Clay (fine texture, holds a lot of water), Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
The distinctive dark, reddish-purple (almost black) flowers are present almost throughout the year
Pelargonium sidoides forms a rosette-like plant with crowded leaves.
This plant is easily propagated from seed or by means of basal cuttings in autumn (March to May). The cuttings should be prepared and the base dipped in a rooting hormone and then be placed in containers with coarse riversand which has been pre-watered with a fungicide. The containers with cuttings should then be placed in cold-frames to root. If plants are kept in glasshouses, yellow sticky traps should be placed strategically to combat white-fly.
t occurs throughout the eastern Cape, Lesotho, Free State and southern and south-western Gauteng in the Republic of South Africa. It usually grows in short grassland and sometimes with occasional shrubs and trees on stony soil varying from sand to clay-loam, shale or basalt. P. sidoides is found at altitudes ranging from near sea level to 2300m in Lesotho. It is found in areas which receive rainfall in summer (November to March) varying from 200 - 800mm per annum.
Pelargonium sidoides Umckaloabo is a medicinal plant native to South Africa. Derivative inexpensive cold and flu medicines of various brands are widely available under the Umcka ("Umca" in Turkey) name.
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