Geranium, also known as crane’s bill, is a genus of over 400 species of flowering plants. They can be found throughout the world, but are native to the temperate climate of South Africa. Geraniums range in height, growing anywhere from 6 inches tall to 3-4 feet tall.
Geraniums are popular garden plants, grown for their attractive, showy flowers that come in red, white, pink, purple or blue. Geraniums come in a wide variety of shapes, and sizes, from tailing to upright varieties and from a few inches tall to a few feet tall. Some are single or double bloom. There are varieties that are scented, with fragrances like peppermint, lemon, rose, orange, pineapple and nutmeg. The foliage is typically green, but there are varieties with red, yellow and orange leaves. They will bloom from late spring to the first frost.
Gardeners love geraniums. They are easy to grow, hardy and reliable! These showy flowers are very versatile; they can be used as hanging plants, border flowers, bedding plants, and container plants. Most varieties do best in full sun. They will grow in just about any type of soil and don’t require frequent watering. As these plants can be prone to root rot, water only when the soil is dry. Fertilizing is recommended to help the plants develop healthy, strong roots. Geraniums grown in containers will require more fertilizer, as watering will wash it away. As well, be sure to deadhead to encourage fuller and more frequent blooms.
Fun Flower Facts about Geranium:
- The common name “cranesbill” refers to the the seed capsule that looks like a crane’s bill. The beak-like column will burst open when ripe and casts the seeds over a distance
- Geranium essential oil can be used as a deodorant, tonic, and diuretic. It may even be able to reduce the appearance of scars and other spots on the skin.
- Geranium essential oil has been used in making artificial rose oil in perfumes
- There is a variety of geraniums that smells like citronella, which can repel mosquitoes.
- Geranium leaves can be used to make tea.
- Rose scented geranium leaves can be used to flavour cakes, jellies and vinegars.