Pelargonium perks up patio
FORGIVE ME if I jump on the podium for a quickie boast. Well, this tumbling pelargonium, pictured on my patio last month, is impressive enough to claim a spot on the page . . . surely?
Its name is Tomcat, a zonal trailer which people prefer to call geranium, the sort our Victorian ancestors grew on window sills and in conservatories by the million. And that moggie looking on? Well, I did move this lump of concrete into camera-shot to complete the feline feature.
Tomcat, in a glorious coat of deep maroon, as well as all pelargoniums, are easy to propagate in autumn. Snip off 3in to 4in stems, trim off the lower leaves and push the ends into any decent multi-purpose compost, but don't dip into rooting powder.
If any flowering stems sprout this side of the new year, it is best to pinch them out to enable strong root and foliage growth. If you don't have a greenhouse be sure to move pots onto a window sill if winter chills set in.
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Cuttings will probably survive the winter in an unheated greenhouse unless the mercury dips to bone-chillling levels, so be prepared to apply extra protection or switch on the warmth.