Friday 26 April 2013

"Bell" Ernie Oliver - dwarf zonal pelargonium

"Bell" Ernie Oliver

Introduced in 2012 by Gosbrook Pelargoniums and hybridised by Steve Pollard. A dwarf  zonal pelargonium, ‘Bell’ Ernie Oliver has beautiful deep rose pink flowers above gold leaves that have a bronze zone, making a very attractive plant.  Why ‘Bell’?  Steve named this plant for Ernie Oliver and as he had been a bell ringer, it was requested that this be recognised in the name of the plant.  

"Bell" Ernie Oliver

 After what has seemed like a very long winter, we have at last had some bright sunny days recently and it is amazing how the plants in the greenhouses have perked up.  I have removed the bubble wrap and cleaned the glass.  I have not yet put the fleece away yet as we have a change in our weather forecast for this weekend with frosts predicated.  With the warm days and chilly nights I have had quite a few leaves turning red.  These I have been removing from the plants.  As recommended by Ken Abel in his monthly tips column on The Pelargonium & Geranium Society website, I do not take these off the plant all at once; just a few at a time.  One thing I don’t do though is take the entire leaf and stem off – just the leaf, leaving the stem.  This is so that any diseases cannot enter the plant through the wound left from pulling of the leaf stem.  The stem very quickly dies in a matter of days and turns brown and brittle and is very easily pulled off. 

Zonal leaf turning red

Saturday 13 April 2013

Regal Pelargonium "Aztec"

"Aztec" Regal Pelargonium

Introduced by Wm. E. Schmidt in 1962, the regal perlargonium "Aztec"  flowers profusely and has a compact and self-branching habit, making it a popular choice still today for exhibitors.     The flowers have a  dark red centre blotch gradually fading to strawberry red and then to white/palest pink around the petal edges. 

There is a version with fringed petals which is  a sport from "Aztec" and was introduced in the U.S.A. in 1973.  It was originally named “Betty Bly”, but was introduced commercially in 1975 as "Fringed Aztec".

This winter has certainly been a challenge.  I have had to admit defeat and have thrown a lot of my plants out.  I took cuttings from those that had fairly good cutting material on them first.   I'm not sure how these cuttings will fare; only time will tell.  Cuttings taken about three weeks ago are now rooting well and will very soon need potting on.  Other plants in the greenhouse have been re-potted.  What we really need now are some bright sunny and warm days and the plants will really perk up and begin to grow.