Different Geranium Types and Varieties
Although geraniums are extremely popular flowers few people know that there are 300 species or more of these geraniums.
The label geranium refers to true geraniums and also plants known as Pelargoniums that while not true geraniums but have become known by that name so this article will discuss them as geraniums as well.
Geraniums can be annuals or perennials depending on the individual flower species and where they are grown. There are 6 distinct types of geraniums and 9 specific flower varieties that we will look at.
Geraniums are also one of the various flowers that mean strength.
Types of Geraniums
#1. Ivy Geraniums
Ivy geraniums formal name is Pelargonium Peltatum. This geranium is known for its long trailing stems making it a popular plant for hanging baskets.
The flowers themselves bloom both in the basket and hanging over the edge. These geraniums are annuals blooming from late spring through early fall.
#2. Regal Geraniums (Martha Washington)
The Regal geranium also known as the Martha Washington is a hybrid annual that is both a type of geranium and a specific flower variety. These flowers come in both bright solid colors and multicolored blooms.
When these flowers are multicolored the two colors tend to be contrasting making the multicolored flowers very eye-catching. Regal geraniums bloom late spring to late fall or early winter.
#3. Interspecific Geraniums
Interspecific geraniums are a cross between the Ivy geranium and zonal geranium. The most common color of this flower is deep red or crimson, but may come in orange, pink or purple.
This geranium features large blooms with trailing stems. It is long blooming in hot climates because they are heat resistant.
This flower blooms from late spring to early fall and remains bright and healthy during the summer heat when other geraniums look worse for wear.
#4. Scented Geraniums
Scented geraniums are flowers with heads and often leaves that have a lovely scent. These geraniums have smaller flower heads that come in vibrant colors.
Some of the scents these plants give off include citrus, mint, floral, fruity and even spicy. These geraniums can grow anywhere from a foot tall to bushy three foot-tall versions.
#5. Zonal Geraniums
Zonal geraniums are one of the most common types of geraniums to be found. These flowers feature large flower heads that bloom all summer long and double blooms are typical.
They are known for colorful striping down the leaves adding to the attractiveness of the plant. While most geraniums are started from seeds this type of geranium must be started from cuttings.
#6. Fancy Leaf Geraniums
Fancy leaf geraniums are zonal geraniums that are specifically bred to have patterned leaves making both the flowers and the leaves highly attractive. The leaf markings are often colorful.
Specific Geranium Varieties
While it would be impossible to cover every variety of geranium here are some of the more popular and interesting varieties of geraniums you may be interested in.
#7. Wild Geranium
The wild geranium (wood geranium) is native to North America. This flower is a perennial in zones 3 to 8, meaning they come back year after year.
The flowers often range from white to dark pink and have bright green 5 or 6 lobed leaves shaped like a starburst with serrated edges. These geraniums grow 18 to 24 inches tall. They are perennials in zones 5 through 8.
#8. Mourning Widow Geranium
Native to Southeastern Europe the Mourning widow geranium earns its name from its deep maroon color set atop wiry stems. The leaves of this flower are variegated. This is one of the earliest blooming geraniums.
#9. Buxton Blue
This is a lesser-known but interesting geranium. The flower heads are a striking blue and saucer shaped with a dark stamen and a white eye.
Buxton blue geraniums are great for container gardens and have low growing trailing stems. These flowers grow best in full or partial sun and grow to a height of 12 t o 20 inches tall. They grow best in zones 4 through 9.
#10. Anne Thomson
The Anne Thomson geranium features large magenta pink flowers that can grow up to a foot high. These flowers bloom from late spring to early fall and tend to be heat tolerant.
Anne Thomson flowers are great for ground cover and are perennials in zones 4 through 8. They also prefer moist, but well-drained soil.
The Alba geranium features snowy white flowers and are great for growing in rock gardens. These plants have large flowers and are frost intolerant.
Alba flowers are native to Portugal and grow to heights of 4 to 5 feet. And they grow best in zones 9 through 11.
The espresso geranium is rarely seen, but well worth considering since this flower has brownish green foliage and lavender flowers that may bloom from May to June. This geranium needs more moisture than other geraniums and will tolerate more shade as well.
They are native to Eastern North America and grow to be 18 to 24 inches tall. These flowers grow best in zones 5 through 8.
#13. Splish Splash Geranium
The Splish splash geranium is a newer hybrid flower with white petals that have a different pattern of flecks and/or specks in a rich purple with a mound of deep cut green leaves.
These flowers grow 23 to 27 inches tall and grow best in zones 3 through 9.
#14. Brookside Geranium
The Brookside geranium features cup shaped violet-blue flowers with a white eye that turns reddish orange in the fall.
These flowers feature lacy green leaves with dark purple veins. They grow best in zones 4 through 9 and grow to a height of 23 to 27 inches.
#15. Ann Folkard
The Ann Fokard geranium is a hybrid plant that features cupped purple petals with black star shaped centers and bright chartreuse leaves. These plants stand 12 to 18 inches tall and grow best in zones 4 through 8.
Final Thoughts on the Different Types of Geraniums + Varieties
The above features geraniums are just a few of the different types and many varieties of geraniums available for your garden or container. The best way to choose a geranium for you is to check out as many of flowers as possible and choose one that strikes your fancy.