Pelargonium peltatum

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Common Name: ivy geranium
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Geraniaceae
Native Range: Southern Africa
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers freely
Bloom Description: Pink, red, lilac, white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 10-11. In St. Louis, grow as annuals in the ground or in containers or hanging baskets. In the ground, grow in average to organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH. Water regularly during the growing season. Best in full sun, but appreciates some light shade in the heat of the day. Best flowering occurs when nights are cool (50s-60s). Promptly deadhead spent flowering stems. Pinch stems to prevent legginess and promote bushiness. Although ivy geraniums may be overwintered indoors, many gardeners simply grow them as annuals and repurchase new plants each spring. If overwintering is desired, several options are available: (1) as a houseplant by bringing containers indoors in fall before frost and placing in a bright, sunny but cool window with reduced watering or (2) as a dormant plant by bringing containers inside before first frost and placing them in a cool dark corner of the basement or frost free area of a garage. Dormant overwintering is generally advisable in order to promote the most vigorous flowering for the following growing season. Cuttings may also be taken from favorite plants in late summer for overwintering or in early spring from overwintered plants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ivy geraniums are tender perennials with somewhat brittle, trailing stems that spread to as much as 3’ wide. They feature thick, lobed, medium green, ivy-like leaves and clusters of single or double flowers in shades of red, pink, lilac or white. Flowers appear throughout the growing season. Many of the ivy geraniums sold in commerce today are hybrids in which P. peltatum is a main parent.

Problems

Watch for oedema, a physiological leaf problem in which brownish water blisters appear on leaf surfaces, usually as a result of overwatering. Poorly drained soils inevitably lead to stem and root rots. Watch for whiteflies and aphids, particularly on indoor plants. Flowering usually slows down and may stop during extremely hot summer weather.

Garden Uses

Best in hanging baskets, containers and window boxes. May be grow in beds or borders as an annual ground cover.