Pelargonium triste
Thu, 23 Sep 2010 13:47:01 PDT
In nature, P triste tuberous roots are never exposed above the ground surface.  A short stem is always present, from which new growth emerges,  If the tuberous roots are cut apart (best done in early fall) , new growth will form at the cut ends that were closest to the original growing point--set the cut end right at the soil surface.  If a tuber is planted upside down, it may never grow, so keep the orientation correct (sideways may work if you lose track). 
P. triste is an obligate winter grower, and in cultivation when I grew it in greenhouses at Cornell U and NYBG in the past, it was not difficult to maintain, and it did appreciate being grown in decent sized pots--it should not be "bonsaied" if you want good growth and flowering.  They were grown in a well drained commercial type mix with extra perlite, and fertilized occasionally while in growth,  Oddly,(for most pelargoniums), it seems that P. triste, or at least certain forms of it (it is quite variable) is self sterile, so 2 clones may be needed to set seed.  The flowers smell wonderful in the evening.  Once it goes dormant, keep bone dry till Sept, when cooler temps start. If grown from seed started in early-mid fall, P. triste may flower its first spring, and certainly should it second spring. 
It is common for pelargonium leaves to yellow when stressed or if they get very dry during their growing season--they react by producing ethylene gas, to which they are very sensitive--this is why they usually have a yellow leaf or two when shipped in a box where the ethylene can build up.  
Hope this helps,
Ernie DeMarie

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Blomquist <>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
Sent: Thu, Sep 23, 2010 11:00 am
Subject: [pbs] Pelargonium triste

I purchased this plant not long ago, and think it was put in the
onsai pot for sale only. Now I am losing the 2 lower leaves, and am
hinking about repotting to a pot with the tuber completely covered
or better growth.…
What do you guys think?
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