I have flirted with geraniums for several decades but never achieved the full satisfaction of a great display. Now I have a new plan to dedicate an area in the garden, dare I call it a zone? to some of these colourful plants. To give me an incentive to dedicate time and effort I have given it a name Pelargonia as I thought Geraniumistan was going to confuse the issue with cranesbill geranium or hardy geraniums.
As you can see from the search link I have blogged on 67 occasions about pelargoniums and geraniums over the Gardeners Tips years.
Frost Tender Pelargoniums
- After several good years I got careless one weekend and lost some good growth and suffered several set backs after an air frost. A similar event took place 6 years ago and that was at the beginning of June.
- Remember if your pelargonium stems get frosted then the plant will die and not recover!
- In the North of England there can be frosts late in May and early June. In Scotland and on high ground keep your thermometer handy whenever frost is threatened.
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Zonal geraniums are more accurately called ‘Pelargoniums’. The zonal is named for the distinct bands of colour around the leaf. On the example below 3 distinct shades are obvious even in a black and white image. These distinctive colours and patterns are quite sought after and some varieties are grown for the leaf shade alone.
Pelargonium House Plants
- If you are worried about frost, geraniums make fine house plants. They can be kept in flower throughout the year and the flowers can be picked for a small vase. If you time it right when several ‘pips’ are showing full colour they can last a couple of weeks as the other pips keep opening.
- Regular weekly feeding of high potash feed with an occasional nitrogen booster will grow a substantial specimen.
- Pinch out the growing tip in April and June to get bushy plants with more flowers.
Regal Pelargonium indoor pot plant