A Guide to the Geranium Flower Symbolism and Uses

A Guide to the Geranium Flower: Symbolism and Uses

Did you know that when people talk about geraniums, they aren’t referring to true geraniums alone? The term ‘geranium’ also refers to pelargoniums.

These flowers have radiant colors and unique meanings, which is why they are excellent choices for vibrant bouquets and gardens. They also come in different sizes with eye-catching leaves.

In this article, we will discuss everything there is to know about geranium flowers, including their meaning, significance, origin, and practical ways that we can use them in our homes.

How did the geranium flower get its name?

How did the geranium flower get its name

The geranium flower got its name from the Greek word “geranos,” which means “crane,” because the shape of its fruit looks like a crane’s bill.

What are the botanical origins of the geranium flower?

What are the botanical origins of the geranium flower

Geraniums are a genus of flowers with over 400 species that belong to the Geraniaceae family. As mentioned earlier, this name actually not only refers to true geraniums but also pelargoniums.  

The Geraniaceae family was divided into these two genera over 250 years ago, but people have resisted the name change and continued to call pelargoniums geraniums.

True geraniums are hardy perennials that are native to Southern Africa, while pelargoniums are annuals that come from South Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean. 

Do geranium flowers require a lot of maintenance?

Geranium flowers are low-maintenance plants that can be grown indoors or outdoors in gardens or containers.

Do geranium flowers need shade or sun?

Geranium flowers grow best in full sun, but it’s recommended to plant them with a bit of shade in areas with hot summers. They need 4–8 hours of direct sunlight per day and can tolerate some shade.

When do geranium flowers bloom?

True geraniums bloom in late spring to early summer. Some varieties bloom for a short period in early summer, while some repeat blooming regularly throughout the summer.

Pelargoniums bloom in early spring until fall.

What kind of soil do geranium flowers prefer?

Geranium flowers prefer loose soil with plenty of organic matter. You can use peat, compost, or perlite in your potting mix.

When is the best time to plant geranium flower seeds?

The best time to plant geranium seeds is three weeks after the last frost so they can bloom during spring. 

They typically bloom 13 to 15 weeks after sowing.

What do geranium flowers mean?

What do geranium flowers mean

Geranium flowers symbolize good health, happiness, and friendship. Plus, funnily, it was associated with stupidity during the Victorian era!

What do the colors of geranium flowers mean?



Like other white flowers, white geraniums symbolize purity and are associated with innocence, fertility, and spirituality. They were also said to be protector plants, repelling snakes and flies. 

Recommended use: White geranium flowers are suitable for weddings or as a gift to a friend or family member.



The red geranium flower symbolizes romantic love, passion, and deep affection.

Recommended use: This flower would be a great alternative to roses and is a perfect gift to a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend.



Pink geranium flowers symbolize romance, motherly love, femininity, and gentle love. They are also associated with good wishes and are said to reduce stress.

Recommended use: These flowers are suitable gifts to moms on Mother’s Day or to any important women in your life.



Blue geranium flowers symbolize peace, tranquility, and a strong sense of loyalty.

Recommended use: These flowers are an excellent gift to family members or closest friends to symbolize the strength of the bond that you have. 

They can also be given to individuals who are going through a challenging time in their lives.



Purple flowers symbolize accomplishment, pride, style, creativity, sophistication, dignity, nobility, and success. 

This flower also represents admiration and adoration towards someone.

Recommended use: Purple geranium flowers are a perfect gift to someone you appreciate, They also be used to encourage someone to pursue artistic endeavors.



Yellow geranium flowers symbolize light-heartedness, happiness, and friendship.

Recommended use: These flowers are ideal gifts to friends or to brighten up someone’s day.

What did geranium flowers symbolize in various historical periods?

What did geranium flowers symbolize in various historical periods
Historical PeriodSymbolism and Significance
Ancient GreeceIn ancient Greece, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, fell in love with a mortal named Adonis.

It was said that he was killed by a wild boar and a beautiful flower with red petals and a white center grew where his blood spilled.

This flower was identified as the geranium flower and became a symbol of love and beauty.

Ancient EgyptIn ancient Egypt, the geranium flower symbolized abundance and joy and was associated with the goddess of fertility, Isis.
Victorian EraIn the Victorian era, geranium flowers symbolized foolishness or stupidity.

It was also during this time when these flowers symbolized friendship, happiness, and well-wishes.

What are the cultural associations of geranium flowers?

What are the cultural associations of geranium flowers
CountrySymbolism and Significance
ChinaIn China, geranium flowers symbolize immortality.
JapanIn Japan, geranium flowers symbolize longevity.
United StatesIn America, geranium flowers symbolize happiness and positive emotions.

What are the spiritual or religious meanings of geranium flowers?

What are the spiritual or religious meanings of geranium flowers
ChristianityIn Christianity, it is said that geranium flowers grew from the ground where He spilled his blood when He was crucified.
IslamIn Islam, it is believed that geranium flowers appeared from the sweat of Prophet Muhammad.

What are the uses of geranium flowers?

What are the uses of geranium flowers

Geranium flowers are not just pretty flowers; they can also be used in cooking, medicine, and in landscaping.

How can geranium flowers be used in cooking?

How can geranium flowers be used in cooking
  1. Infused Desserts: Create excellent syrups, sugars, and candied petals with geranium flowers to create a subtle floral flavor to desserts like cakes, pastries, and ice creams.
  1. Garnishes and Herb-Infused Dishes: Sprinkle geranium petals on salads or savory dishes to enhance their visual appeal and create a mild, floral note that complements the freshness of greens. 

Experiment with geranium flowers in savory recipes the same way you would with traditional herbs. 

Use them in dishes like roasted meats, grilled vegetables, or pasta sauces to introduce a subtle floral undertone that complements other herbs and spices.

  1. Floral Teas: Brew fragrant teas by infusing geranium petals with hot water. The gentle floral taste of geraniums can transform a simple cup of tea into a refreshing and aromatic experience.
  1. Botanical Cocktails: Elevate your mixology skills by using geranium flowers in cocktails. Their aromatic qualities pair beautifully with botanical gin and other spirits. 

The floral essence of geraniums can enhance the depth of flavor in cocktails which makes them a standout choice for unique and refreshing beverages.

  1. Homemade Jams and Preserves: Create your own jams and preserves with geranium flowers to add a hint of floral sweetness. 

Whether you’re making fruit preserves or fruit-based sauces, geraniums can enhance the flavors and create a delightful twist to your homemade condiments.

Can geranium flowers be used for medicinal purposes?

Can geranium flowers be used for medicinal purposes

Geranium flowers have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that are useful in various healing remedies.

These flowers can help heal wounds and reduce inflammation. They can also ease digestion, strengthen the immune system, and improve your skin and hair.

When used on the skin, geranium essential oils can help treat minor infections and promote a faster healing process.

Their essential oil can also reduce stress levels and create a relaxing environment.

A few drops of these in your diffuser can create a calming and inviting atmosphere in your home.

How can geranium flowers be used in gardening and landscaping?

How can geranium flowers be used in gardening and landscaping
  1. Ground Cover: Geraniums are an excellent choice for ground cover. When planted in groups or clusters, they can create a dense carpet of lush greenery and vibrant blooms. 

Their cascading growth and dense foliage also help prevent soil erosion, which makes them an ideal addition to sloped or hilly areas in your garden.

  1. Borders and Edging: Geraniums can become beautiful borders and edging plants. Their low, mounding growth habit creates neat, well-defined edges for flowerbeds, walkways, or garden borders. 

Planting them along the edges of your garden beds not only adds color but also helps create a clean and polished look to your landscape.

  1. Containers: Geranium flowers are popular choices for container gardening. Their vibrant, attention-grabbing flowers make them the perfect centerpiece for potted arrangements on patios, balconies, or garden terraces. 

You can plant geraniums in various types of containers, such as pots and planters. Mixing different geranium colors and varieties in containers can also create visually striking focal points in your outdoor space.

  1. Hanging Baskets: Geraniums are also well-suited for hanging baskets. Their trailing growth habit and vibrant blooms make them an ideal choice for suspended displays. 

Hanging geranium baskets can add a burst of color and elegance to porches, pergolas, and any other areas where baskets can be hung. 

Mixing different geranium varieties, like ivy geraniums, zonal geraniums, and regal geraniums, in hanging baskets will allow you to create eye-catching cascades of flowers.

  1. Pollinator Gardens: Geraniums have nectar-rich flowers that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. By planting them in your garden, you can create a welcoming environment for these beneficial insects. 

This not only supports local biodiversity but also contributes to the pollination of other plants in your garden.

  1. Mixed Garden Beds: Adding geranium flowers into mixed garden beds adds a pop of color and a sense of vibrancy. 

Their blooms can complement other flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your garden. This creates a dynamic and diverse garden landscape.