How To Care For Geraniums?

…that when most people think of geraniums, they are actually thinking of what is called a Pelargonium, and Pelargoniums are not a “true” Geranium. Because in 1789, Geraniums were separated into two genus species, one of them being Pelargonium. But for reference, we will refer to Pelargoniums as Geraniums for this article… because it’s easier to say and write.

Geraniums have long been favorite garden flowers adding bright color and beauty to sunny spaces. Gardeners appreciate their long lasting flowers, overall toughness and versatility.

Geraniums are a beautifully colorful and fragrant option that give you all the spring and summer gardening vibes. They have over 250 species, are low maintenance (once you learn their needs), and make a great addition to your garden. 

Popular Types of Geraniums 

The four most popular varieties of geraniums are:

Zonal geraniums – the classic geraniums you recognize. With single or double blooms in white, pink, red, burgundy, yellow, orange and purple, Zonal geraniums are easy growers, heat tolerant and drought resistant. The Classic, Tango and Rocky Mountain cultivars all come in a wide variety of colors.
Regal geraniums – also known as Marsha Washington geraniums. They feature large multicolored blooms and are considered a delicate variety, yet they thrive with the proper care. They perform best in cooler areas and will not flower in hot summer temperatures. Unique cultivars include Ace High, Brown’s Butterfly, Blue Orchid and Coral Sea.
Ivy geraniums – create abundant mounds of cascading flowers. The leaves are shiny and resemble ivy. The single, semi-double and double flowers bloom from early spring to the first frost of fall. Try Summer Showers, Contessa and White Mesh cultivars for abundant blooms.
Scented geraniums – have scented leaves with a velvety texture. While they don’t bloom as profusely as other varieties, they are a favorite of many gardeners. Although there are endless variations, popular scents include roses, apricots, apple and mint. The cultivar name often hints to the geranium’s scent, such as Chocolate Mint, Ginger, Lemon Balm and Lime.

Geraniums have very specific needs, but once they are learned, you’ll see that these beautiful plants will thrive and be the next show stopper piece for your garden, front porch, or back deck. 

Where to Grow.
+ Indoors. Geraniums need a minimum of moderate light indoors, but more blooms will be yielded if they receive heavy light.
+ Outdoors. If growing outside, place your Geranium in a spot that receives FULL SUN (minimum of 6 hours of sunlight). If you are in a climate where the temperature reaches above 90 degrees, you also might want to consider planting your Geranium where it receives morning sun, but afternoon shade.

What You Need
Seeds: There is a wide selection available at garden centers and online. The key is to start early: You'll need 12 to 16 weeks to get flowering plants. Some varieties come in to bloom faster than others, so check the seed packets.
Pots and soil: Although you can start seeds in any container with good drainage and sterile "potting soil," it's a good idea to start with a multi-cell tray that's designed for seed starting. "We use the GrowEase system and have had almost 100 percent germination," Valerie says. "Of 200 seeds, only two failed to germinate. For potting soil, use a sterile mix, such as Seed Starting Mix.
Light: Your seedlings will need light — lots of it. You can get pretty good results in a south-facing window, but it's easier to ensure ideal growing conditions by growing the seedlings under lights.
Fertilizer: Choose a water-soluble plant food, such as Plant Health Care for Seedlings/Houseplants.

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