Celery Scented Pelargonium (Pelargonium ionidiflorum) is an unusual species of geranium native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is a low-growing shrublet with lacy leaves and bright pink flowers held above the foliage on long stems. Pelargonium ionidiflorum stays compact and does not get leggy like many other Pelargonium plants. The common name comes from the celery scent given off by the leaves when touched. I guess you need a heightened sense of smell because I have yet to notice this scent. In a well-watered and mulched garden such as mine, it will freely root itself in and spread. The plant is also easy to grow from cuttings.
Plant Type: Perennial Ground Cover
Mature Size: 12 Inches High and 20-30 Inches Wide
Flower Color: Magenta Pink
Water Requirements: Low: Drought Tolerant
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Landscape Use: Pelargonium ionidiflorum can be used in just about any garden style. They are best suited to Cottage, Mediterranean, and Rock Gardens. However, as seen in one of my pictures, they work well in a more tropical style too. This plant is best used as a ground cover, along borders, or placed in containers. They luxuriate in full sun but grow freely in partial shade as well. While drought tolerant by nature, they can handle copious amounts of water when grown in free-draining soil. Celery Scented Pelargonium can prosper in such a wide variety of conditions in your garden that you will be hard pressed to find another ground cover so versatile. It has become the #1 go-to border plant in my yard.
Bloom: There are very few ground covers that can be grown in Southern California and truly bloom year round like Pelargonium ionidiflorum. Plants that are well watered and fertilized will have pretty bright pink flowers that bloom throughout the year. A flower alone is not all that impressive, but en masse the plant is a beautiful sea of pink. Deadhead regularly for even more flowers.
Longevity: When talking about ground cover and low-growing shrublets, I always find longevity to be an important factor. I simply do not have the time to keep replacing my ground cover or border plants every year or two. The first Pelargonium ionidiflorum I ever planted were put in the ground in 2006. They are still alive and flourishing 7 years later. Thanks to the fact that they freely root and spread in my garden, I will never have to buy this plant again.
Drought Tolerance: In today’s Californian garden, water availability has become a huge concern. This plant helps alleviate that concern. Once established, Pelargonium ionidiflorum proves to be very drought tolerant, growing and flowering year-round with just once a week waterings in summer. Water can be completely shut off during the winter.