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Growing pelargoniums

Also known as geraniums, pelargoniums are easy to grow and provide a long season of colour. They’re ideal for growing both outside in sunny, sheltered conditions, and indoors in the conservatory or greenhouse.

Pelargoniums are easy to grow. Simply plant them in multi-purpose compost in full sun. They are extremely tolerant of drought, so there’s no need to water them fastidiously. Deadhead spent blooms and mulch once a year with fresh compost or well-rotted manure.

Native to South Africa, pelargoniums survive winter only in warmer regions. It’s therefore wise to grow them in containers, which you can bring indoors in autumn.

There are several types of pelargonium – find out which is suited to your garden.

Zonal pelargoniums

These familiar bedding pelargoniums have rounded leaves and bear clusters of flowers on long stalks. Flower colours range from white to pink, orange, scarlet and even dark red.

Ivy pelargoniums

Ivy pelargoniums have long stems of flowers that tend to flop on the ground. They are very well suited to growing in hanging baskets or raised planters. Leaves are often smooth and shiny. The range of flower colours is much the same as zonal pelargoniums.

Fancy leaf pelargoniums

As their name suggests, this group has variegated leaves in shades ranging from yellow, gold and dark green.

Regal pelargoniums

Regal pelargoniums have large, often-patterned flowers borne in few-flowered clusters. The leaves are usually coarsely toothed and may be pleasantly scented.

Scented leaf pelargoniums

These plants have particularly scented foliage in fragrances resembling other plants, including rose, lemon, lime, citrus, peppermint and pineapple.

Angel pelargoniums

Angel pelargoniums are miniature versions of regal pelargoniums, but the colour of the flowers is not as intense.

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irene_gleeson 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Far too complicated