Geranium Flower: Grow Geraniums From Seeds, Planting, Care Tips, Zones, Pots

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | February 26, 2024

Woman holding a bunch of cut geranium flowers wonders if there is a geranium flower guide that explains how to grow geraniums indoors and outdoors, growing zones, types of geranium flowers (colors), and geranium planting and care tips.

The Geranium Flower, a genus of plants native to the Mediterranean, boasts palmate leaves and distinctive five-petal blooms and is a favorite annual addition to many ornamental gardens.

Although the plant is technically a perennial, meaning you can keep it year to year, most are grown as annuals.

And, if you’ve ever wanted to add these gorgeous blooms to your home containers or landscape, this complete guide explains everything you need to know about types of Geranium flower varieties and how to ensure they stay healthy the entire season, as well as how to plant these beauties from seeds so that you can have them early.

This Geranium genus is a member of the family Geraniaceae, which includes another genus called pelargonium. These pelargonia are in fact what we commonly call ‘Geraniums.’

The reason is that, when the plants were being formally classified, no distinction was made, and since the pelargonium is such a popular gardening plant, it has held onto the common name Geranium.

This article will largely refer to members of the pelargonium genus, rather than the Geranium genus as ‘Geranium.’1



Geranium Flower in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Geraniaceae
  • Genus: Pelargonium
  • Leaf: Different types of Geraniums have different leaves. The most common types for gardening are called zonal Geraniums for the different zones of color in the leaf. Ivy-leafed Geraniums have (as the name suggests) leaves that resemble those of common ivy.
  • Seed: Small, brown and often pointed
  • Blossoms: Rich vibrant multicolored flowers
  • Height: 6-15 inches
  • Type: Perennial
  • Native Growing Zone: 9-11

Types of Geraniums (Picture of Geraniums)

The most common types of Geraniums are Zonal Geraniums, Ivy Geraniums, Scented Geraniums, and Regal Geraniums.

There are also some interspecies types which are usually crossed Ivy and Zonal Geraniums.

One type of the actual Geranium genus also makes a frequent appearance in gardens, the Hardy Cranesbill.

How To Identify Geranium Flower (Geranium Leaves, Geranium Seeds, Geranium Roots)

The Geranium’s flower blossoms are usually its most distinctive part.

They come in rounded clusters and the individual flowers usually have five petals.

Geranium Flower identification chart showing a full grown Geranium plant with Geranium leaves, Geranium flowers, Geranium seeds, and Geranium seed pod images along with a color-coded map of the U.S. showing the optimal Geranium Flower growing zones.

Geranium leaves are usually alternate and palmate. Their shades can vary.

Geranium seeds are protected by various layers of seedpod and are usually small, brown, and similar to the shape of a sesame seed.

Geranium roots will develop from a cutting in around 6-8 weeks. Geraniums can be rooted in water although this is not ideal for optimal health.1

Geranium Colors

One of the favored qualities of the Geranium plant is its vibrant and long-lasting flowers. Different species have different types of flowers and flower colors.

Red Geranium Flower

The most common species of red Geranium Flower is Zonal pelargoniums.

Close up of a cluster of red geranium flower.

(Image: Pezibear6)

Zonal Geraniums are so-called because of their leaf patterns, and the red type is often called the ‘American Red’ Geranium.

White Geranium Flower

The white Geranium (Geranium sanguineum) is also highly prized in gardens.

These types of white flowers are commonly called ‘bloodroot’ because they bloom during fall.

Close up of a cluster of white geranium flower bathe in sunlight.

(Image: 307114557)

One of the most popular types is called the ‘Americana White’ Geranium. White Geraniums have traditionally been used in medicine and perfumery.

Purple Geranium Flower

The purple Geranium Flower comes from the actual genus of Geranium (cranesbill).

Close up of a cluster of purple geranium flower known as "cranesbill".

(Image: NoName_138)

It is called the Geranium x magnificum, or the purple cranesbill,2 and has rich purple or pink flowers.

How To Grow Geraniums (Create a Geranium Garden)

Geraniums are popular garden plants and are relatively straightforward to grow in appropriate growing zones.3

They provide blooms for the full season, making them a favorite among gardeners.

Geranium Flower Growing Zone (Geranium Hardiness Zone)

Most Geranium species are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9-12.

Some can be hardy in lower-numbered zones but will need to be overwintered indoors.

Geranium Cold Tolerance

Geranium cold tolerance depends on the variety. Some can survive below-freezing temperatures, but almost none will survive a hard frost.

Growing a Geranium Flower From a Seed

The seeds can be sown indoors around two months before the last frost, or outdoors after the last frost. Make sure the seedlings get plenty of light and are often watered, but well-drained.3

Growing a Geranium Flower From a Cutting

Since most Geraniums do not go into dormancy, often cuttings can be taken throughout the year.

They are usually best taken during a lull in the blooming, so the cutting will have maximum growth potential.

Cut from just below a node of the plant to a length of around 5 inches. This can now be placed into moist potting soil.4

Geraniums in Pots

Pots are a very popular way to grow Geraniums. It helps accentuate their striking appearance.

If planting in a pot, make sure it is big enough to accommodate the chosen species.

Are Geraniums Perennials? (When To Plant Geraniums)

Geraniums are perennials in growing zones 9-11, which allows you to leave them outdoors all year and they’ll rebloom in spring.

They can be planted at various times of the year, but ideally in early spring after the last frost.

However, when used as container plants, they are typically grown as an annual.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring in your containers when the weather turns cooler and keep them thriving all year long.

Planting Tips for Geranium Flower

Be sure to plant your Geraniums in pots that can be moved inside, unless you plan on replanting or live in a zone where they will survive the winter.4

How Far Apart To Plant Geranium Flower and Companion Plants

Seedlings should have around 4 inches of space and once in the ground, they should be given around a foot of space or more, depending on the variety.

Geraniums are often used as companion plants around vegetable gardens or sensitive trees. They are believed to repel a variety of pests.

How To Care for Geraniums (Geranium Care)

Deadheading can encourage continuous blooming in the hot months, and overwintering indoors can preserve Geraniums during cold months.

Wide shot of a botanical garden in Moscow featuring a collection of different Geranium flowers on a sunny day.

(Image: Kor!An (Андрей Корзун)9)

A mild, natural fertilizer can help the plants grow but is usually unnecessary.5

Geraniums Sun or Shade? (Geranium Temperature Tolerance, Geranium Cold Tolerance)

Geraniums like full sun, and thrive in hot conditions although, like all plants, they do have a ceiling for heat stress.

They may need to be overwintered if frost is expected in the winter.

Best Growing Conditions for Geranium Flower

Geraniums grow best in full sun and well-draining soil.

Watering Needs for Geranium Flower Plants (Watering Geraniums)

During hot summer months, potted outdoor Geraniums can be watered once a week, and in-ground Geraniums a couple of times a month.

Watering should be thorough and is best done in the evening. Geraniums do not do well in moist soil, so they must be allowed to drain.5

When Do Geraniums Bloom?

In native habitats, Pelargonium species can bloom over 80% of the year with the possibility of dormancy during winter.

Are Geraniums Edible?

Some Geraniums have culinary applications for humans, but beware they are considered toxic to both cats and dogs.

How To Stop Geranium Flower Disease

Most Geranium disease is a result of insufficient soil drainage or sun. These factors can be resolved by re-potting the Geranium into more favorable conditions.

Common Pests of the Geranium Flower

Geraniums can attract a variety of bugs and insects however not all of them are harmful to the plants of your garden.

For example, many types of butterflies and beautiful moths are attracted to Geraniums, and as pollinators, can help improve the entire health of your landscape or gardens.

Natural Pest Control for Geranium Flower

If you find that pests are actually eating your Geraniums, you can pick and kill them by hand, prune any damaged leaves, or use a natural insecticide like Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis).5

Planting various types of Geranium flower varieties can transform your indoor or outdoor landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions About Geranium Flower Growing

How Much Sunlight Does Geranium Flower Need Each Day?

Geraniums like full sunlight but can tolerate partial shade.

How Long It Takes To Grow Geranium Flower?

Geraniums can take 12 weeks to flower from seedling. Plants grown from cuttings will likely flower sooner.

When To Plant Geranium Flower for The Best Yield?

Geraniums should be planted after the last frost or in early spring.

What Are the Growing Zones for Geranium Flower (Where To Grow Geranium in the U.S.)?

Most pelargonium plants in Europe and North America are derived from South African species. Their planting zones lie between temperate and subtropical.

Read More About Geranium Flowers


1Wikipedia. (2023, September 9). Pelargonium. Wikipedia. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from <>

2Gardenia. (2023). “Geranium x Magnificum (Purple Cranesbill). Gardenia. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from <>

3Grist, D. (2023, July 6). Grow Geraniums from Seed. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from <>

4Baessler, L.  (2021, April 19). Geranium Plant Propagation – Learn How To Start Geranium Cuttings. Gardening Know How. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from <>

5Forney, J. (2023). Geranium Care: Your Guide to Growing Geraniums. HGTV. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from <>

6Photo by Pezibear. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

7Photo by 30711455. Pixabay. Retrieved from <ón-white-flower-white-2611856/>

8Photo by NoName_13. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

9Geranium cultivars. From the collection of the Main Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences in Moscow Photo by Kor!An (Андрей Корзун) / Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0). Resized and Changed Format. From Wikimedia Commons <>

10Species Information Image: Purple flower in macro shot Photo by Summer Quinn. (2020, July 14) / Unsplash License. Cropped and added text, shape, and background elements. Unsplash. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from <>