• Pelargoniums thrive on neglect but will perform even better with the right treatment. If drainage is top notch, they won’t be fussy about soil conditions. In pots, use a high quality potting mix containing perlite or vermiculite with well-rotted organic compost thoroughly mixed in. • Most are drought tolerant. Water sparingly in the colder months and only when the surface of the soil is dry during summer. Give your pelargoniums plenty of air (don’t crowd plants) and most should be positioned in a sunny spot for good flowering. However, cultivars from the Regal group prefer partial shade and those from the Zonal group will tolerate some shade, especially in the middle of the day. Protect from frost in colder areas.
• For a bushy plant pinch off tips regularly, likewise with deadheading to prolong flowering. A hard prune in spring will rejuvenate straggly plants.
• Feed every 10-14 days in spring with a balanced liquid fertiliser but once flowers start to form, switch to a high potassium fertiliser such as Yates Thrive Flower & Fruit.
• Although long-lived, plants can lose vigour as they age, and with it their resistance to pests and diseases. Sap suckers – leafhopper, thrips, whitefly and mealybug – can be a problem, and damp conditions combined with insufficient air circulation encourages grey mould and rust. Removing lower dead or yellow leaves will improve air flow around plants. Avoid watering foliage.