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Pelargonium x Hortorum – Zonal Geranium

Pelargonium x Hortorum hybrids account for the most common, cultivated garden pelargonium varieties. More than 500 varieties exist! They are also commonly known as zonal pelargoniums (zonal geranium). Other common English names include: Fish Geranium, Bedding Geranium, Common Geranium, Garden Geranium, Geranium, Horseshoe Geranium, House Geranium and Zonal Pelargonium.

Pelargonium x Hortorum hybrids are mostly crossbreeds between Pelargonium zonale and Pelargonium inquinans.

These ornamental pelargoniums get often confused with the genus geranium (cranesbill); yet, they belong to the genus pelaragonium (scented geranium, storksbill).

The erect stems bear five-petaled flowers. The flowers come in a wide colour range. They may be single coloured or bi-coloured and either simple, semi-double or fully double. The flower clusters may be very tight or rather loose. The colourful flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds!

The leaves of these zonal varieties are round, heart-shaped and most plants have a typical maroon to brown centre or band that contrasts against the pale to mid green or silvery green foliage.

They grow upright and are ideal for containers, bedding schemes, borders and planters. They can also be grown and kept as indoor houseplants in areas with colder climates.

Zonal geraniums prefer to grow in the sun or in part-sun and in well-drained, average soil. These plants are quite draught resistant, but do not like to be overwatered.

In areas with cold winters they should be kept inside from late fall to early spring to prevent them from freezing to death. When you take the plants inside, it is best to trim them back about one-third. Consider re-potting them in spring. Important: Water them only sparingly during wintertime!

Propagation: They can be grown from either cuttings or seeds. Numerous seed selections are available!

List of Selected Hybrids:

'Alba' - Flowers: white, semi-double. Foliage: dark green foliage.
'Blues' - Flowers: pink with light purple marking.
'Eyes Right' - Flowers: pink to rose-red with crimson eye. Huge clusters.
b'Freckles' - Flowers: pink with red spots. White eye.
'Gloria' - Flowers: orange to salmon.
'Hollywood Star' - Flowers: pink with white centre. Tightly packed blossoms.
'L'Amour' - Flowers: white to red. Semi or fully-double flowers.
'Mars' - Flowers: intense red.
'Masquerade' – Flowers: bi-coloured. Salmon to scarlet with white eyes.
'Orange Appeal' – Flowers: orange. Large.
'Orbit Series' – Flowers: single-coloured. White, pink, red, violet.
'Patriot White' – Flowers: near white.
'Polka' – Flowers: red with a purple glow.
'Ringo Scarlet' – Flowers: scarlet. Foliage: dark green.
'Ringo White' – Flowers: pure white. Foliage: light green.
'Sassy Dark Red' – Flowers: red.
'Sensation Mixed' – Flowers: various colours.
'Starburst Red' – Flowers: white with scarlet stripes. Large flowers.
'Tango Dark Red' – Flowers: red. Foliage: velvety, evergreen.

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