Regal Pelargonium: About
With the frilly flowers of the regal pelargonium, this makes them definitely the best pelargonium belonging to the Geraniaceae family. From the name itself, grown for their beauty, regal pelargoniums are an evergreen bushy perennial originally from South Africa. They have a very special appearance that will surely brighten up your very own garden, with more than two hundred species of pelargoniums, mostly hybrids. The pelargoniums have a natural environment of a dry landscape which is well suited to Australian conditions. The distinct characteristics of regal pelargoniums are that they are, known to have abundant flowers, and the blooms are similar to azaleas, that are richly coloured together with their vibrant green serrated leaves with jagged edges. Because of their unique and special appearance, these regal pelargoniums are extremely popular. They start flowering in Australia from September to January with a magnificent display of flowers covering the whole regal pelargonium plant.
Pelargoniums Mistaken for Geraniums
Pelargoniums can be often mistaken as another type of plant, in other words, you have to make sure that you characterise them properly. While growing pelargoniums I have discovered that a lot of people call them geraniums, which is wrong and you often see it written like this why? Pelargonium (geraniums) this makes it confusing. Pelargoniums are pelargoniums and not geraniums at all. I often hear people say in Australia geraniums are old ladies flowers but they are referring to the zonal pelargoniums and not the true geranium, sure the geraniums and pelargoniums belong to the same family the Geraniaceae but that doesn’t mean that you can call a pelargonium a geranium. There is only one geranium and that is the cranesbill a plant that grows in a shady situation that has flat round flowers of blues purples and burgundy on taller stems. How could you mistake a pelargonium for a geranium I ask?
Pictured – Regal Pelargonium – First Blush
Growing Pelargoniums in Pots
When it comes to taking care of regal pelargoniums in Australia, you have to see to it that you acquire the plant from a garden centre or specialist suppliers and most importantly the nursery owner tells you that regal pelargoniums are frost tender, well a good nursery man would. This is why pelargoniums need a sheltered position in the garden where they get morning sun and kept out of the heat of the afternoon sun. You can do this by growing and planting pelargoniums in pots. Pelargoniums are sometimes planted in pots as they make great pot plants. By growing and planting the pelargoniums in pots this lets you move your regal pelargoniums around your garden at any time of the year, when ever you want. This also lets you place them in a shade house, a balcony or even a veranda or a porch, where they can receive a nice warm sunny sheltered position. Keep your pelargoniums out of the frost if you live in a frost prone area with low temperatures. It is also a good idea to repot your regal pelargoniums into larger pots when they come out of dormancy after winter each year.
Propagating Regal Pelargoniums from Cuttings
Pelargoniums can be propagated by cuttings in late spring, they are taken from strong growth plants. Cuttings are trimmed to two inches long with very little leaf and cut under a leaf node. No rooting powder is used as the rooting powder rots the regal pelargonium cuttings. Instead, the small pelargonium cuttings should be let stand for two days out of the water until the end of the cutting callouses over, this means that the end of the cutting should be dry. Once this is done the cutting can be placed in the pot, firming the cutting down to make sure it has good contact with the soil with bottom temperatures of 20 deg C. The small plants are then watered with a weak solution of seasol. The seasol helps the cutting to set root quicker. When the cuttings have grown to around 15 to 20 leaves it is best to remove the centre growing tip this makes the small pelargonium plant compact and not grow leggy. Once the small pelargonium has out grown this pot you can transfer it into a bigger pot.