© Dorling Kindersley Ltd


Bushy pelargoniums

The most versatile of the pelargoniums, these upright plants with often musty-smelling leaves are sometimes further divided as Regal (open and shrubby), Angel (more compact) and Zonal (with a dark band on the leaves).


Sturdy stems carry a succession of saucer-like flowers in dense clusters. Some are pansy-like blooms, combining two colours. Others resemble rosebuds or have narrow petals. Leaves may be mid-green (Regal and Angel) or marked in maroon zones (Zonal).


Pelargoniums must have soil that drains easily and generally prefer full sun. Regals are best in partial shade. In containers, add grit, perlite or vermiculite to the compost to improve drainage.


These plants dislike wet soil or compost. Growth will be leggy in shade and plants will not flower.

Did you know?

Although often associated with Mediterranean countries, pelargoniums mostly originate from South Africa, coming from a range of habitats from mountains to deserts.

Growing guide

Bushy pelargoniums we recommend

Buy pelargoniums from RHSplants.co.uk

Every purchase supports the work of the RHS

Useful advice

Containers: summer selection

Containers: summer selection

Growing plants in containers

Growing plants in containers

Pelargonium rust

Pelargonium rust

Pelargonium viruses

Pelargonium viruses

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.