Pelargonium antidysentericum

p.praemorsum for web

P. antidysentericum is an usual plant that in its native habitat looses its leaves during the Summer months and then after flowering in Autumn produces new growth, although in cultivation this may not occur. The name antidysentericum is derived from the medicinal word antidysenteric meaning to relieve or to prevent dysentery, It has a very large tuber partly underground which grows to about 1m with short branches and rounded toothed leaves. The flowers are pinkish purple to white in colour with darker markings on the petals.
The P. praemorsum is similar to P. antidysentericum but doesn’t have a tuber and has more showy cream to pink or purple flowers and deeper veins which has the appearance of a butterfly.
The name praemorsum means “bitten off” because of the unsharp edges around the leaflets which are rounded and wedge shaped. It grows to about 30cm in height and was first grown in Europe in the 1800s by seed which was originally collected by Mr Quarrell for the Colvills nursery

Caring for your pelargoniums in winter

winter-peli-fotolia

 Some pelargoniums can survive short periods of frost or snow but in cooler countries with continual cold weather they can be kept in a greenhouse or conservatory that has good air circulation & lighting. If you are keeping your pelargoniums outdoors it is advisable to cover them with a dome or a fleece when there are signs of frost or snow and to check the weather forecast frequently for signs of cold weather. If your pelargoniums are planted outside in the garden replanting them into pots and taking them indoors or into a greenhouse/conservatory over winter is another alternative.

After the winter months and the coming of Spring with warmer sunny days you can think about gradually reintroducing your plants again into the outdoors during daylight hours,the removal of old leaves, flower stalks and dead branches that have built up over winter with help your plant to develop new growth towards summer which may need to be pruned to create a more compact and bushy appearance over the new year.