Friday, March 13, 2015

My favorite plant this week: Pelargonium peltatum 'Crocodile'

On Sunday, I received a visit from another blogger, Denise of A Growing Obsession.  I've admired Denise's blog since long before I started one of my own - she grows an intriguing variety of plants and her posts always offer an interesting point of view on all things gardening related.  On the day she dropped by I was still reeling from the changes resulting from removal of a mature tree and pruning of 9 others (described here).  Denise gave me an opportunity to vent, endured a lengthy tour of my garden, and she brought plants!

Denise's delivery of seedlings and divisions included Pelargonium peltatum 'Crocodile,' an infant Agave 'Joe Hoak,' a succulent I can't identify, 3 Ballota pseudodictamus, 2 Papaver setigerum, and 3 Orlaya grandiflora


I've coveted Pelargonium peltatum 'Crocodile' since I spotted it during a local garden tour in 2013.

In a garden filled with beautiful and unusual plants, 'Crocodile' garnered a lot of attention


Although I've grown other varieties of Pelargonium peltatum, commonly known as ivy geranium, I'd never come across this cultivar with ivory veining before 2013 and I've failed to find it on any of my many nursery treks.  Denise remembered my interest in the plant and put aside a cutting for me, which I planted in my front garden earlier this week.

Newly planted 'Crocodile'

'Crocodile' sits in one of my new beds in the front garden among other recent introductions, including Agave 'Jaws,' Cotyledon orbiculata, Cuphea ignea 'Strybing Sunset,' Festuca 'Patrick's Point,' Pelargonium 'Mrs. Pollock,' and Abelia 'Kaleiodscope'


It's small now but it should grow to 2 feet tall and perhaps 3 feet wide in time.  It's suited to a range of conditions, from full sun to partial shade.  It's a tender perennial that can't tolerate frost but that isn't a problem in my zone 10b garden.  Like other ivy geraniums, it flowers, but it's grown primarily for its mottled foliage.

While 'Crocodile' is my favorite plant this week, all the plants Denise gave me have found homes in my garden.

I mistook the small Agave 'Joe Hoak,' shown here in a blue pot, for Furcraea foetida mediopicta, like this one in my backyard - they do look a lot alike at this stage, don't they?

The Ballota seedlings went into the side yard, while the Orlaya and Papaver went into the backyard border, where they'll get more water  (The unidentified succulent landed in my street-side succulent border)


Hopefully, despite temperatures that have recently jumped into the stratosphere, all my new plants will survive and thrive.  Thanks again Denise!


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

21 comments:

  1. Denise never has anything ordinary to show, does she? What a generous collection of new little things to try. I hope they survive. Do they need to be shaded for the weekend? It's blazing hot (94) in the sun here today.

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    1. We're not quite that hot, Jane, but I was considering getting out some umbrellas.

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  2. What a lovely post! I absolutely love getting plants from divisions and cuttings. They have so much meaning. Oh, I am with you about the crocodile pelargonium....it is truly a show stopper: I'll have to keep my eye out for it :-)

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    1. It's surprising that the plant is so hard to find here given the wide variety of other Pelargonium peltatum sold in the nurseries and garden centers.

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  3. What a stunner! I was wondering as soon as I saw the post's title... "Crocodile" seemed such an unusual name for an ivy-leafed pelargonium - but it's just right, and it looks lovely. The little agave is exciting too - so they all are... :)

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    1. Sometimes plant names are hard to understand but I agree - the name of this one is spot on.

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  4. It's so much fun to get together with other bloggers, it's a very friendly, giving community. Denise brought you some really choice plants.

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    1. It was very kind of Denise both to remember my interest in the plant and to stop by - the timing was perfect as it boosted my dampened garden spirit.

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  5. That's a beautiful Pelargonium Kris, with its venation and interesting pattern that gives the leaves texture. I'll keep an eye out here for this one. And great to hear that Denise paid you a visit and bought all those goodies too!

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    1. Visits by plant and garden enthusiasts are always appreciated - as are gift plants!

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  6. So does this mean there will be a tour of your garden coming up on Denise's blog? (hope so) Or maybe you guys just chatted and she wasn't a crazy photographer like I can be when I visit a garden. Either way I'm sure you both had fun, and how generous she was with the cool plants!

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    1. Sorry, no cameras came out during Denise's visit. She caught up with me during stops on her crowded Sunday itinerary. The plants were greatly appreciated - I just hope they make it through this very early heatwave!

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  7. Kris, when I got home I remembered the Rekohu Sunrise carex I set aside for you but forgot to bring. Another time! Hope that replanted area where the agonis was taken down is handling this heat. I know through your eyes the garden possibly doesn't seem as "whole" as it once did, but to me it looked spectacular. So many new things growing. And I wish I'd have stuffed my pockets with all those lemons!

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    1. After you left, I thought I should have loaded you down with citrus. I have many more lemons than I can use, so any time you're in need of lemons, give me a call. The heat is miserable here today (94F at mid-day) and I have to wonder if the loss of the 1 tree and the reduced canopy in the front yard are partly responsible but, what's done is done. I'm giving the plants extra water and have held off on some of the replanting. The neighbor stopped by today with a thank you/peace-offering gift: a case (!!!) of wine - enough to last us quite awhile as my husband doesn't even drink. Lots to give away, I guess.

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  8. Those are absolutely lovely passalong plants. Though I was expressing gratitude for rain recently that feels like ancient history already. The soil is dry again and though our temps aren't as high as yours are (not yet anyway!) I shaded a few late (early?) transplants to get them through yesterday's afternoon sun. As I was putting up covers I was thinking "here we go again!"... I hope things cool off a bit for you and that we both get more rain!

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    1. I hope you avoid this heat, Deb. I used to say that I wouldn't plant anything new after June. Last year, I said maybe March or April should be my cutoff. Now I'm wondering if it should be January!

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  9. Gardeners are so generous, aren't they? I love your newbies. I've got what looks like it could be an Orlaya in my garden. I'm going to let it grow and see what happens. I love your new pelargonium.

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    1. I haven't grown the Orlaya before so I'm interested in seeing how it does too, Grace. Denise's gift plants were much appreciated.

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  10. Now this is a plant I could probably grow too! thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  11. I love that Pelargonium, really unusual.

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