Pelargonium ovale

Pelargonium ovale

Pelargonium ovale

Scientific name

Pelargonium ovale is one of several tufted pelargoniums that are suitable for container gardens.

Pelargonium ovale is a low-growing, small shrub, up to 300 mm high. The leaves are ovate, grey-green and densely hairy with toothed margins. The stem is branched and covered with persistent stipules. Flower colour varies from white to pale pink to dark pink with darker markings on the upper two petals. Flowering is throughout the year but it has a peak flowering period from spring to summer.

The seed of pelargoniums is quite interesting in that attached to the elliptically shaped seed, is a feathered, tail-like structure that is coiled in a spiral. The tail allows the seed to drill and secure itself in the soil if twisted around by the wind or by the movement of animals.

No cultural uses have been recorded. Pelargonium ovale is ideal for any coastal garden that has sandy soil conditions. It can be planted among smaller herbaceous border plants in a garden bed. It is also suited for container gardening and flower boxes.

Propagation instructions

By seed

Sow the seed in a well-drained potting soil. Broadcast the seeds evenly in the seed tray, covering them with a layer of clean, white sand or fine milled pine bark. The depth of sowing is usually one-and-a-half times the size of the seed. Water thoroughly but gently and provide light shade. Germination usually takes place within three weeks. Pelargoniums grown from seed are generally more vigorous than those grown from cuttings; however, they take longer to flower.

By cutting

This plant species is easy to grow from cuttings. Cuttings can be taken during any time of the year. Soft, herbaceous stem cuttings should be taken and a rooting hormone applied, to stimulate the rooting process. The cuttings should be rooted in a cold frame, in a well-drained medium such as coarse river sand. Rooting will take place within four weeks. Once rooted the cuttings should be potted in a well-drained potting soil.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Image credit: Jan Movitz

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Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Good potplant

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