Geraniums: Antique or Treasure?

Authored by Kristelle Falk - Greenhouse Sales Manager
Jul 2nd, 2019
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Geraniums, such a classic! With their iconic looking leaf and unforgettable scent, geraniums have always proved to be a tried and true bloomer. A favourite of the masses as you would. But is it really all that great? Why is it that people can’t seem to either get enough of them, or can’t get far enough away? Now some are dedicated to them because they genuinely like them. Others, my-self included, like the flowers because they are tied to memories. Memories of their mom or grandma having a plant or two around the yard, their fabulous colours reminding them of cherished loved ones. For me, even though I don’t always enjoy the smell of geraniums, it does tie to warm memories of my grandparents. Grandma Falk always has a large geranium in the window of her house entrance. The smell gives that homey-warm sense that seems to soothe the soul as fond memories of my grandparents bubble to the surface of my mind.

However,  for many the smell does not bring calm and warm memories, it snaps at their noses as an offensive and strange “planty” scent, being one of the first turn offs. Now as a frequent gardener and working with plants so often as I do, I’ve come to hear this one statement a lot.

“Ugh geraniums, it’s such an old plant, its something my grandmother would have!”

I’m here to say that I don’t think that that is a fair judgment. Now yes, Geraniums have been around in Manitoba for years, believed to be dating back as early as the late 1800’s! A few species are even native to certain areas of Canada. So understandably they have an “old” reputation. But I think we as a younger generation are missing the point. Are they old? Yes. But to have been around and thriving for SO many years says something that we are overlooking. Here are some keen points to help maybe change your perspective on Geraniums.

First, they are tough! From a shady windowsill to the hot open flower bed, geraniums can take it, and take it in stride! Caring for them is easy as the plant itself is not terribly fussy. Now I know geraniums are prone to mold if they are cluttered or not cleaned properly, but even this mess is easy to clean up and remove.

Second, my favourite point, the blooms! Gorgeous flower heads that can have striking similarities to that of a hydrangeas bloom! Round heads of four to five petal blooms, it’s hard to compete with their compact structure and vibrant colours. With proper trimming and care, you can have blooms for the majority of the summer.

There are health benefits too! Some say the oils can be used to calm stress and anxiety, the scent giving a soothing feeling, it is also sometimes used as an anti-inflammatory. (As always consult a medical professional for any health advice, I do not have any medical training or professional knowledge) I use a lavender and geranium pillow spray that I love! I find that its great for when I am about to sleep after a stressful day.

So have you been convinced? I mean this blog isn’t really about convincing you to like something, everyone has their preferred tastes! My only goal is to help inform and give ideas to people about plants that they may have overlooked or under appreciated certain flowers and plants.

Geraniums, the classic antique, the tried and true of the ages. Love ‘em or leave ‘em, I don’t think geraniums will ever truly go out of style.

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