Regal Geranium, Regal Pelargonium, Martha Washington, Pansy Flowered Geranium
Pelargonium x domesticum
(Pelargonium grandiflorum x Pelargonium cucullatum)
pe-lar-GO-nee-um x doh-MESS-tik-um
Pelargonium x domesticum is a cross between Pelargonium grandiflorum and Pelargonium cucullatum. Plants of the World Online says Pelargonium x domesticum L.H.Bailey as an artificial hybrid. The link to IPNI (International Plant Names Index) says Pelargonium domesticum L.H.Bailey was named and described as such by Liberty Hyde Bailey in The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture in 1916. Plants of the World Online does not list Pelargonium x domesticum or Pelargonium domesticum on the list of accepted species (or hybrid)… World Flora Online says Pelargonium domesticum is an accepted species, but they uploaded out-of-date data from The Plant List (which also says it is accepted) that hasn’t been updated since version 1.1 in 2013… SO, Pelargonium domesticum is NOT an accepted scientific name since it is a hybrid and was originally named and described as Pelargonium domesticum, which was validly published… ANYWAY, if I keep writing about it I will confuse myself…
The genus, Pelargonium L’Hér. ex Aiton, was described as such by William Aiton in Hortus Kewensis in 1789. The genus was first named and described as such by Charles Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle. Mr. Aiton gave credit to him for naming the genus and possibly used his description.
Plants of the World Online lists 283 species in the Pelargonium. genus (as of 2-10-21 when I last updated this page. Up from 251 on the last update. It is a member of the plant family Geraniaceae with 8 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
I grew my first of these while I was living with Dr. Skinner in Carson, California. Then when I moved back to Missouri, I bought one in 2014 and another one in 2016 from Wagler’s Greenhouse.
They are really nice plants that come in a variety of color combinations. They are best grown as an annual but are winter hardy in USDA Zones 10 and 11. They require a minimum of maintenance, just removing spent flowers and dead leaves. They can grow up to 3’ tall x 2’ wide.
It is said that they need consistently cool nights for flowers to form, but here in mid-Missouri, it did very well for me throughout the summer. They like full sun, but I have found that they do best when given shade in the heat of the day. Mine grew perfectly well in dappled shade under the Elm tree.
Zones: USDA Zones 9b-11 (25 to 40° F/-3.8 to 4.5°C)
Size: 18-36” tall, but normally smaller.
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Well-drained soil or potting mix.
Water: Average water needs.
I normally don’t take mine inside for the winter, but it is possible to overwinter them as a houseplant. They should be placed in a bright, sunny window in a cool area and reduce watering. They can also be brought inside before frost and placed in a dark, cool location in the basement and allowing them to go dormant. You can also take cuttings of your plants to overwinter inside.
I haven’t bought any of these plants home from the local greenhouse since 2016 but I did use one in a friends planter a couple of years ago. They are great plants and their flowers are AWESOME!
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant.