Gardening 101: Ivy Leaf Pelargoniums

Ivy leaf pelargonium, Pelargonium peltatum

Let’s very first clarify about the continuous name argument relating to pelargoniums versus geraniums. If you look online, the majority of short articles point out the ivy leaf type as a geranium and not a pelargonium. Nevertheless, I talked with specialist and owner of Geraniaceae Nurser y Robin Parer, who has actually been offering plants in the geranium household for the previous 40 years, and according to her, the argument was settled all the method back in 1792. “Botanists proposed a modification in name for pelargoniums coming out of South Africa to Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, based upon identifying flower qualities that distinguished them from the geraniums growing as wild flowers all over Europe. Geraniums and pelargoniums were seen to have flower qualities in typical however were various sufficient to be separated into various genera,” she informs me. Robin goes on to share that the gardening public, nevertheless, didn’t support this classification, and, alas, “here we are 231 years later on, still calling pelargoniums by the ‘incorrect’ name.”

For me, despite this bad blood, I love the ivy leaf types for their traditional appearance, loose practice, and captivating flowers. Please keep checking out to find out more about ivy leaf pelargoniums.

Photography by Donn Reiners, thanks to Geraniaceae Nurser y.

Geraniaceae carries 124 varieties of ivy pelargoniums, each priced $7 for a pot. This one is P. ‘Rose Silver Cascade’. 
Above: Geraniaceae brings 124 ranges of ivy pelargoniums, each priced $7 for a pot. This one is P. ‘Rose Silver Waterfall’.

A handful of flowers color my youth memories: gardenias (envigorating aroma), fuschias (dangling buds that I utilize to pop) and, obviously, both geraniums and pelargoniums (traditional petal power). I found out about the ivy type when I began creating gardens and specifically when I started developing container gardens. I genuinely value them for their range of colors, which can mix into any color pattern, their capability to weave and pleasantly socialize through other plants, and their propensity for spilling over and softening pot edges.

Being available in an excessive selection of colors and sporting five-lobed leaves similar to ivy (thus the typical name), these sweeties have looser inflorescence and a more unwinded practice than zonal ranges. Ivy leaf pelargoniums begin appearing in nurseries in the spring, and this is the very best time to nab them up and get them into your garden. Their quick development is a plus– purchase these plants in 4-inch sizes and they rapidly fill an area and begin flowering immediately.

P. ‘Jips Raffles’ has pale lilac flowers.
Above: P. ‘Jips Raffles’ has pale lilac flowers.

You can discover standard ivies that have thick fleshy leaves, however they tend to flower less than the tracking types that can have variegated or straight green leaves and single-type flowers. Thanks to collectors, growers, and nurseries, a range of shapes, sizes, and kinds exist. Robin does not grow the most recent ranges that you can discover in garden centers or nurseries, focusing rather on treasure ranges. “I like keeping the treasure plants in growing for their wide variety of colors, their history, and their basic interest. A few of these plants return to the 19th century.”

Robin grows 124 ivy-leaf ranges and a few of her favorites are:

Pelargonium ‘L’Elegante’ from 1868 with variegated leaves in white green and pink and white flowers.

‘ El Gaucho’ from 1945 with light purple double flowers.

‘ Balcon Royale’ with red/orange flowers, ‘King of the Balcons’ with pink flowers, and ‘Mini Lilac Waterfall’. Obviously The Balcons are the pelargoniums you see in flowerpot throughout Europe, frequently as single flowers with 5 petals in red, white and pink.

‘ Sugar Child’ and ‘Nutmeg Lavender’ are both little and compact.

Cheat Sheet

P. ‘Mini Lilac Cascade’ is one of Robin’s favorite ivy pelargoniums.
Above: P. ‘Mini Lilac Waterfall’ is among Robin’s preferred ivy pelargoniums.

  • Lovely when contributed to hanging baskets, flowerpot, and containers, where their long, cascading practice can flaunt. Less typically, they’re planted on the edge of maintaining walls.
  • The stems and flowers can be fragile so prevent planting these near hectic sidewalks where they can be run into and disrupted.
  • Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies like to check out the long-blooming flower clusters.
  • Slightly poisonous to kids, felines, and canines.
  • Perfect plant buddies are Campanula, Myers fern, Lomandra and Fuschias.

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