Pelargonium ivy-leaved and scented-leaved species and hybrids

The most graceful in habit of all pelargoniums, P. pelioLum, with its cascades of glossy, ivylike leaves, makes a garden in itself in a well-designed urn or pot. The trailing stems, which are rather brittle and must be carefully handled, can be as much as 3 feet (90 cm) long. There are many varieties, both single and double, mostly with flowers of discreet size about an inch (2.5 cm) across, in red, white or many shades of mauve or pink. ‘La France’, with semi-double mauve flowers, is especially delectable, flowering from early summer until the frosts. The stems do not branch naturally, so they should be stopped from time to time.

The scented-leaved varieties also have beautiful foliage, some of the varieties being bushy, others tending to trail. Pelargonium tomentosum is a species with hairy peppermint-scented leaves and tiny white flowers, P. graveolens has orange-scented leaves and pink flowers; both have the advantage that they make a mound of foliage before they spread out to trail over the rim of their container. Both can be brought into the house before the winter frosts arrive, cut back, and grown on as winter house plants. Grow all these leafy pelargoniums in well-drained compost in a sunny place.

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