© RHS/Joanna Kossak



Flowering throughout summer, pelargoniums are essential in borders and containers alike. Flowers are white, pink, orange, red or mauve, with some double varieties. They are not hardy, but can overwinter in frost-free conditions. On a sunny windowsill or in a heated conservatory, these evergreen perennials and shrubs can flower virtually year round.


Pelargonium are plants that evoke a holiday in the sun, with their rounded clusters of vivid red or orange flowers and bushy leaves, often strongly marked with purple or red. Trailing types have green ivy-shaped leaves and others are wavy-margined. Some even have scented leaves. Flowers also may vary from pure white through to pinks, mauves and deep purples, sometimes with a contrasting dark blotch.


All pelargoniums love a warm spot, in a pot or the ground. They prefer free-draining, even stony soil or an open compost. Most flower best with a some applications of potassium-rich fertiliser.


Pelargoniums will not survive the frost so give some thought as to how to overwinter them or whether to buy fresh plants each year.

Did you know?

Common names can cause mix ups. ‘Geranium’ is the name most people use when talking about Pelargonium. But Geranium is actually a different plant genus so to help avoid confusion some refer to Geranium as ‘hardy geraniums’, and Pelargonium as ‘tender geraniums’.

Growing guide

Browse pelargoniums

Bushy pelargoniums

Scented-leaf pelargoniums

Pelargoniums with trailing stems

Pelargoniums we recommend

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Useful advice

Containers: summer selection

Containers: summer selection

Growing plants in containers

Growing plants in containers

Pelargonium rust

Pelargonium rust

Pelargonium viruses

Pelargonium viruses

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