How to Grow Pelargonium - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Shrubs Category   /   2023

Pelargonium, also known as storkbills, is a genus of flowering plants that includes about 200 species of annual, biennial, and perennial herbs, shrubs, and subshrubs. The majority of the species are native to South Africa, but a few are found in other parts of Africa, including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia.

How to Grow Pelargonium - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Pelargonium plant? Since this plant is a succulent, it is very easy to take care of and doesn't require much water. It is a great plant for beginners or those who don't have much experience with plants. The only thing to be careful of is not to overwater it, as this can cause the plant to rot.

Plant Size

How big can it be? Although there is some variation in size among the different species of Pelargonium, most plants fall within a certain range. For example, the thyroid Pelargonium has hanging stems that can reach up to 1 meter in length, but they typically only grow to be about 30 cm in height. Meanwhile, other Pelargonium species usually only grow to be about 90 cm in height. So, while there is some variation in size among the different Pelargonium species, most plants fall within a certain size range.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? So, if you want your Pelargonium to reach its full potential, you should give it a high level of fertilizer.

Pelargonium Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Shrub
Family Geraniaceae
Origin South Africa

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Although Pelargoniums are technically perennials, they usually only last 2-3 years before they need to be replaced. This is because they grow so rapidly and produce so many blooms that they quickly outgrow their pot or become leggy and overgrown. To keep your Pelargoniums looking their best, itÂ’s best to replant them every 2-3 years.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Because Pelargonium is a plant that come from the warm regions of South Africa, they don't like strong temperature changes. They like it best in the summer when it's warm (68-77 degrees Fahrenheit) and in the winter when it's a little cooler (55.4-60.8 degrees Fahrenheit), but as long as it's above freezing (44.6 degrees Fahrenheit), they'll be fine.


What about the humidity? Sometimes, the air can be too dry for Pelargonium plants, especially during the summer. It's a good idea to spray them with soft water in these cases, to help keep them healthy.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? While south-facing windows provide the strongest light, plants will also do well in west- and east-facing windows. For maximum abundant flowering, plants need bright light for 16 hours per day.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Pelargonium? The best soil for Pelargonium is the soil which is mixture of garden soil, peat, and coarse-grained sand. The pH of the soil should be 6.0-6.5. The Pelargonium plant needs good drainage. If the soil has excess peat, it will lead to stagnation of moisture, which is harmful to Pelargonium. If the soil is too fertile, it will slow down the flowering.

Watering Time

How much I must water Pelargonium? Although Pelargoniums are drought tolerant, they will flower and look their best if given a good watering 3-4 times a week in summer, allowing the soil to dry out to a depth of 2.5 cm between watering. Its best to drain any surplus water. In winter, water less often, about every 8-10 days.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. If you want your Pelargonium plant to thrive, you should fertilize it regularly. The best time to fertilize your Pelargonium plant is from spring to autumn. You should use a liquid balanced fertilizer with an increased content of phosphorus and potassium. You should fertilize your Pelargonium plant every 2-3 weeks. In August, you should stop feeding your Pelargonium plant. In winter, you should not fertilize your Pelargonium plant.


How to reproduce Pelargonium? Although it's possible to propagate Pelargonium from seed, it's much easier to take root cuttings in the water. The best time to do this is in the spring or August-September. It's also easy to remove the outer husks from the seeds to improve germination. You can plant the seeds in a mixture of peat and sand, or directly in vermiculite. The substrate must be moist, but not wet. Cover the container with planted seeds with glass or film. After germination, place in the light. When there are 2 cotyledonous leaves, the seedlings can be transplanted into a permanent substrate.


Why Pelargonium won't bloom? While in most cases the blooming period of Pelargonium is from the end of spring to the beginning of autumn, some varieties may have different blooming periods. In the zone Pelargonium bright large white, red, pink umbellate inflorescences from relatively small flowers are the most beautiful during this time. In large-flowered pelargonium, these flowers are quite large. In fragrant pelargonium flowers are not of particular value, they should be removed.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Pelargonium? Eventually, your Pelargonium will become pot-bound and will need transferring to a larger pot. You'll know when this is necessary because the plant will start to produce fewer flowers, and growth will be stunted. The roots will also start to appear through the drainage hole. Spring is the best time to do this. Be sure to use a pot that is only slightly larger than the one the plant is currently in. It's best to stop transferring to larger pots when the plant reaches a height of 25 cm. Transplanting too often will weaken the plant and reduce flowering.

Caring The Pelargonium

How to care the plant? The plant needs to be in the garden for the summer. It needs a lot of air and hard pruning in the spring to encourage flowering in the autumn. Remove weak shoots and pinch 5-6 weeks before the planned flowering. Remove old flowers to stimulate the development of new ones.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Pelargonium plant? While it is possible to grow a beautiful flower, it is also susceptible to various pests and diseases. Whitefly, cyclamen, spider mites, mealybug, aphids, rust, and gray rot can all attack the Pelargonium. White circles on the leaves are often a sign of rust, which will also have a brown powder coating at the bottom. On the stems and underside of the leaves, spots with a grayish fuzz may form, which is likely to be gray mold. In dry or cold air, the lower leaves may turn red or yellow before falling off. At low temperatures, the entire foliage and stems of the plant may take on a red shade. With excessive watering, the stem may rot at the soil level. If the base of the stem turns black, this is called black leg, and the plant is likely to die. If a lot of leaves are formed but the plant does not bloom, this is most likely due to an excess of fertilizers. Pelargonium may extend (few leaves and long stems) from lack of light. If the lower leaves turn yellow and brown spots form on them, this is a sign of insufficient watering. The obliteration of the lower part of the trunk is a natural process that occurs with age. Yellow spots on the leaves can arise from excessive light, and the brown tips of the leaves are observed in too dry air. Yellowing the edges of the leaves of young plants of the thyroid geranium is a sign of excessive light, and for old leaves this is a natural process.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Pelargonium poisonous? The Pelargonium plant is a beautiful flower that is unfortunately toxic to humans and animals if ingested. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the leaves and flowers are the most dangerous. Symptoms of Pelargonium plant poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, the poison can cause seizures and even death. If you suspect that someone has ingested Pelargonium plant, call poison control immediately.