@gretaspelargoner: Greta Ljung uses plant straws with pelargoniums!

@gretaspelargoner: Greta Ljung uses plant straws with pelargoniums!

Greta and I first met when she was applying to the annual balcony styling competition at Trädgårdsmässan, a large garden show in Stockholm. She reached out to me, as she wanted to borrow some plant straws for her pavilion, which she had named "Pelargonsamlarens Balkong" or the Pelargonium Collectors Balcony.

Pelargonsamlarens balkong på Trädgårdsmässan 2022

Photo: Greta Ljung, Pelargonsamlarens balkong - Trädgårdsmässan 2022

I was a little confused at first, as my own pelargoniums like it dry. Like... Real dry. But she has a beautiful collection of old cultivated specimens from farms in the area around her hometown, and knows which ones want more water and when.

Here's is her advice for how to care for these Africa/Mediterranean native plants! 

Plant straws på Trädgårdsmässan 2022

Photo: Greta Ljung, Pelargonsamlarens balkong - Trädgårdsmässan 2022

When, and how, to use a plant straw with pelargoniums?

A general advice to begin with: Take some time to get to know your plant and take the conditions in your home in consideration. Sunny or dark? Warm or cold? What kind of pot will you be using? 

Scented pelargoniums, such as Dr Westerlund (p. graveolens), and young cuttings want more water during the growing season. These will benefit more from a plant straw than other kinds.

Plant straws is best combined with pelargoniums in terracotta pots, as it would most likely be too soggy a plastic pot. 

Use a short length of the wick in the soil, and adjust if necessary.

I would not use plant straws for pelargoniums during winter because then they need very little water in general and are prone to root rot. Especially if you keep them inside with limited sunlight. 

Good luck!

- Greta @gretaspelargoner

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