As their name implies, regal or Martha Washington geraniums have always held an aristocratic position. These are no ordinary geraniums. They differ in flower, foliage and ancestry. Their parents were the first members of the Pelargonium genus to arrive in Europe from the Cape of Good Hope. Their group claims many nicknames including regals, Martha Washingtons, Lady Washingtons and show geraniums. They preceded the better-known zonal geraniums by 20 years. Regals have the showiest blooms and velvety scented leaves. They prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall but if watered well during the hot months they will thrive. Awesome in beds, borders and containers. Fertilize 1 x every 14 days (tomato fertilizer is great).. They do need to be dead headed. Native to South Africa, regal geraniums require warm temperatures throughout the year to thrive, making them common houseplants in temperate regions. Container-grown plants are usually found in nurseries and garden centers in late winter and early spring.