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Regal pelargoniums

By royal appointment

With bright, vibrant flowers, regal pelargoniums can light up a porch or patio from spring right through to early autumn.

How to... take cuttings

'Lord Bute' (pictured above) is the ideal introduction to this handsome group of pelargoniums. Its distinctive glow of dark petals edged with pink can leave a gardener drooling... And there are plenty more varieties to choose from that are just as appealing, all with striking blooms to rival those of the showiest orchid or azalea.


Planting options

Tall varieties with small, neat blooms are fairly weather tolerant, and are ideal for summer containers. Those with large blooms and ruffled petals need a sheltered spot, such as in a porch or greenhouse, where they won't be spoilt by the wind or rain.

Growing

Nurseries send out young plants between October and April, but if grown on in autumn, they will be at their best by June. Encourage branching, and so more blooms, by pinching out the growing tips, but stop in spring to give the plant the time it needs to make flowers.

Flowering

For blooms right up until autumn, water with a multipurpose liquid fertiliser once a week. After the first flush of flowers, deadhead and feed plants with a high-potash fertiliser to encourage more blooms. When flowering is over, prune plants into shape.

Overwintering

Regals are generally hardy, but it's best to overwinter them in a frost-free greenhouse, porch or conservatory. Plants will be protected from the elements, yet they'll remain cool and receive plenty of light. You may encounter whitefly indoors, but this can be treated with a biological control as soon as they appear.

Anne's favourite regal pelargoniums

  • 'Carisbrooke'
  • 'Crown Jewels'
  • 'Fringed Aztec'
  • 'Georgie'
  • 'Grand Slam'
  • 'Janet Dean'
  • 'Joy'
  • 'Margaret Soley'
  • 'Parisienne'
  • 'Rembrandt'



Discuss this plant feature

Talkback: Regal pelargoniums
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irene_gleeson 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Far too complicated