Alpine ivy geraniums
One alpine ivy parent, the ivy vining geranium, is native to South Africa where bright days and cool nights are typical. Crossed with bush zonal geranium, they result in closer leaf spacing and better bloom. The most common variety of this geranium is the Balcon series.
Alpine ivies bloom in red, pink and lavender, and are prolific bloomers. The petals drop as flowers fade and new flowers cover spent blooms. While not necessary for producing additional bloom, deadheading, or removing spent blooms, enhances a neat appearance.
Leaves are slightly waxy and prevent drying in our semi-arid climate. Many varieties have light colored stems that contrast well with the darker foliage.
Alpine ivies need bright light to flower well. Allow them to dry slightly between watering but never allow them to dry out completely; they bloom better if foliage is kept dry. Add moderate amounts of soluble fertilizer throughout the growing season, or use slow release granules, especially for alpine ivies growing in containers.
Alpine ivies are perfect for flower boxes, their primary use in Europe. They also make a great ground cover. Above all else, place them in full sun with four to five hours, minimum, of sunlight.
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Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014