“Do you have any geraniums?” is a common question when our customers are stocking up on “fancy plants.” For sure, we do have geraniums! And several kinds of geraniums to boot! This time of year at the greenhouse, we are ooo-ing and ahh-ing about the beautiful colors that are popping out all over the beautiful geraniums.
First off, what we know as a geranium is actually a pelargonium (if you want to know more, check this out: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=338). We have several types of these plants and lots of colors within the groups. One kind is called Zonal geraniums (P. x hortorum)which are propagated from cuttings and so are exact clones of their parent plant. Their flowers are usually double and held above the leaves in large clusters. Also, there are a trailing or ivy geranium, Pelargonium peltatum, of southern Africa, having a fleshy stem that becomes woody with age, glossy, ivy-shaped leaves, and clusters of flowerks ranging from white to deep red in color. Then there is the modern revolutionary breakthrough, bringing together the best features of ivy and zonal geraniums which established a new geranium class, Pelargonium hortorum or interspecific which offer vivid flower colors, tremendous branching characteristics and vastly improved disease resistance.
We need to mention that there are also seed geraniums that have been available in the garden center since years – the Maverick series is always a dependable variety. Of course, there are also the “Martha Washington” or regal geraniums and fragrant geraniums (such as lemon scented) that are often used to repel insects.
No matter what you call it, these plants are some of the best plants for all applications: hanging baskets, containers, beds and borders – all are enriched by the beautiful pelargonium or as we know them: geraniums.
Just to explain, true geraniums are perennial woody type plants which are incredibly tough and useful garden plants. They need little care and are pest- and disease-resistant. Most are hardy to about -20°F (zone 5). Some are much more cold tolerant, and one, G. pratense, can withstand temperatures up to -50°F (zone 2). If you wish to learn more about hardy geraniums, here is a helpful link: http://garden.org/subchannels/flowers/perennials?q=show&id=192
Okay, I’m off to water my geraniums!!! Drop by and see all the lovely geraniums we have in house.