Have you ever thought of using Pelargoniums in your garden... if not, here are a few snippets of information about these fabulous but often overlooked and under rated garden plants that may make you change your mind!
We find that they are often called Geraniums here but are more correctly known as Pelargoniums - we too are often guilty of calling them Geraniums!
We are starting to grow a few varieties of these here at Puriri Lane as we just love the textures and the scents that the foliage provide and also there are some very beautiful flowers as well. The foliage is excellent in floral work and we are finding the florists that get buy their cut flowers from us always attracted to the leaves of the different varieties that we grow in the gardens.
Some of my favourite varieties are the Pelargonium zonale and their garden hybrids (Pelargonium x hortorum) these are so named because of the the stunning contrasting "zones" on their leaves and these are the ones that we use with our cut flowers.
We will have some lovely ones available for sale via the website this Spring with attractive foliage and scents. The colours on the foliage is bought out more strongly in full sun. The plants are almost shrubby in their growth habit and will happily grow in both the garden and in a pot.
These plants are in fact a native to Southern Africa, so the conditions that you really need to replicate here are really Mediterranean conditions so think nice and hot and dry. Pelargoniums like a sunny position and will want some protection from cold winds but air circulation is actually a requirement. Frost is the biggest problem for the survival of these plants as they need to be kept away from frost and the wet of winter. In summer the conditions are ideal if you have hot dry summers - think terracotta pots hanging from window sills although whilst they will survive with very little water as they do in the Mediterranean climate rainless summers, they do like some water. The trick I find really is leave them until they are almost totally parched and then give a little more than a lot.
If you think these might be for you and your garden or cut flower patch be sure to keep an eye out on the website and sign up to our newsletter scroll down to the bottom of our home page or follow us on Instagram @puriri_lane or Face Book @Puriri Lane to see when these plants become available.