It is the species & old-fashioned hybrids, which interest us. Their flowers, their foliage & their structure all bear no relation to the modern aberrations which fill garden centres. Among old-fashioned Pelargoniums the diversity of flower, leaf shape, leaf scent & plant structure is truly amazing. Many of them will grow into large shrubs – P. Purple Unique reaches 300cm. Others have enormous leaves – P. tomentosum has mature leaves 30cm. across. Some have leaves, which are the merest filigree – P. abrotanifolium. Some have the daintiest of flowers – P. fragrans, a haze of tiny white flowers. Others have flowers with the richest of hues – P. Lord Bute, intense purple black flowers edged with red. Some are scented of lemon, others of pine or balsam or peppermint.
Plants are sent out all year round unless we experience severe freezing temperatures. Certain varieties are propagated to order therefore we recommend ordering before February to receive plants that year. Plants are available as 9cm or 2litre sizes.
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Pelargoniums Care Notes
COMPOST. Pelargoniums like a compost with an open structure. For potting on we recommend using peat multipurpose with the addition of about 25% coarse grit. For striking cuttings we use cocofibre.
DEADHEADING. Deadheading is essential for a continuous succession of flowers throughout the summer.
FERTILISER. Tomato fertilizer is ideal. Feed every fourteen days from March to September. Do not use a high nitrogen fertilizer.
PESTS. Pelargoniums suffer few problems apart from whitefly. This is best controlled by drenching the compost in your pots of Pelargoniums with the systemic chemical Provada (active ingredient thiacloprid) every 4 months. Caterpillars can be a problem late in the season. Use an approved contact insecticide.
PRUNING. Pelargoniums always benefit from nipping-out any weak growth. This is particularly important in the early Spring.
REPOTTING. Pelargoniums should always be repotted before they become pot-bound. Pot-bound Pelargoniums will rapidly lose their lower leaves and become gangly and unsightly.
WATERING. Pelargoniums should be watered freely during the growing season. In winter they should be kept just the moist side of dry. Pelargoniums should never be allowed to become waterlogged.
WINTER ACCOMODATION. In winter Pelargoniums need to be housed in a light frost-free environment. Good ventilation is of the utmost importance.
WINTER MAINTENANCE. Pick over plants once a week removing all dead and dying foliage.
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