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Pelargonium sidoides

Pelargonium sidoides

Rabassam (Eng.), Kalwerbossie, Rabassam (Afr.)

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The Pelargonium sidoides is an aromatic low growing grey-green ground cover with dark reddish-purple flowers on long stalks. Due to flowering profusely from spring to summer, it makes an excellent garden plant growing in various conditions and climates. Not only does it make an excellent ground cover, but also has ornamental use as well as medicinal applications.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

The roots are harvested in the wild. Harvesting methods currently used which involve entire removal of the plant and not filling up harvest holes to safeguard tuber remnants left in the soil. More sustainable harvesting methods are however sought.

Propagation

Cuttings
Take basal cuttings in autumn, dip in a rooting hormone, placed in containers with coarse river sand which has been pre-watered with a fungicide and allow to root.
Seed
Sow seed from late winter to early spring.

Special features

Pot plant
Due to its small stature it is an excellent pot plant given sufficient drainage holes.
Attracts useful insects
Insects such as bees, butterflies and other insects.
Drought resistant
Relatively drought tolerant once well established, flowering however decreases.
Indoor plant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors.

Geography

Origin
Southern Africa
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand, Gravel, Clay
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Medicinal
Root extract is traditionally used as cold and flu medicine. The plant benefits the treatment of the symptoms of the acute bronchitis, the common cold and acute rhinosinusitis.
Garden plant
It makes an excellent ground cover in the garden.

Personality

Family
Geraniaceae
Flower colour
, Purples, Red, Black
Scent
None

Problems

Pests include whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, and caterpillars. Diseases include mildew, gray mold, black leg, flower break virus, Xanthomonas blight, and edema.

Companion plants

Plant alongside grasses, Helichrysum and Scabbiosa, as well as other plants with similar water needs.

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