|[an error occurred while processing this directive]||
These unquenchable, tireless perennials need almost no attention and can be propagated from a mere twig of a mother plant. Their simple five petaled flowers bloom practically all year long in temperate climates and come in exquisite, soft shades of pink and blue, wonderful lavenders, and also vibrant blues. Many have a mallow-like bi-colour effect. The flowers are simply charming, but it is the leaves of the Geranium plant that put this perennial in a class by itself. Foliage tends to be mid-green to grey-green, and each leaf is so exquisitely formed and cut that to look upon one is a study in the wonders of nature. Add to this the fact that it gives off a restful, herby fragrance, and you have a plant that deserves a place in any garden. Geraniums thrive in full to part sun, require little water, and form beautiful mounding shrubs about 1' high and twice as wide in diameter. If you are not growing true Geraniums, we think you should be and guarantee you will come to love them.
The funny thing is that the plants most people commonly think of as Geraniums are, in fact, Pelargoniums. These can be divided into three main headings, which we will call Geraniums here, rather than risk confusion. Zonal Geraniums are the hardy, puff ball blooms in white, pink, salmon, lavender, and that matchless Italian red. Their delightful rounded foliage often bears striking dark variegation. Zonal Geraniums may be grown in containers, but we warn you that we have seen specimens growing right up the sides of houses, over fences, and across lawns. Bloom is spring, summer, and fall and pinching flowers and leaves back will help to prolong bloom and manage rangy growth.
Ivy Geraniums bear some resemblance to Zonal Geraniums in the texture of their leaves and flowers. Flowers are five petaled and come in the same hues as Zonals. Ivy Geraniums are the adored subject of hanging basket gardens, and also make a great effect when cascading from window and planter boxes. They trail 1' to 3', require a little more water than Zonals due to getting dry from hanging in the wind, and should be pinched to achieve a pleasing shape. These reliable plants grow like a perennial in temperate climates and are often grown as a house plant in colder zones. Bright and cheerful, Ivy Geraniums are loads of fun.
Martha Washington, or Regal Geraniums, have sharp edged, crinkly leaves and big, pretty flowers. Some are solid colours, others bi-coloured, in the white, orange, pink, maroon spectrum. They are less sun tolerant than Zonal or Ivy Geraniums and their leaves tend to burn in hot afternoon sun. Morning sun or dappled light is preferred. Apart from this, they will grow almost anywhere and require little care. Like all Geraniums, ultimate size varies. We have seen these reach 4' in height and diameter. Give moderate water and a little food now and then for optimum bloom spring through fall.
A last mention should be made of another much adored member of the Pelargonium family - Scented Geraniums. Leaf texture is like that of Regal Geraniums, though foliage is tiny and often ruffled like parsley. Flowers minute, but these plants are grown for their amazing variety of scents, which include apple, mint, cinnamon, chocolate, orange, pineapple, and numerous others. The leaves of Scented Geraniums have long been used to flavour drinks, cakes, and white sugar.