Some ladies love to get orchids
Or roses with stems a mile long
Some girls prefer a gardenia
Camellias might ring the gong
Or sometimes they like an old fashioned bouquet
A quaint little nosegay on Valentine’s Day
But I must disagree
These species are not for me
I love geraniums
Bright, red geraniums
And every time I see one
I always think of you……….”
( I Love Red Geranium – A song by Shirley Temple )
Today, many people think that geraniums are old fashion and boring plants. When some of friends come to us and ask for some plants that are colourful and easy to grow, they take anything else but the poor old geraniums.
Most of geraniums that are available in garden nurseries and in most gardens are actually from the related species ‘Pelargonium’. Both geranium and pelargonium belong to the family Geraniaceae. True geraniums are hardy geraniums and they are also called cranebill geraniums.
For a long time, people refer both true geranium and pelargonium as ‘geranium’, and it is really confusing to tell the difference, so I will prefer to call them geranium. If I say pelargonium, most people will not understand what it is.
Anyway, we have several geraniums in our garden. It is amazing how colourful they are and they also come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are singles and many are doubles. Some come in one colour and some in two or more different colour shades.
Geraniums are very easy to grow from cuttings and regular pruning will make the plant grow nice and compact. They can be grown in the garden or in pots. Imagine a veranda or window sills are brightened by colourful blooms of potted geranium. They enjoy a sunny spot (full-sun). If they are planted in the garden bed, regular well drain garden soil with a bit of fertilizer and compost will make them quite happy.
If grown in containers, use good quality of potting mix and to make sure of good drainage, compost can be added. Geraniums love to drink, so make sure the soil is not too dry. I love to use liquid fertilizer for my potted plants. Make sure that the plants have a lot of sunlight. If grown in a shady spot, they will produce a lot of foliage with very few or no flower at all.
If you like splash of colours almost all year around and plants thare are easy to grow, you will enjoy good old geraniums or pelargoniums if you prefer to name them!