Newest Review: ... petals and are coloured white, pink, purple or blue, often with distinctive veining. Geraniums will grow in any soil as long as it is not ... more
One of our most popular flowering plants.
Member Name: Lunaria
Date: 05/03/12, updated on 07/07/12 (106 review reads)
Advantages: A wide variety, easy to grow, attractive flowers and leaves.
Disadvantages: none for me.
Geraniums are one of our most popular garden plants in Britain. There are over 400 species of geranium and many originate from the genus Pelargonium, perennial plants of South Africa. The name Pelargonium is derived from 'pelargos' meaning stork, this refers to the seed pods which are long and thin, resembling a stork's bill. Hardy geranium (Cranesbill) is our native species which includes Herb Robert with its tiny pink flowers often growing in wild places and considered by some, including myself, a nuisance weed.
The majority of geraniums are perennial, but many grow as annuals and a few are evergreen. Plants range in size, growing habit and in the shapes and colours of the flowers and leaves. Flowering can be from early Spring to late Autumn, the flowers have five petals and can be found in ranges of pink, purple, blue and white. Leaves are classically quite large and divided into leaflets with distinctive jagged edges.
Many geraniums have scented leaves and flowers, when you brush against a plant or gently rub a leaf you can be left with quite a strong aroma which will linger for ages. There are several oil producing species such as 'Pelargonium radens' and 'Pelargonium graveolens' grown for commercial use. Geranium oil is extracted by steam distillation and not only used in perfumed products but for aromatherapy as it has anti-depressant properties.
Geraniums are easy to grow and relatively maintenance free. With such a wide variety to chose from you can find a geranium for almost any situation in your garden whether it be in sun, shade, damp areas, rocky places, dry and open sites, containers or hanging baskets. Seed packets and young plants are readily available in garden centres, nurseries or online. Once established, geraniums will self seed and spread quite rapidly so they are ideal for quickly filling gaps in garden borders. They benefit from trimming after the flowers have faded and the large plants from dividing every few years. Division can be carried out in the early Spring or Autumn and most species are quick to re-establish and flourish.
These are my two particular favourites and recommended species:
'Mrs Kendall Clark'. A delicately blue/violet flowered perennial, it grows well in semi-shade. It has very attractive foliage and awarded The Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
'Mabel Grey'. Mauve flowers with deep veining and diamond-shaped leaves. A half-hardy evergreen and strongly lemon scented.
I love the geraniums in my garden, they flower profusely and require very little attention. If you were to only have one plant in your garden I would recommend it to be a geranium.
Thanks for reading. x
© Lunaria 2012
Summary: Geraniums are an attractive addition to any flower garden.