the name of this variety says it all, with orange-red coral-coloured blooms that appear in carpets above the foliage.
‘David’ – adorable pastel pink blossoms with dark red centres that provide wonderful contrast.
‘Imperial’ – flowers fitting of royalty, with deep purple blooms edged in white, that create dimension.
‘Purper Majesty’ – these bi-coloured blooms quickly catch the eye, with dark purple to pink upper petals and white lower petals stained with blush pink.
‘Royalty White’ – massive delicate white flowers open with dashes of deep pink in the centres.
‘Aristo Velvet Red’ – exploding dark red flowers with the look and feel of luxurious red velvet.
Take them inside
Regal pelargoniums were originally cultivated as houseplants, so add these colourful plants to a sunny windowsill and get the benefits these easy plants provide.
Although pelargoniums are largely problem-free, look out for these potential problems on your plants:
A sign of several potential problems, including overwatering, underwatering (as contradictory as it may seem), or poor drainage. Ensure that your pelargoniums are planted in welldraining soil and adjust your watering schedule as needed. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering and avoid planting in areas of your garden where water collects after rain.
Wilting or drooping
Another sign of overwatering or poor drainage, or lack of moisture if soil is dry and leaves are thin. Alternatively, drooping stems could indicate problems with lack of sunlight. Start with a sunny location for the strongest growth and best possible flowers. Also check the soil moisture regularly to identify any problems early on.
Leaf spot or rust
Fungal diseases that occur in damp, poorlyventilated conditions. To prevent these issues, ensure your plants have good air circulation and avoid overhead watering. Infected leaves should be removed as soon as possible to prevent spread, followed up by a relevant fungicide to target the problem.
Like all garden plants, pelargoniums are susceptible to pests, such as whiteflies and scale. These pests can be controlled by spraying with a commercial insecticide specified for use on that pest. If infestation is severe, it may be better to remove and dispose of the affected plant to stop the spread of the problem to other plants in your garden.
Caused by lack of sunlight in shady areas. Start with a sunny planting location or simply move the container to a brighter area and prune leggy growth to promote new and healthy growth. Regular pruning can also help control the shape of your pelargoniums and encourage bushier growth.
Failure to flower
A concerning problem with a variety of causes, including insufficient light, over-fertilising (especially with fertiliser higher in nitrogen), or simply old age. Identify the most likely cause and alter care or conditions to bring your plant back to good health.