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Pelargonium x hortorum 'Geranium'
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Plant Type: Annuals

Common Garden Geraniums or Zonal Geraniums v Pelargonium x hortorum is the common geranium. Sold as bedding plants, they are compact in habit and often have fancy leaves marked by distinct bands – or zones – of darker pigments, tri-colored leaves or leaves with silver or white markings. Flowers may be single or double, are clustered into heads, and may range from red, pink, salmon, and white.

Martha Washington Geranium v Pelargonium x domesticum is sold by florists during the winter as a flowering pot plant. It is not heat tolerant and will not perform as well outdoors as common geranium.

Ivy-Leaved Geraniums v Pelargonium peltatum is the ivy-leaved geranium. It has a vinelike growth habit with smooth, leathery leaves and flowers with narrower petals and less dense flower heads. It is commonly seen in Europe used in window boxes and is attractive in hanging baskets where it may grow to 3 or more ft in length.

Scented-Leaved Geraniums v Pelargonium graveolens is the rose-scented geranium; P. crispum is the lemon-scented geranium; P. x fragrans is the nutmeg geranium; P. odoratissimum is the apple-scented geranium; and P. tomentosum is the peppermint geranium. Plants have a wide range of foliage types and habits and are used for making potpourris, sachets, and tea flavorings. They make excellent houseplants, and many have soft, finely textured foliage which is pleasing, even though the flowers are small and not showy.

Mosquito Geraniums v A new plant developed by implanting genes of one species into another is the "mosquito plant," a scented Pelargonium species with introduced genes which code for the production of oil of citronella. The citronella fragrance is released when the leaves are rubbed or crushed. Commercially, oil of citronella is extracted from the tropical grass, Cymbopogon nardus, called citronella grass. The "mosquito geranium" is advertised as a natural mosquito repellant, but research has not been conducted to prove the validity of this claim.

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