With their vibrant flowers, pretty leaves and rich aromatic scent pelargoniums are highly popular garden plants for the summer, and the Horticultural Trades Association’s (HTA) Plant of the Month for May 2015.
Commonly known as geranium, evergreen perennials are extremely popular garden plants.
They come in upright, trailing, climbing, ivy-leaf, ‘balcon’, rosebud, dwarf varieties and more. They like a sunny aspect and can be grown in pots, hanging baskets, window boxes and borders where they will flower from spring right through to late autumn.
Recommended RHS AGM varieties include: Pelargonium ‘Arctic Star’, Pelargonium ‘Crimson Unique’, Pelargonium ‘Gemini’ and Pelargonium ‘Lemon Fancy’.
Those looking for companion plants to complement the pelargonium are recommended to try Hebe ‘Quicksilver’ a spreading evergreen dwarf shrub with small bright blue-grey leaves and pale violet flowers. Or, ‘Pink Pixie’ a small, compact, evergreen shrub with small spear-shaped green leaves and free flowering rose pink flowers.
Evergreen shrub Cordyline australis is also a great plant for coastal and city planting, thanks to its attractive foliage in shades of green, bronze, purple which has a palm-like appearance. While those looking to create a jungle-style planting scheme might like to try Musa basjoo (aka Hardy Banana) which has huge, green, paddle-like leaves and creamy yellow flowers with yellowish-green fruit.
TV personality Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE the celebrity champion for the Pelargonium says “When I see Pelargoniums my heart sings with joy. They are one of my favourite plants and they are such an easy patio plant to grow. I particularly love the vibrant flower colours which look stunning against their dark green foliage. Their scents are irresistible and fill the air with hints of rose, lemon, mint, fruit, nut, and spice. When they are in full flower they are spectacular and amazingly beautiful. I can’t wait for summer when my patio is full of large tubs overflowing with dozens of pretty Pelargoniums.”
Nominated and agreed upon by British growers and retailers, the HTA’s Plant of the Month campaign highlights the plants that are widely available and looking especially good each month.
For more details, please visit www.the-hta.org.uk/plantofthemonth