Saturday, October 18, 2014

Miniature Regal Pelargonium

 Miniature Regal Pelargonium or 'Martha Washington'
Regal Pelargoniums are a classic "impulse buy" plant at a Nursery or Garden Centre and if you wait a few weeks as they finish the peak of their flowering there will be lots of discounted ones on offer.I picked up this miniature one last year and I have to admit it was fairly neglected, even kicked over on its side with snapped branches a few months back. I prefer these smaller compact varieties as the larger sorts often become quite straggly in the garden. Amongst the larger ones there are some fabulous colours available including near black and pure white as well as lots of rich purples, pinks, red and mauve. They make good seaside garden plants and grow happily in sandy soils with low water availability. Pruning by a third after flowering is recommended. If you prune them too hard into old wood they may not recover and re-shoot.
 The miniature varieties are also sometimes called 'Angel' or 'Pansy' Pelargoniums and the small crinkled leaves resemble P. crispum,from which they are thought to be derived in the early 19th Century; later re-developed in London in the 1930's and 1940's by a Mr Langley Smith. Unfortunately, without a proper label I can't be sure of the correct name for this little beauty.

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