I got this plant without a tag or any identification, and I'm curious what it is. Would anyone be able to help?

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  • Welcome! Unless you were given a very exceptional plant, I would guess that your basket holds multiple plants? – Stephie Jun 6 at 7:55
  • I agree with what @Stephie says there. The red flowers and the curly leaves are both part of the Pelargonium described in her answer below, but the taller spiky leaves in the middle are certainly something else again. – Vince Bowdren Jun 7 at 22:39

This is a pelargonium, probably Pelargonium × hortoryum, one of the countless upright growing hybrids.

These members of the storksbills and South African natives have piqued the interest of horticulturists as early as the seventeenth century and been a regular object for cultivating and cross-breeding from the eighteenth century onwards. This lead to a huge number of cultivars and the popularity of pelargoniums as ornamental plants both indoors and outdoors.

To care for your plant, supply plenty of light, direct sunlight is welcome except for especially scorching regions (your post doesn’t specify a location). Fertilize regularly according to the instructions on the fertilizer - they tend to be “hungry”, but don’t overdose, especially with nitrogen, though. Regular deadheading will encourage new flowers.

Common pests are aphids and whitefly. Grey mold (botrytis cinerea) can be an issue if the plants’ leaves stay damp too long.

The plants are not frost hardy, but if you have a well-sheltered and dry place, it may even survive a mild winter. There are lots of instructions available how to overwinter them indoors, and they are easily propagated by cuttings, if the one(s) you have become too large.

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