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Pelargonium, commonly known as "geranium," is a genus of flowering plants that belong to the family Geraniaceae. Native to southern Africa, these plants have been cultivated since the 17th century and have since become a popular choice for gardeners worldwide. There are over 200 species and countless cultivars!
Pelargoniums are one of the most popular flowering plants, with millions sold each year worldwide. They are a common sight in gardens, window boxes, sunny windows and hanging baskets, and their wide range of colors and fragrances makes them a favorite among gardeners.
Pelargoniums offer a wide range of growth habits, from compact and bushy to trailing and climbing. Their flowers come in a range of colors, including pink, red, white, purple, yellow and bi-colored, and their fragrances vary from sweet and fruity to spicy and musky.
Pelargoniums are generally low-maintenance plants, making them a great choice for novice gardeners. They prefer well-draining soil and full sun exposure, though they can also tolerate partial shade. These plants are drought-tolerant and can withstand high temperatures, but they need regular watering during the growing season.
Most Pelargoniums are tender perennials that can only survive in zones 9-11. However, some varieties, such as the ivy-leaved Pelargoniums, are more cold-hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as zone 7.
Living in a cold climate can make it challenging to keep your Pelargoniums alive during the winter. As a rule of thumb, it's essential to provide them with a cool, frost-free spot and plenty of bright light. You should also reduce watering during the winter months. Some species and cultivars produce more flowers if they've been given a cooler dormancy period.
Easy to Propagate with Cuttings:
Pelargoniums are easy to propagate with stem cuttings, making them a great choice for gardeners who want to expand their collection or share their plants with others. Simply take a stem cutting from the parent plant, remove the lower leaves, and place it in well-draining soil or a vessel with water. Keep the soil moist and in a warm, bright location until roots develop.
Different Species and Cultivars
There are over 200 species of Pelargoniums, each with unique characteristics. Some popular species include the zonal geranium (Pelargonium × hortorum), the scented geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), and the ivy-leaved geranium (Pelargonium peltatum).
Cultivars are created by breeding different species to enhance specific traits, such as flower color, leaf shape, or growth habit. Some popular cultivars include the 'Mrs. Pollock' (a zonal geranium with variegated foliage), the 'Attar of Roses' (a scented geranium with a rose fragrance), and the 'Cascade' (an ivy-leaved geranium with trailing growth).
At Planta, Pelargoniums hold a special place in our hearts. We've compiled a list of our most beloved cultivars and species for you to explore:
Pelargonium 'Torento' - Ginger-scented cultivar, reminiscent of the aroma of the soft drink, Coca-Cola.
Pelargonium sidoides - A delicate plant with velvety and silver-colored leaves. It has tiny dark colored flowers that grows on tender and long peduncles.
Pelargonium × hortorum 'Friesdorf' - A zonal geranium with delicate deep red flowers and a dense decorative foliage
Pelargonium 'Splendid' - An eye-catching cultivar that is sure to add a pop of color withs its abundant amount of bicolored flowers.
Pelargonium tomentosum - Has velvety, gray-green colored leaves and emit a pleasant peppermint aroma. A low-growing, spreading plant that prefers partial shade.
Pelargonium 'Dark Secret' - One of the most dramatic looking cultivars with its deep dark red-colored flowers
Pelargonium 'Excalibur' - Has a striking appearance with its multicolored leaves (red, yellow, green and purple) and coral colored flowers.
Pelargonium tetragonum - A succulent species with four-sided stems and sparse leaves. Flowers with small and delicate pink flowers.
Pelargonium graveolens - A citrus scented compact pelargonium which produces an abundance of purple flowers. Used in both baked goods and beverages.
Pelargonium cotyledonis - Produces a thick caudex stem and flowers with crisp white flowers.
Pelargonium 'Sofia' - A pink flowering pelargonium with variegated leaves.
Pelargonium crispum variegatum - Has small and delicate, variegated leaves with the scent of Lemon. And tiny purple flowers.
Pelargonium 'Wood´s Surprise' - An Ivy leafed geranium with variegated leaves and trailing growth. Produces showy purple flowers.