Home Featured plant Geraniums (Pelargoniums) back in fashion!

Geraniums (Pelargoniums) back in fashion!

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Geranium Tommy
Geranium Tommy

Gardening trends for 2019 point to a comeback for long-suffering plants

To me, geraniums (who in everyday speech says Pelargoniums?) have never been out of favour and never will be.

Along with tomatoes and cacti, they were the first plants I grew as a kid in the 1970s – I still have a cutting of my first, an unknown pink variety, given to me by my Uncle George circa 1974.

In garden designer Claudia de Yong’s predictions earlier this week, she said:

“Plants that were once popular like Pelargoniums (often referred to as geraniums) are also making a comeback as they add a splash of colour and are easy to maintain and grow both indoors and outdoors.”

The perfect flowering pot plant

They really are a doddle to grow – drought-resistant – as long as you keep them in pots (they can rot where I live in if planted out in clay-rich soil, and there’s a cold, wet summer) and can be used as houseplants, conservatory plants or go outside in the summer.

Keeping them from one season to another is easy too – see my full guide to growing, propagating from seeds and cuttings overwintering here.

If you’re a gardening beginner, the cheapest and easiest thing to do is pop to your local garden centre and buy small plug plants in spring, which you can then pot on.

Cuttings are easy, although growing from seed is trickier and germination is often erratic.

Scented and variegated leaves

Also, don’t forget about foliage. The zonal types are so called because of a marked ‘zone’ on the leaves, some with a stunning contrast.

There’s also brightly coloured foliage (my favourite is Vancouver Centennial, with brick-red leaves edged in lime with orange-red flowers).

While we’re on the subject, scented-leaved geraniums are a must. The flowers are generally more insignificant than more usual types but the smell will knock your socks off.

There’s my favourite, Attar of Roses (Rosy Turkish delight), plus citrus, cedar, even Coca-Cola scented!

Combine them with their bigger-flowered cousins and you’ll have pots to die for next year.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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