Pelargoniums My Way by Roger Butler

As pelargoniums are often referred to as geraniums Roger started his talk by telling us the difference, which is that geraniums (Cranesbills) are hardy perennials and pelargoniums are non-hardy.

There are several different types of pelargonium.

Miniature – kept in pots no bigger than 3.5”.

Dwarf – kept in pots no bigger than 4.5”.

Zonal – whose leaves often have a dark band around the edge.

Regals – have larger flowers that are often heavily veined.

Stellar – with heavily incised leaves and flowers so that they resemble stars.

Scented – which have little flower but scented leaves.

Ivy Leaved – which have a trailing habit and can have variegated leaves.

Care should be taken in the watering of pelargoniums as most are lost to overwatering. The plants can be cut back to overwinter but not too hard. To take cuttings use a sharp blade just above a node (where the leaf joins the stem). Strip the bottom leaves and place the cutting in a suitable compost or a Jiffy 7. Place the cuttings in a propagator but do not cover as the condensation will rot the plant.

During the summer plants should be watered every few days using a quarter strength feed each time. During the winter watering should only be every three or four weeks. If the plants are kept in a greenhouse then automatic vents are recommended. All plants should be given a quarter turn each week to promote uniform growth.