Ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) are tender perennials grown as annuals. In a warm, tropical climate, ivy geraniums are green year round. They thrive in commercial potting soil that stays moist, but is fast-draining. These geraniums do not like wet roots and will decline if planted in areas that stays wet. Fertilize ivy geraniums when watering once a week with 1/4 strength fertilizer. Flowers are produced in abundance when this type of geranium is root bound.
Ivy geraniums flower in the summer with white, pink, red and magenta blooms. The plants grow 1 to 3 feet tall with long trailing stems that reach over 3 feet long. Flower blooms develop into seed pods that look like a bill of a stork.
Ivy geraniums need moderate temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees F. Place the geraniums in full sunlight when grown at these temperatures. If the growing temperature is above 85 degrees F. then move the ivy geraniums into partial shade in the afternoon. Ivy geraniums produce smaller than normal, cup-shaped leaves and blooms if planted in an area of too much light. If unsure about where to plant your ivy geraniums, then place them in locations with afternoon shade.
Ivy geraniums originate in the Cape Province area of South Africa. In the wild, it grows in sheltered areas. This geranium species is commonly grown in window boxes throughout South Africa and Europe.
Ivy geraniums are drought tolerant which makes these plants good for containers. Ivy geraniums are planted in window boxes creating mounds of colorful cascades of blossoms and leaves. They are also used in hanging baskets and as ground covers in protected areas. They look great in containers full of other annuals by adding color contrast and foliage coverage. Deadhead the dying flowers to promote continuous blooming by breaking the stems off at the base.
There are over 75 different commercial cultivars of ivy geraniums. They vary in foliage color, size, flower color pattern and growing habits. Popular types of ivy geraniums are Sybil Holmes, Beauty of Eastbourne, King of Balcon, Amethyst, Cornell, Salmon Queen and Mexicana.