These bright, fragrant flowers, are an excellent way to add a burst of color to any porch, patio, terrace, backyard garden or window box. As summer approaches, you may want to consider planting these warm-season bloomers around your outdoor living areas to enjoy their cheery influence and alluring perfume. Before you do, however, here are 7 intriguing facts about geraniums you probably didn’t know.
Plenty of options
You may think that geraniums only grow in the white, pink, or red varieties that most commonly feature in stunning patio arrangements. In fact, the combinations of leaf and flower shape and color are practically endless. They come in a variety of exciting shades including violet, lilac, apricot, orange, yellow and the traditional red, pink, and white. Plus, there are even varieties that incorporate multiple colors into each bloom.
The Chefs best friend
If you love experimenting in the kitchen with various culinary creations, then scented geraniums are for you. These plants, including the leaves and flowers, are edible and encompass a wide range of flavors and scents.
When it comes to geraniums for culinary use, your only limit is your imagination. Due to the essential oils in their leaves, they can add an exotic aroma and enticing flavor to various salads, desserts, meat dishes, and baked goods. Remember, the flowers are also visually appealing and make beautiful garnishes for any dish.
As you experiment with different geraniums, keep in mind that the scent will usually translate to flavor in your cooking. For instance, rose-scented geraniums can provide a delicate floral note to various jams, or puddings. Lemon geraniums are delicious on a hot summer day when mixed into sorbets or as a zesty addition to salads. Other scents include mint, orange, peach, chocolate, and cinnamon. Get creative and enjoy geraniums fresh scent and taste as you cook!
Natural Insect repellent
As if you needed any other reason to plant geraniums on your patio, the essential oils in their leaves also function as a natural, hassle-free insect repellent. If you find it impossible to spend any time on your porch in the evenings due to a barrage of mosquitoes and gnats, lemon and orange scented geraniums could be the easy solution you are looking for. When the plants are even slightly disturbed by wind or touch, they release a scent that immediately deters insects but is pleasant to people.
You don’t need a green thumb
As you’ve read this list, you may have started to despair because you tend to kill every plant you ever buy. Don’t worry. We’ve all been there. Fortunately, geraniums are resilient to even the most unlucky (or forgetful) gardeners. They can are drought resistant and will flourish in bright environments even when you occasionally fail to water them. Plant your geraniums in well-draining soil and water when the soil begins to dry.
Bright home decor
Geraniums aren’t strictly an outdoor plant, and many gardeners love to bring them inside to brighten up the room and act as colorful, natural home decor. They will flourish in pots indoors as long as they are in a sunny spot. You may find particular success with the regal geranium as it was originally cultivated as a houseplant. Choose the color that best matches your other decor and be sure that you really love the scent as it will act as a natural room fragrance.
Used in natural medicine
Though the health benefits surrounding geraniums need more research to be conclusive, these plants have long been used in various ancient medicine. Their benefits are said to include alleviating respiratory disease, stress, depression, boosting the immune system, treating inflammation, and even facilitating better digestion.
Though the name geranium may conjure up images of the idilyic german cottage with bright window boxes, or a colorful swiss townhouse, geraniums did not originate in these European areas. In fact, this plant was originally only found in South Africa, where 250 different species of geranium still grow today. It wasn’t until the 17th century when the geranium was introduced to the Netherlands, that it became an iconic flower of many European countries.
Are there any other interesting geranium facts we missed out on? Let us know in the comments below!