This garden favorite famous for vivid red or hot pink blossoms has the Latin name Pelargonium along with the frequent name Géranium. Pelargonium hortorum are also known as Common Garden Geraniums.
Perennial garden geraniums grow up to 3 feet tall (or more) and have a shrubby habit. The leaves are slightly hairy and fragrant measuring from 1 to 3 inches across. Older plants have woody stems. Leaves may be solid green or possess edging in red, yellow or brownish. There are lots of diverse hybrids of geraniums, some with scalloped leafs and some with vibrant edges or centers.
Their asymmetrical flowers have two petals that stage up and three which point down. Some resemble orchids and are bred to have similar colors. Pelargonium flower colors range from white to pink, deep reds, purple, peachy oranges, to deep salmon. Color colors may be gentle pastels or neon bright colours that prevent traffic.
Pelargoniums are native to South Africa so that they can take warmth and bloom almost year round. In my heavy, clay soil they do well with occasional water. They can take full sun to part shade, but when it gets over 100 degrees in the day they’ll require shade during this time.
Geraniums in containers
Geraniums grow well in containers. Many European villages are famous for their bright geraniums dripping in vibrant blossoms from each window and balcony. However, they require somewhat more water than plants growing in the backyard. The bigger the pot, the quicker the plant will dry out. If your geraniums are drying out too quickly, try mixing in some water-retaining crystals from the neighborhood nursery.
Geraniums are easy to root. I’ve had good luck only sticking branches in the floor. Be certain that one of the joints at the branch is underground. This part will form roots the quickest and help make your plant established faster. If the floor is kept moist for the first week or two they ought to take easily. Rainy season is a excellent time to plant cuttings directly in the ground since Mother Nature does the watering for you. Additionally it is possible to root geraniums in a jar of fresh water.
Geraniums can also be grown from seed. Many seed companies provide their particular hybrids with dazzling color combinations. But seeds from hybrid plants won’t stay’true’. Meaning they won’t be the same in the parent plant. It’s so much easier to root a cutting and you know you’ll find exactly the same plant.
Several unique variations of Pelargonium are grown for their scented leaves. Geranium scents include apple, rose, lime and mint. These plants also grow to about 3 feet tall. Their leafs might not be as big or as round as the Garden Geraniums and expansion can be leggy but the odor is well worth it. Scented geraniums aren’t usually grown for their flowers as they’re typically small, pink and only blossom in the spring. Gather fresh cuttings to scent a room or hang them to dry to be used in potpourri.
Whether you grow them for their colorful flowers, scented leaves or very low water conditions, geraniums make smart selection for any garden.