Sunday 29 September 2019

Miniature tri-coloured pelargonium "Excalibur" & seedlings update.

This tri-colour miniature zonal pelargonium was raised by Stan Rawlings and introduced several years ago.  The salmon coloured single flowers are almost primitive in appearance, but the foliage more than makes up for the flowers.   It is a popular plant on the show benches where flowers do not count for many points in the coloured leaf section.   One of the odd things about Excalibur is the lack of flowers.  From my own experience with this, it will flower in its first year, then it seems to stop flowering. 

When I went to Sweden earlier this year to the Pelargonium Nursery there was a bench there with lots of Exaliburs for sale.  Needless to say, two found their way into my basket!

Update on my seedlings - They are doing well so far.  I do need to thin some of the species out - I have far too many of them and I think they will all be the same as they all look very similar.  I will just keep the strongest looking ones, although they all look pretty healthy.

These look like 'keepers' - but of course, the proof will be in the flowering.

A lot of these are succulent species types and will be thinned out.

Sunday 8 September 2019

Angel Pelargonium "Sarah Don" and gathering pelargonium seed.

"Sarah Don" Angel pelargonium
 I have just replaced this in my collection.  It was one I had several years ago and lost, but I spotted it at Fibrex Nurseries earlier this year.  Although I now have few Angel Pelargoniums, this was one I wanted to add again to my collection.

"Sarah Don" is named for the wife of the well-known and popular TV Presenter of the UK's Gardener's World.  It was raised by David Clark when he ran Oakleigh Nurseries, near Winchester, Hampshire. This nursery is now a trees and shrubs nursery.    I love the flowers, which look like little faces looking up from the really stunning green and gold variegated foliage.

I've been away from this blog for a bit, but hopefully, I can update the blog a bit more regularly now life is a bit easier.

My pelargoniums have not been neglected, although keeping up with the watering this year has been difficult at times.    I've taken a lot of cuttings and I am finding the net pots I wrote about here to be very good. 

I've also tried a bit of crossing and have some seeds which I will sow next year.  I have also sown seed from this year's bee crosses, and some of the seedlings look quite interesting. 

Seedlings just potted on

Seedlings waiting to be potted on

I used to put a small piece of micropore medical tape around the beak of the seedhead.  This was to prevent the seed popping and flying away.   My friend Anne from Sweden suggested I use small gauze bags to cover the flower head with seeds. These are sold online for wedding/party favours. This is a much more successful method.  I can leave the bag over the seeds until they have all popped and then just take the entire stem away and open it up in a secure environment (the kitchen!) where they won't blow away.  Using the tape was very fiddly and sometimes it was not easy to get at the seeds.

Gauze bag over seedheads

If you look closely at this you can see the seed has ripened and is safely trapped in the gauze bag.

They don't look too unsightly in the greenhouse - adds interest for visitors!