Most of our pelargoniums get cut back in the autumn in order to give the plant a rest and also to make space in the greenhouse.  Each year we leave a few to flower over Christmas, and this is always one of them. The silvery-grey evergreen foliage and dark purple flowers make and elegant combination.  Cuttings that were taken six months ago are now flowering and will be brought into the house over Christmas.

This is one of the hardiest of the pelargoniums and as long as the soil is not too wet, will survive a few degrees of frost.  Plants left outside in southern England during the winter will look a bit bedraggled by the spring, but they will be alive.

An extract of the plant’s root is used in its native South Africa to treat bronchial conditions and is the active ingredient in many cold and ‘flu recipes.