Pelargonium × domesticum

Common Name: regal geranium 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Geraniaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Pink, purple, lavander, red
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zone 10-11. In St. Louis, regal geraniums are best grown as annuals. Purchase potted plants when in flower, enjoy the showy flowers as house plants or deck/patio plants and then discarded the plants when bloom ceases. They need consistently cool nights for flowers to form, and will not flower well in St. Louis summers. Best in full sun, but appreciates some light shade in the heat of the day. Promptly deadhead spent flowering stems. 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. Cuttings may also be taken from favorite plants in late summer for overwintering or in early spring from overwintered plants.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pelargonium × domesticum, known as regal or Martha Washington geraniums, are a loose grouping of hybrid geraniums involving P. grandiflorum and P. cucullatum. They typically grow to 3’ tall on somewhat woody stems and feature rounded heart-shaped to kidney-shaped medium green leaves that have irregular teeth and crinkled margins. Showy flowers in shades of pink, purple, lavender and red, often speckled with interesting markings and splotches, are borne in clusters (umbels).

Genus name comes from the Greek word pelargos meaning a stork. The fruit has a beak like a stork.

Specific epithet means domesticated or often used as an indoor plant.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Poorly drained soils inevitably lead to stem and root rots. Watch for whiteflies and aphids, particularly on indoor plants. For more information see: Problems Common to Many Indoor Plants

Garden Uses

Best as annuals in containers or as houseplants.