Regal Geranium: Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geranium, Pelargonium

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Lawn & Garden

The regal geranium, also known as the Martha Washington geranium, Lady Washington geranium, or Pelargonium, is a plant that produces a wide array of colors. This plant has large, open-faced flowers above light green, pleated leaves. They are available in clear colors of pink, red, white, lavender, and burgundy, with the flowers of many varieties marked with bright patches of contrasting colors.

Regal pelargoniums grow best in mild weather and sunny days. If the nights do not go above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, they will continue to bloom throughout the summer. In warmer areas, they will take a midsummer hiatus until cooler nights prevail in the fall. Plant them in the garden in the spring when the weather has settled.

Related Varieties of Regal Geranium

There are different varieties of regal geranium, including:

  • Variegated Zonal Geranium: A number of varieties of zonal geraniums are grown for their fancy leaves. Culture is the same as for regular zonals.
  • Scented Geranium: A variety of species pelargoniums have distinctly fragrant leaves when the surface is rubbed.

The scientific name of regal geranium is Pelargonium domesticum.

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1. What is the difference between Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geranium, and Pelargonium?

Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geranium, and Pelargonium are all names for different species of the same flowering plant. Pelargonium is the scientific name for the genus, and it includes over 200 different species. Regal, Martha Washington, and Lady Washington Geraniums are all cultivars of Pelargonium, with slight variations in their appearance and growth habits. Regal Geraniums are known for their large, showy flowers that bloom in clusters, while Martha Washington and Lady Washington Geraniums have ruffled, double blooms in a range of colors. All varieties of Pelargonium are easy to care for and can be grown both indoors and outdoors.

2. How do I care for my Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geranium, or Pelargonium?

Caring for Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geranium, or Pelargonium is relatively easy. They prefer bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. Water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, and be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage more flowers to grow. If grown outdoors, they can be brought inside during the winter months or treated as annuals.

3. Can I propagate my Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geranium, or Pelargonium?

Yes, Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geraniums, and Pelargoniums can all be easily propagated through stem cuttings. Take a cutting that is 3-4 inches long and remove any leaves from the bottom half. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone and plant in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil moist and the cutting out of direct sunlight until roots have formed. This can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks.

4. Are Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geraniums, and Pelargoniums toxic to pets?

Yes, all parts of the plant are toxic to pets if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. It is important to keep these plants out of reach of pets and to seek veterinary care if you suspect your pet has ingested any part of the plant.

5. Can Regal, Martha Washington, Lady Washington Geraniums, and Pelargoniums be used for medicinal purposes?

While there is limited research on the medicinal properties of Pelargonium, it has been traditionally used to treat a variety of ailments such as respiratory infections, sore throats, and digestive issues. The leaves and flowers of the plant can be brewed into a tea or used as a tincture. It is important to note that there is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of Pelargonium as a medicinal plant, and it should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment.

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