8 Types of Geraniums to Pop Color in Your Flower Bed
Author: Jen Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
If you have some knowledge of plants, you must have come across various types of geraniums often. And if you are an avid gardener, then you definitely own one.
This is the tradition and beauty of geraniums - that you can see them in almost all gardens, and yet their beauty never seems to become cliché.
In case you do not own one of these beautiful flower plants or would simply like to gain more knowledge on them to fit your gardening needs, we have written this article for you.
This content covers the main different types of geraniums out there along with their characteristics to help you choose one.
8 Types of Geraniums
Geraniums can be widely categorized into four types based on their flower and leaf size and properties. These are – garden or zonal geraniums, regal geraniums, ivy-leaved geraniums, and scented geraniums. Each type has distinct characteristics.
Some other common types include the mourning widow geranium, angel geraniums, wood geraniums, and meadow geraniums. The description of each kind is written in a detailed manner below.
There are of course dozens and dozens of uncommon hybrids you and me will never have a chance to own and grow, so we leave those out. These are the readily available we can enjoy. If you want to get more involved, the Hardy Plant Society runs the Hardy Geranium Group that sets up events, celebrates "Geranium Day" each year, and more.
Garden Geraniums are known as the most popular kind of geranium amongst consumers. If you go to a nursery and ask for a geranium, the chances are that you will be taken to this section first.
The scientific name of this flower is Pelargonium x hortorum. It is also known as zonal geranium – due to the dark patterns of different colors such as bronze, purple, or dark green on the flowers.
The main feature of these types of geraniums is their tall stemmed ball-shaped flowers. These flowers come in various colors – from crimson, white, peach, salmon, burgundy, purple to semi-colored.
Garden geraniums have fan-shaped dark green leaves, and the flowers usually rise high above their leaves and stems.
Although these geraniums are known to be quite hardy, you need to make sure to take care of them. The best way to do this is to keep clipping away the flowers as soon as they fade.
These geraniums work best when planted in slightly dry climates. Climates, which can be extremely hot and humid at times, are not compatible with the growth of this type.
You can plant these geranium varieties directly on a garden bed or keep it potted in a plant. Whatever you choose, it indeed enhances the beauty of your garden or home by adding a fresh splash of colors.
With proper care, you can definitely turn these into one of the focal pieces of your garden. And as a bonus, geraniums are one of the plants that repel ticks.
Scented Leaf Geranium
Scented leaf geraniums are a gardener’s favorite, thanks to the unique scent they produce. You can test the smell of these geraniums simply by rubbing their leaves a bit. They come in various aromas, such as – apple, lemon, chocolate, citronella, rose, cedar, orange, etc.
These geraniums have different shapes when it comes to their leaves and can be either rounded, serrated, or lacy. The leaves have a velvety feeling to them, which comes from the fine hairs that help them produce their unique fragrance.
Along with distributing a pleasant fragrance, scented geraniums also produce pretty pink and white-colored flowers during summer.
The flowers might not be as ostentatious as the other types of geraniums, but they add a touch of elegance to every garden. The upper two petals bloom pretty dramatically, making the flower look a bit like a pansy.
One kind of scented geranium – the citronella one – has a fragrance that helps repel mosquitoes. That is why it is often purchased and planted in climates where mosquitoes tend to breed quite fast.
Other scented geraniums are often used in the perfume industry. Lady Plymouth, Fragrans Group, and Bitter Lemon are popular among this type.
Ivy Geraniums have a slightly different appearance than the other geraniums, making them unique. They have thick glossy leaves that look pretty in any setting.
And instead of the usually upright flowers, their flowers trail down their thin stem. It helps them achieve a cascading down effect, which in turn highlights the beauty of the leaves and flowers.
The trailing flowers of Ivy Geranium types make this great for windows and hanging baskets. They can also be used as borders for garden beds. Moist soils are the best for this kind of plant, and full sun for four to six hours helps them grow.
Make sure that the soil does not become too saturated with water, though: allow a day or two between watering for best results.
You can also grow these geraniums in a dry climate, thanks to their thick leaf cuticles. These cuticles help the leaf stay fresh even if not watered regularly. As long as the temperature is under 80 F, the plants seem to thrive well.
Fertilizers can aid in the growth of Ivy Geraniums through a light frequency. The best solution is to buy potting soil since they have fertilizers pre-mixed in them.
Different kinds of Ivy Geraniums include Mahogany with bright red and white flowers, Royal Amethyst with vibrant lilac flowers, and Crocodile Ivy Geraniums, which have white veins spread all over the leaves that give it its unique name.
Regal types of geraniums are also known as Martha Washington geraniums, Lady Washington Geranium, or Pelargonium. They are mostly indoor plants and thrive well in cold weather and partial sunlight.
As long as the weather is not extremely hot or cold, regal geraniums will bloom nicely.
The main feature of regal geraniums is the large flowers that have different patterns and grow in small clusters.
The flowers come in pink, lavender, burgundy, white, and even clear colors. These large blooms make it appropriate for bordering garden beds and also as potted plants.
Rich, well-drained soils are the perfect blend for the regal variety of geraniums. These flowers usually start blooming in the middle of spring and continues to bloom until the first frost. Clipping the flower heads as they fade away paves the path for more blooms.
These plants might need a little bit more care and maintenance than the other ones we have discussed so far. Be sure to discard the whole bedding after a frost to encourage more growth in spring.
The plants are pretty hardy and do not need regular watering. Watering the plants slightly after a few days when the soil is quite dry helps the flowers grow better. Do watch out for fungus gnats and take our advice if you need to know how to get rid of fungus gnats.
These types of geraniums are almost the same as regal geranium flowers, but they are smaller in size. Hence, they can create a formal-looking pot for decoration purposes.
These geranium types are characterized by small round viola-like leaves and a bushy, compact appearance. You can plant these in hanging baskets.
Mourning Widow Geranium
These geraniums have a quite striking appearance, with deep violet flowers and a forward emerged cluster. Lily Lovell and Sombor are amongst the most popular kind in this species. They stand out but blend in when grown with types of violets in the same flower bed.
Wood geranium varieties are quite popular as they have medicinal value as well as ornamental. These plants grow mostly in woody regions, as the name implies, but can be planted in gardens as well. However, they need proper maintenance if they are to be cultivated in gardens.
The roots of Wood Geraniums can be used to make herbal medicine, which has many uses. Among the different flowers in this species, Elizabeth Ann kinds of geraniums are the most popular.
Meadow geraniums are one of the few geraniums that grow best in cold weather. They are so tolerant of cold that they can grow even when the temperature is in the negative digits! That is why it is a huge hit in snowy regions around the world.
These specific varieties of geraniums were first seen in Europe and Asia. Now, it is grown all over the world. In addition, even though wood geraniums grow well in snowy regions, that does not deter them from thriving in hot climates.
Types of Geraniums for All Varieties of Gardens
Whether you own a trailing ivy geranium to decorate your windows or a lemon-scented geranium whose leaves you rub as soon as you walk into your garden, these plants definitely tie up the whole scene together.
By reading this article on different types of geraniums, we hope that you now have more knowledge of these flowers, which you can put to use for your future gardening endeavors.