5 Reasons Why You Should Plant Geraniums In Your Garden

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5 Reasons Why You Should Plant Geraniums In Your Garden

5 Reasons Why You Should Plant Geraniums In Your Garden

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The geranium plant (Geranium spp) is a favorite among gardening communities and is a true garden workhorse worldwide. They bring much-needed scent and color anywhere they are planted, whether in the garden or indoors as houseplants. There are several varieties in the Geranium genus, but what you might be referring to as geranium could be a pelargonium, a close cousin to the perennial. While these two plants are members of the same family and look the same, they differ on many fronts, mentions Rozanne and Friends. The hardy geraniums and the pelargonium were separated into different genera over 250 years ago, per Stuff Limited. However, many plant enthusiasts and homeowners still cannot tell the difference between the two plants.

Despite their differences, it is worth mentioning that geranium species truly deserve a space in your garden or indoor pot plant collection. Geranium originates from the Greek word “geranos,” meaning crane, because the seed head closely resembles the head and beak of the wading bird. Besides their beautiful scent and color, geraniums are also popular for their hardy nature, and they can tolerate moderately harsher conditions, making them ideal for new plant parents. It is hard to think of a garden or indoor plant collection that wouldn’t benefit from the charm and color of this plant. However, if you are still in doubt, here are a few reasons you should consider adding geraniums to your plant collection.

1. They are easy to plant and care for

planting geranium seedlings

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Other than providing beautiful flowers and foliage, part of geraniums’ appeal to many homeowners and gardeners is their ease of planting and care. However, it is also worth mentioning that the specific care practice necessary is relative to the species you decide to grow. Generally, geraniums love the partial shade and do quite well in rich, well-drained organic soils. Most are neither heavy feeders nor drinkers — a significant number of geranium species prefer to be kept relatively dry to avoid mildew from dampness. Take advantage of the fact that many geranium species love the sun, so if you are blessed with a sunny spot in your garden or patio, alpine geraniums will be great for such sites, via IOWA State University Extension and Outreach. 

It is pretty easy to succeed in planting geraniums; you don’t need to be present every day to take care of this plant. Technically, they thrive on moderate neglect, which is ideal for a short-time traveler. However, you might need to prune some branches to control their growth. You could also cut back the flowers immediately after blooming, and you will be treated with fresh blooms later during the season.

2. Some varieties are perfect for your moon garden

geranium flowers

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Moon gardens are a must-have for homeowners who don’t get to enjoy the calm and beauty of flowers during the day. Such plants will make you fall in love with the outdoors owing to the beautiful scents and colorful petals that come alive at night. So if you are interested in adding a night-blooming plant to your garden, then the geranium is an excellent place to start. Although not a true geranium, the night-scented pelargonium, better known as the Pelargonium triste, has an enchanting fragrance produced during the night. 

This particular plant blooms in pink, green, or yellow flowers that emit a sweet clove scent immediately after dark. If you are keen enough, you can even detect some hints of vanilla in the air. Other than the scent and beautiful blooms you experience during the night, night-blooming plants like the night-scented pelargonium will also attract pollinators to your garden, which is good for the ecosystem. The University of California mentions that there are no rules when creating a moon garden; just pick a quiet spot for your plants where you can pull a chair, relax, and unwind during the night.

3. Consider geraniums for a functional garden

blossoming geranium in garden

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A functional garden offers more than just aesthetics; it is ideal for anyone who wants something interesting to do with their harvest. A productive garden doesn’t always mean a vegetable garden; sometimes, you can have flowers that provide visual interest while also being used as food, via DK Landscaping. Geraniums are among the few beautiful flowers that have plenty of use in the kitchen. Some varieties’ flowers and foliage are edible and can be used for various culinary purposes. 

So as you plan your vegetable garden this season, consider adding a few geranium plants for their beauty and lovely scents that you can use in your kitchen. If you are short on space, you don’t have to sacrifice the little room for your veggies to plant this flower. Plant them in pots or along patio walkways, the foliage grows relatively fast, and you get to use them for food as soon as the plant matures. Owing to the plenty of geranium plant species, you can grow various ones to have an assortment of scents for different culinary purposes. 

4. Plant geraniums to ward off insects

geranium plants in pot

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If you are searching for a plant that offers housekeeping benefits around your home, then geraniums should be at the top of your list. One of geraniums’ many least utilized benefits is their capacity to ward off insects. Unknown to many homeowners, geraniums have long been used as insect repellants. Some of the best insect repellants use geranium as one of the active ingredients. Some heavily scented geranium flowers effectively ward off insects, like ticks, thanks to the active essential oil in their leaves. 

While the scent might appear sweet and attractive to humans, they are pretty potent to some insects like mosquitoes making it possible for you to enjoy your morning or late night time in your garden. Geranium’s insect repellant properties are not as potent on mosquitoes. However, they are known to ward away a variety of insects that may also destroy the veggies in your garden, mentions PlantIndex. This quality makes the geranium plant a good companion for many fruit and vegetable gardens, especially for veggies like cabbages and tomatoes.

5. Plenty of color varieties

different geranium flowers

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While flowering plants can serve plenty of other purposes, the primary reason why many homeowners plant them is for their beauty. Regardless of where you choose to grow your flowers, gorgeous blooms have a way of lifting your mood and making the entire place look appealing and welcoming, via Healthline. The geranium plant has plenty of species that bloom in different colored flowers, and this plant produces more blossom colors than the popular red and white flowers found on balconies. 

Depending on the variety, the flowers come in different shades, including lilac, pink, yellow, orange, and apricot, among other bicolored color varieties, via the University of Minnesota Extension. You have the option of planting more than one variety so that you can enjoy a burst of colors during the summer. The fact that geraniums do well in flower pots makes it possible for you to grow and enjoy their colors indoors.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.