Species Pelargoniums are predominantly native to South Africa, Australia, and some surrounding islands. Due to their wide distribution in South Africa, they have different environmental preferences, although as a general rule they prefer full sunshine, well drained compost and a frost-free habitat. You can identify whether a plant is a wild species rather than a hybrid by its name. The second word of the name will be in lower case letters and will be descriptive for that plant. For example, PELARGONIUM tomentosum is a natural form and the word in Latin means ‘downy’ or soft leaf. All species plants must be kept on the dry side in the winter. At Woottens, we have found many of the species’ plants more tolerant to cold spells and some have survived temperatures to -5 degrees if kept dry. Although allowing the plants to drop to these temperatures is not recommended. If it does happen don’t automatically dispose of the plants as they may still survive. In a hot summer these plants can go to seed which can be collected and sown and in the right conditions, young plants will often grow true to form.
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