Geraniums and Pelargoniums VHT113

Learn all about Geraniums and Pelargoniums!

Geraniums and Pelargoniums are great collector’s plants with many varieties available. They are a good source of vivid colour, even in winter if a warm situation is provided.

These are fast growing plants that thrive in a wide range of soils and climates; but getting the best from these plants and keeping them alive through adverse conditions can sometimes be more of a challenge than first anticipated.

This course opens up a wealth of possibilities for growing and using these plants. Learn about plant identification, culture, propagation, pest control and much more.

A course for:

  • Passionate amateurs
  • Professionals in the nursery industry
  • Plant breeders, collectors, or anyone else who loves pelargoniums and geraniums


There are 8 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • Physiology
    • Information sources
  2. Culture
    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Watering
    • Feeding
    • Soils
    • Pruning, etc.
  3. Propagation
    • Methods of propagating this group of plants
    • Propagation of selected varieties
  4. Using Geraniums & Pelargoniums
    • Landscaping With Geraniums
    • Growing in baskets
    • Hydroponics
    • Rock gardens
    • Tubs
    • Planting design
  5. Pest & Disease
    • Diagnosing problems
    • Hygiene
    • Chemical & non chemical control
  6. Irrigation
    • Manual & automatic
    • Capillary
    • Disease implications etc.
  7. Greenhouse Management
    • Types of Greenhouses & Other Growing Structures
    • Plant Needs
    • Temperature Control
  8. Special Project
    • A research project into one major group such as species geraniums or pelargoniums, Regals, Zonals, Ivy Leaf, etc.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Course Duration: 100 hours of self paced study.  Start at any time and study to suit you.


Pelargonium or Geranium?

The use of the name Geranium for members of the Genus Pelargonium has become so widely used that it would be extremely difficult to change this habit. The 'true' Geraniums, from the Genus Geranium, are more commonly called Cranesbills. Both genus are closely related members of the family Geraniaceae.  The word Geranium  comes from the Greek word 'geranos' meaning crane.

Many of the Pelargonium genus, including the popular regal pelargoniums, are found growing naturally in the south western Cape region of South Africa. Of the approximately 280 known species, 110 are from this area.  Some were known to exist naturally in Eastern Africa and various islands in the Indian Ocean.  The main parents of the regal pelargoniums are thought to be the species Pelargonium cucullatum, angulosum and grandiflorum.

Today many beautiful hybrid pelargoniums are the result of many years of cross pollination and breeding in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nurserymen were deeply impressed by these plants and public interest increased again after World War II with more hybridizing. A lot of progress has been made since the early days; with today's gardeners having an outstanding range of cultivars to choose from.

What is the difference between pelargoniums and geraniums?

The geranium has a round leaf with a dark zone around the middle or the edge of the leaf, thus the name of Zonal Pelargoniums, and flowers with up to 100 pips per head. Horseshoe shaped leaf, velvet like leaves. There is over 300 species in this genera.

  •  Habit: annuals, perennials and rarely shrubs
  • Leaves: palmately lobed
  • Flowers: solitary and axillary, or clustered and terminal, regular, petals and sepals 5, stamens 10, ovary 5-celled, each 2-celled ovuled
  • Fruit: long-beaked, carpel bodies one-seeded coiling upward at maturity

Pelargonium X hortorum is commonly known as the Zonal Pelargonium. There is a theory that the common single red Pelargonium came from a crossing of P. inquinans (the cosmetic geranium) and P. zonale which has insignificant flowers with a faintly zoned leaf. P. zonale was introduced in 1710 and P. inquinans in 1714, both from South Africa. The old name for P. hortorum was P. zonale.

The pelargoniums have a serrated edged green leaf, with up to 7 pips per head, and are called Regal Pelargoniums. There is over 280 species in this genera.  

  • Habit: annual or perennial herbs, sub shrubs (small shrubs) or shrubs
  • Leaves: entire, lobed or dissected, stipules usually present
  • Flowers: irregular, sepals united with a spur to the pedicel, sepals and petals 5, upper pair usually longer, stamens 10, only 5-7 with fertile anthers
  • Fruit: 5-valved which coil upward as they dehisce.

Pelargonium X domesticum is the regal Pelargonium. P. peltatum is the Ivy Leaf Pelargonium. Prior to 1789 this was Geranium peltatum. These names were given by an American botanist, Bailey.
The old name for the P. domesticum was P. grandiflorum.

In addition to Zonal and Regal Pelargoniums other varieties are also grown. A common example is Pelargonium peltatum which is the ancestor of the Ivy-leaf Pelargonium, and which includes the Varigated, Miniature and Hybrid Ivy Leaf types.


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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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from anywhere in the world!

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