Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Pelargonium x ardens

Pelargonium x ardens

Visitors to the greenhouse always want to know what this plant is - they can't fail to miss it!  Perlargonium x 'ardens has eight stunning small brilliant scarlet  flowers on long stems and has soft lobed leaves.  It grows from an underground tuber and is a species hybrid - i.e.a cross between two species, in this case P. lobatum and P. fulgidum.   It was raised by James Lee of the Vineyard Nursery in Hammersmith, London around 1820-1822. It needs a very free-draining gritty compost.   Cuttings can be difficult, but I have taken cuttings from the thick stems and also from the underground tuber - if you are doing this you need to be sure which way up it goes.

Today I watered the plants in one greenhouse and removed yellowing leaves. I have also taken out the growing tips of the cuttings I potted up before I went on holiday.  I like to do this about a week after potting on the cuttings, but this time it has had to wait until now.  To take the tips out  I use a short green cane sharpened to point and just nip the tiny growing tip from the plant.  This is to make the plant produce side shoots. I will go over the plants again next week to check I have taken all the tip out.  At the same time I removed a few flowers that were beginning to form.  I don't want them to flower just yet.


  1. Mine are flowering at the moment and look wonderful

  2. Mine has healthy long leaves, but no flowers, ever. It lives on the toilet windowsill, in plenty of light (but little direct sunlight) and is watered regularly.
    What am I not doing right?

  3. I'm not sure what the problem can be Maria. If it has a lot of the brown tuber showing, you could try re-potting it and planting it a bit deeper. Although you say it gets a lot of light, maybe it needs more. Can you move it outside in summer?

  4. This has to be the most gorgeous pelargonium I've ever encountered! Where may I buy one in the US? I found them for sale through Crocus in the UK but they won't be available until April.

  5. Hello Karen. I am sure that Robin Parer of Geraniaceae Nursery in the San Francisco Bay Area will have this. She specialises in Species and Angel Pelargoniums, as well as the hardy Geraniums. You can order through the website

  6. I bought a pelargonium ardens at the Hampton Court Flower Festival in July. Since bringing it home it has produces a fair bit of new growth and what look like potential buds. However, not long after they show, the stem just before the bud dies and the bud is therefore lost. I have it in a bright, south facing room though not in direct sun. The compost is the original I bought it in, and is clearly free draining. What am I doin wrong?

    1. At this time of year the plant has probably gone into dormancy. Mine always flower early in the summer, but not in the winter. I hope this helps and you have lovely flowers next spring. Oh, and keep the plant fairly dry over the winter months - just keep it ticking over, not much water at all.

  7. Hi! I would love to know where I might be able to get my hands on this plant. I am in the US. It has been impossible to find pelargonium x ardens in any nursery here. Thanks!


I would love to hear your comments about my "ramblings".