Don’t miss out on growing the most vibrant regal pelargoniums! Posted on July 30, 2013 by geraniumliz Reply Want to know how to get the most glorious display of regal pelargoniums in your garden next summer? The answer is easy … simply order them now and they’ll be delivered to you this autumn already potted and established! We gardeners know that the best way to get the maximum flowers is to start them off early. Of all the geranium family the most spectacular are the regal varieties and in their full glory in June they will outshine all of your roses and azaleas! They grow into bigger and better plants every year so are by no means a one year plant – they give great value! These are amongst my favourite summer plants to display – they are so popular and make really large plants with a fabulous range of colours available. If you’ve never given them a go then make sure you do or you’ll be missing out on some real treasures! Many of the top flower shows have wonderful displays of regals and they are astounding. They have a much wider range of petal variations and never fail to impress with their large flowers. They are a part of the geranium family which are lovely shown off on their own in terracotta pots or in mixed containers on the patio. Regals are tender perennials and make a better plant in their second and subsequent years so they are a great investment. As with all geraniums, as long as they are kept out of frost during winter they will grow and thrive for years and years – they get bigger and better. Here are my recommended top three varieties which I know you will get so much pleasure from – bright, vibrant varieties! Order our fabulous collection of Potted Regals and we’ll deliver all three of these varieties to you this autumn! NEW Aristo Darling Isn’t this variety a stunner?! With beautifully contrasting flowers this really makes a striking show. This has been so popular with our customers and rightly so. You can easily shape your plants year after year to keep them tidy and to bring more flowers each season. On our website you will find all the growing information you need – we are more than happy to pass on tips that we have learnt along the way, through trial and error over the years as we always want you to get the most pleasure from your plants. As with all our geraniums, add our plant food to your compost and the added feed will enhance the foliage growth and flowering. NEW Aristo Candy Lovely shades of pink intermingled in the petals make this a real show-off plant and a great addition to your summer display. As mentioned before, regals make a better plant in the second year when they have grown on and established into much larger plants. By ordering these now as ready established pot grown plants you’ll be ahead of the game! You can keep their shape by trimming them in the second year and they’ll bush out from lower down. In fact with regals you can be quite harsh and chop them down to small stumps and they’ll amaze you by bursting with new growth ready to flower all summer. I popped round to my neighbours Rob and Carol at the end of last summer and shaped some of their older regals quite harshly and they looked a bit shocked (the neighbours, not the plants!). They kept the plants in their heated greenhouse and this year have enjoyed a fantastic show from them – short, bushy plants packed with masses of flowers. You only need to order regals once to get many years of enjoyment from them. NEW Aristo Red Velvet There is nothing nicer than a shining red show of colour to enjoy on a summers day and these flowers are lovely – sharp, bright and cheerful. This is a modern variety which means that it flowers more and over a longer period. The older traditional varieties have a shorter flowering period but as time has gone on and work has been done by breeders over the years to improve this type of plant, they now achieve a much better performance. Which is great news for us gardeners! What more do we want than lovely flowers to enjoy in our gardens on bright, summer days! Regals are the type that people actually call ‘pelargoniums’, unlike the usual upright geraniums that we all know and love that we call ‘geraniums’. To look at these regals you might think that they could never be related to our usual geraniums but they are all part of the same wonderful family of geraniums. The regals are the ones with serrated leaves and large petunia-like blooms and are the “royalty” of the pelargonium family. Regals come into flower a little later than the usual type of geraniums and are well worth the wait. The greatest influence in their flowering is light. They will come into bloom in a fourteen hour daylight situation, which we do have naturally as the year progresses. In practice, if they are dead headed and fed with fertiliser, and the weather is reasonable, they go on flowering well beyond July. They are great conservatory plants where you can grow and enjoy them all year round as when not in full flower they are lovely foliage plants. Always check that the pot you are growing the regals in is big enough as they can grow quite large and we don’t want them falling over on a windy day. With potting up always go up a pot size each time rather than putting small plants into a huge pot. The reason for this is that the plant will put its effort into filling the pot with root and we want it to concentrate on the bit we’ll enjoy – the foliage and blooms! If you do find your regals aren’t flowering very much then I’d recommend you restrict the pot size and try them in a size smaller and then with our plant food added to the compost they’ll soon get going again. At the end of their flowering period, cut back any straggly shoots, and make sure they are in at least five inch pots before the winter sets in – whilst it’s good for me to give some all year round care advice I am aware we are still in the midst of this summer so I won’t ramble on too much about what to do with them in winter! Getting far too ahead of myself! Just to point out that they are tender perennials and so will need to kept in a light place, such as a conservatory, porch or sunny windowsill, and the roots kept moist and the foliage dry. Second year plants can be really big and beautiful. Although the regal type do not bloom in the winter, they do continue to grow for twelve months of the year, which is why they must never be dry at the roots. We have our full autumn range available on our website now so do pop on and have a look. Whilst we are in the lovely months of summer now, it is always a good idea to look ahead so that when the right time comes for planting for the next season, your fresh new plants and bulbs will arrive at your door. Our website is constantly updated so that you can find out delivery times of your plants and can easily select which beauties you’d like to be growing. See our range of bedding plants, spring bulbs for autumn planting, bright hardy plants and colourful border plants. If you’ve like any advice at any time about caring for your geraniums then do visit our Geranium Care Centre to find all you need to get the very best from your plants. Our full guides help with any growing problems and with many years of experience we know how to overcome almost any growing problem that might crop up. Our website is packed with beautiful plants and lots of useful advice so do pop back regularly. If you have a moment I would ask you to pop onto our website and write a review of your favourite plants. It only takes a minute and will help other gardeners to also enjoy the varieties that you enjoy. A big part of the joy of gardening, to share tips and advice between us all. If you have any information about regals or any stories or tips to share with us all then please do leave a comment on this blog also (all comments go through a moderator so they won’t appear on the page instantly but will soon be up for all to see). I’d love to hear from you and there is always something we can all learn from each other.