Ivy Geranium (Pelargonium peltatum) is an evergreen, climbing, semi-succulent perennial and shrubs in its habitat. It has long, straggling shoots, which can reach a height of 2 m. Ivy-leaved pelargonium is characterized by its roundish, ivy-shaped leaves. The thin, somewhat succulent leaves are peltate, their stalks attached at the middle of leaf blades. The inflorescence is an umbel of 2 to 9 pink blossoms, with 5 dark-streaked or marked petals each up to 2 cm long. It flowers year round but most vigorously from August to October.
Scientific Name: Pelargonium peltatum
Synonyms: Geranium peltatum, Dibrachia peltata, Geraniospermum peltatum, P. lateripes, P. peltatum var. zonatum, D. clypeata, P.clypeata, P. peltatum var. glabrum.
Common Names: Ivy Geranium, Ivy-leaved pelargonium, Ivy-leaved Geranium, Cascading geranium and Hanging Geranium.
Species: P. peltatum
How to grow and maintain Ivy Geranium (Pelargonium peltatum):
It thrives best in full sun to partial shade.
It grows well in well-drained, peat moss-based soilless mix.
Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Allow top inch of soil to dry between waterings. Reduce watering in winter, but don’t allow the soil to dry out completely.
It Prefers average room humidity, around 40-50% relative humidity. Use a cool-mist room humidifier to increase moisture around the plant.
It prefers cool nights temperatures 55°F – 60°F / 13°C – 16°C and warm days 65°F – 75°F / 18°C – 24°C will trigger flower buds.
Fertilize every three weeks during spring through fall with a high-phosphorus fertilizer diluted by half. High-nitrogen fertilizers given to young plants will bring a lot of foliage growth, but few flowers. To get the most blooms, use a high-phosphorus fertilizer only while the ivy geranium is budding and flowering.
Dead flowers must be pinched off to promote more flowering and prune during spring and again in autumn to remove any excessive growth and to keep plants bushy and dense.
It can be easily propagated by cuttings or seed. Take stem cuttings in spring and root in fresh potting mix. Sow seeds in early spring. Seed should be sown to a depth of 2-3 mm in late autumn. Germination should occur 3 to 4 weeks after sowing.
Benefits of Pelargonium peltatum:
- Pelargonium peltatum is used traditionally to treat sore throats.
- The buds and young leaves can be eaten and have a tangy taste and are thirst quenching.
- The leaves of Pelargonium peltatum can be pounded and used as an antiseptic for scratches, wounds, grazes and minor burns.
- The petals are astringent and can be utilized to make a wash for greasy skin. The petals can also be used to make a beautiful,
- long-lasting, grey-blue dye that can be used for painting or to dye wool or cloth.