Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum) are an all-time favorite of gardeners. They are beautiful, colorful, and some species emit a lovely scent. Growing geranium plants are easy as long as you can give them what they need. Here’s how to grow geraniums in your home and garden!
What are Geraniums Exactly?
Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial and perennial. Geraniums are commonly known as cranesbills. They are found throughout temperate regions of the world and in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. The name ‘cranesbill’ is derived from their appearance of the fruit capsule of some species, which is shaped like a long unsprung column and like the bill of a crane.
Not all geraniums are in fact geraniums. Some are pelargoniums. “True Geraniums”, which are hardy, native and wild plants that make excellent ground cover and space filler in your garden and landscape.
A pelargonium is a hybrid species of the geranium plant. The difference between geranium and pelargonium is in how they flower. The noticeable differences are that geranium has a flat-like saucer shape while a pelargonium has a trumpet-like shape of flower that faces upward from the stem, rather than a flat five-petal flower head.
- Botanical Name: Geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum)
- Varieties: Meadow Cranesbill, Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill, Clark’s geranium
- Design Ideas: It is suitable to be grown as a flower bed, hanging baskets or containers on patios or balconies.
- Life-Cycle: Annual, biennial and perennial.
- Height: 6 inches to 3 feet
- Width/Spread: Up to 2 feet
- Flowering season: Year-around flowering, Flowers in flushes throughout the year.
- Flower: The flowers have five petals and are colored white, pink, purple or blue, with distinctive veining.
- Uses in landscape: Geraniums play plenty of garden roles beyond being accents in the perennial border, where they provide soft color for many weeks. Some geraniums can be used as ground covers. Geraniums are an excellent choice for containers, hanging baskets and in rock-garden.
Planting/Growing Details :
- Sunlight: Locate your geraniums in an area with at least six to eight hours of sunlight.Potted geraniums are excellent indoor plants and can be grown under bright light for growth and flowers.
- Water: Allow soil to dry to some extent between watering, then water thoroughly. During the winter, water much less, but do not let the roots dry out entirely. Geraniums do best when given a period of dormancy through the winter months, during which they use less water and do not grow much.
- To encourage blooming, deadhead spent flowers.
- To promote bushy growth and avoid legginess, pinch the stems.
- By seeds: They are easily grown from seed and can help acquire a collection of different varieties.
- By cuttings: Geraniums are easily cloned by taking rooting cuttings and stuck into coarse, sandy medium in small pots. The spot should be kept warm in indirect light and watered well. After roots are formed in 2-3 weeks, move the new plants into full sun and water.
Pest and Disease – Common problems can be low light or too much or too little water. The leaves will turn yellow as an indication you are watering too little or too much. In this case, try to even the watering out and move the geraniums to a brighter place.
Follow these tips presented here to make your geranium flourish and as you learn to grow them successfully, you’ll want to have more and more colorful geranium in your garden.