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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Pelargonium ‘Skyscraper’: New from Vernon Geranium Nursery

Posted by Graham Rice on 11 May 2012 at 07:47 AM

Geraniums, or pelargoniums as we should call them, come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Creating varieties that are more bushy and more prolific, or which trail more effectively, and in new colours and colour combinations, seems to have been a high priority in recent years. But this variety climbs.

Well, ‘Skyscraper’ (left, click to enlarge) doesn’t climb like a clematis or a honeysuckle; it needs tying in. But it’s vigorous and determined to grow upright. The soft foliage with its rounded lobes has a faint dark zone, and the clusters of salmon orange flowers keep coming over a very long season.

Liz Sims of Vernon Geranium Nursery told me more about it: “The plant will require tying in to a support… preferably a support all around the outside of the pot or a triangle of stakes up the centre. Increased pinching will result in more laterals and a greater number of flowers but it will take longer to achieve a 6ft/2m plant if the tip is pinched out.

“I've noticed it has extra long flower stems - hence it's great height! - and have also noticed it flowers a great deal better than other climbing geraniums. The picture (click to enlarge) shows it at the end of one season’s growth.
 
“It remains extremely vigorous in temperatures above 53F/12C. Without the top growing tips being removed it will continue to grow and spread. However, trimming to keep to a neater shape will reduce the height if the top tips are removed.”

‘Skyscraper’ was discovered by Ellene and Derek Simmonds from Lincolnshire. It was a chance seedling which survived the first winter in their garden as a very small plant under a canopy of other geraniums. It’s thought to have blood of both zonal pelargonium and the ivy-leaved geranium .

Pelargonium ‘Skyscraper’ is available from Vernon Geranium Nursery.

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