I live in Sussex, close to the coast, and the house has a south facing wall,
painted white. A couple of years ago I bought six large bright, deep red
geraniums (or pelargoniums) which I planted into two large white flower pots
and stood these against the wall. On a sunny day the effect was beautiful.
Since then, I haven't been able to find any geraniums as good as those were
and I never made a note of the variety nor did I take any cuttings.
I'd like to grow my own from seed if, that is, I can find seeds that will
give me those deep bright red flowers. Can anyone advise me which might be
the best variety to look for and, if possible, where I might buy the seeds
from? The images on the Internet and those on the seed packets don't always
give a true idea of the colour.
Thanks in anticipation.
I learned years ago to seek out and BUY the already started plants when I
wanted a certain color. The catalogs don't always show the true color of
what grows from the seed they sell. It's hard to reproduce the true colors
of some flowers on paper.
I also learned to take cutting of those special plants. ;^) I have a few
of them with me for years now.
How do you get them to weather the cold winters? I stumbled onto some
beautiful varieties this year and would really like to have them around for
a while, but I thought geraniums were annuals.
I've found several articles on how to start cuttings from established
plants, but nothing as to keeping them through the winter.
As far as I understand it, geraniums (or pelargoniums) are only annual in
Britain because of the winter. I used to follow the books and keep the
cuttings in the right place and temperature, which wasn't always successful
as the only place I had was the dining-room and it could still get cold in
there at night, even with the central heating on.
But that was over twenty years ago now and, though we still live in the same
house, the winter weather, along the coast, here in Sussex has changed
dramatically so I leave them out all year round now - in pots and in the
garden. I've even got the fancy, more delicate pelargoniums (I don't know
their name, I'm afraid) growing there
We used to get deep snow (I've known the time when I had to leave my car and
walk to work because of the snow and pour boiling water over sections of
outdoor pipes to get the drain water flowing again - but not any longer!)
and the ice on my ponds would freeze several inches thick and remain frozen
for days, even weeks. They still freeze, cardboard thin now, and may last a
day or two but not for very long.
The weather is such, now, that outside (against a south facing wall, I grant
you) I have two 8ft tall orange trees (grown from the pips of oranges I
picked up in a street in Spain), three lime bushes (about 3 ft tall that
came from limes I bought at a market in India and which have flowers and
very small limes growing) and a lemon tree that came from Italian lemons. I
also have outside a small olive bush (still growing and with small olives)
I have oleanders and yuccas that come from cuttings that I took while on
holiday about 15 years ago (mainly Italy and Greece) and I had, originally,
to keep these indoors or under covers but don't now.
On the subject of geraniums, however, I one in a hanging basket, down the
bottom of our garden, that flowered all over Christmas and is still
flowering now. The heavy rain caused it to look very sad for a while but it's
now picked up.
Having said all the above, we may get the worst winter ever this year and I
shall lose the lot!
Anyway, GYG, it's nothing I do - it's just that the weather can be so warm,
here, in winter and that suits me fine - though, on the odd occasion, I
rather fancy a walk in the snow - then I come to my senses!
Thanks for your reply,
That's what I've decided to do - and should have done many years ago!
The reason for the question was exactly as you said that the pictures shown
in the catalogues don't really show the true colours and, I suppose, can't.
I bought some pelargonium plants this spring and, when they bloomed, they
were a much paler red than I wanted so decided to look into seeds.
Anyway, a bit of good news for me is that I went down the garden yesterday
(in between the bouts of extremely heavy rain that we in the South of
England have learned to call summer this year!) and there, blooming, in a
large flower-pot, was exactly what I was looking for! My wife apparently
took cuttings from a plant she got from somewhere and it been there for a
couple of winters now! I must learn to open my eyes!
I also went out and bought two large plants from which I will take cuttings,
later on. So, I have more than enough material to work with now!
Thanks again for your reply.
so you Brits actually *eat* geraniums?
Out in California, they are so hardy that I used to grow them as a
hedge. My dogs would burrow into the middle of it to hide out from
the heat in the middle of the day.
They are so easy to propagate from cuttings that I've never heard of
them being planted from seeds.
Thamks for your email. I must admit, I didn't know they could be sown from
seed either until I was told, though, when you think about it, it's obvious,
How tall di they grow in California, then? Do they really make a hedge? They
seem far too "brittle" (if that's the right word but I'm sure you'll see
wgat I mean!)
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