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A picture of a Black Pelargonium

Black Pelargonium

Pelargonium sidoides

Also known as

Kalwerbossie, Rabassam (Afr.), Ikubalo, Iyeza lesikhali (Xhosa), Khoara-e-nyenyane (Southern Sotho), South African Geranium, Umckaloabo

Photo by kellydrewry (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Black Pelargonium

A photo of Black Pelargonium
A photo of Black Pelargonium
A photo of Black Pelargonium
A photo of Black Pelargonium
A photo of Black Pelargonium

Black Pelargonium Overview

The Pelargonium sidoides is an aromatic low growing grey-green ground cover with dark reddish-purple flowers on long stalks. Due to flowering profusely from spring to summer, it makes an excellent garden plant growing in various conditions and climates. Not only does it make an excellent ground cover, but also has ornamental use as well as medicinal applications. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West.

Common problems with Black Pelargonium

Pests include whiteflies, spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, and caterpillars. Diseases include mildew, gray mold, black leg, flower break virus, Xanthomonas blight, and edema.

Black Pelargonium Companion Plants

Plant alongside grasses, Helichrysum and Scabbiosa, as well as other plants with similar water needs.

How to harvest Black Pelargonium

The roots are harvested in the wild. Harvesting methods currently used which involve entire removal of the plant and not filling up harvest holes to safeguard tuber remnants left in the soil. More sustainable harvesting methods are however sought.

How to propagate Black Pelargonium


Take basal cuttings in autumn, dip in a rooting hormone, placed in containers with coarse river sand which has been pre-watered with a fungicide and allow to root.


Sow seed from late winter to early spring.


Special features of Black Pelargonium

Pot plant

Due to its small stature it is an excellent pot plant given sufficient drainage holes.

Attracts useful insects

Insects such as bees, butterflies and other insects.

Drought resistant

Relatively drought tolerant once well established, flowering however decreases.

Indoor plant

This plant is suitable for growing indoors.

Other uses of Black Pelargonium

Used medicinally, as houseplants and as tender summer bedding and container plants, which can be overwintered.


Root extract is traditionally used as cold and flu medicine. The plant benefits the treatment of the symptoms of the acute bronchitis, the common cold and acute rhinosinusitis.

Garden plant

It makes an excellent ground cover in the garden.


Red Flowering Summer Plants

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