Pink Geranium flowers make for an excellent choice amongst house plants whether you’re looking to expand your home garden or just want a new indoor plant to brighten up your room.
There are certain types of Pink Geranium that are relatively easier to take care of and have a beautifully distinct color which makes them stand out amongst other indoor flowers.
Before you decide which kind of Pink Geranium you want to plant in your home garden, it will help to understand how you can best look after this plant and to clear up some of the common misconceptions that often surround this plant type.
Understanding the Types of Geraniums
Before we delve into the ten different kinds of Pink Geranium and how to take care of them, it is important to clarify what exactly we mean when we say “Geraniums”.
The plants commonly referred to as Geraniums are actually Pelargoniums. These are annual plants that die every winter and need to be replanted.
However, true Geraniums, aka Cranesbills, are pink geranium perennial plants that can survive the winter frost by going dormant and rebloom in the next spring without needing to be replanted.
Although these two types of geraniums belong to the same family of Geraniaceae, there are not a lot of similarities between the two in terms of appearance.
Let us first understand how you can distinguish between the two categories:
A) True Geraniums, aka Cranesbills – Perennial Plants
B) The more common Pelargoniums – Annual Plants
Unlike the true Geraniums, Pelargoniums can grow up to 48 inches tall, with their stems becoming woody as they mature.
The most common types of Geraniums (Pelargoniums) are listed below.
1. Mini Cascade Pink Ivy Geraniums
With adequate sun exposure, these plants will grow up to 18 inches tall and plenty of flowers will bloom throughout the season.
2. Great Balls of Fire Pink
As the name suggests, these flowers can withstand the toughest of heat and sunlight, making them drought resistant.
They exhibit a beautiful display of pink flowers from late spring to early fall and are slightly fragrant.
3. Americana Light Pink Splash
These are zonal Geraniums, which means the flower heads of these kinds of plants are around six inches in diameter, with flowers often existing in pairs.
Their name comes from the zone of darker pink coloring splashed in the middle of their petals. As these flowers do not produce seeds, they are planted from clippings.
The Americana Light Pink Splash grows large flowerheads reaching about five inches in width, and the contrasting colors make them stand out from other varieties of Pink Geraniums.
4. Patriot Bright Pink
These large bloomers are self-branching and perform well in pots and window boxes.
5. Apple Blossom
The petals of this category of Geraniums are arranged in a rose-like configuration around the sepals.
Apple Blossoms are considered an heirloom plant, which means that they have essentially remained unchanged throughout history.
6. Wargrave Pink
This plant stands out due to the dark pink veins on its baby pink petals. It may not bloom as big as some of the other varieties—only reaching an inch across—but it is just as bushy and resilient throughout the summer heat.
7. Allure Pink Picotee
8. Quicksilver Pink
The flowers of this category are light pink in color, with dark pink veins all over the petals.
9. Contessa Pink
10. Blizzard Pink
Like other varieties, Blizzard Pink is a drought-resistant plant and needs ample sunlight to reach great heights of up to 20 to 24 inches.
When are Pink Geraniums in Season?
The question of when you should plant your Pink Geraniums is one of the most important ones.
Spring is the ideal time to plant your Pink Geraniums, as these plants cannot survive the winter frost without overwintering.
What is Overwintering?
Pelargoniums, the Geraniums in question, are annual plants. Annual plants do not survive outdoors in the frost and, as a result, need to be brought in for overwintering.
You can overwinter these plants by letting them dry (to avoid mold) and storing them in a covered cardboard box.
It would be best if you keep checking them every month to remove dead leaves so that they can be replanted the following year.
Watering the plant even during its dormant stage is crucial, so do not forget to do so adequately. However, fertilization is not required while overwintering these plants.
How to Take Care of Pink Geraniums
Pink Geraniums are considered low maintenance plants compared to other indoor flowers that bloom around springtime.
That being said, there are a few fundamental factors to look out for when it comes to knowing how to take care of Pink Geraniums, which include the following:
Perfect Soil pH
Although they will grow in pretty much any soil, Pink Geraniums thrive in loose soil that is properly fertilized and well-draining. The ideal pH for the soil to grow Pink Geraniums is more on the acidic side at around 6 to 6.5.
If your soil is not in the ideal PH range, you can fix that on your own very easily. You will need to determine the pH using an at-home soil testing kit.
If your soil is more on the acidic side of the scale, here’s how you can fix it:
– Making your soil more alkaline (increasing the pH)
If your soil has a pH of less than 6, you can fix this by taking these steps.
- Adding lime or dolomite lime to the soil. The finer the lime, the faster you’ll be able to change the pH.
- Make sure you mix it well and incorporate it with the soil properly.
- Water the soil and give it some time before you start to see results.
- Carry out soil testing again and mix more lime as required.
– Making your soil more acidic (decreasing the PH)
In case your soil is above the ideal range of 6–6.5, you can follow the exact same steps as above, but using aluminum or aluminum sulfate in place of lime.
Pink Geraniums thrive in temperatures above 60 degrees F but are also resilient in temperatures below that range. They may become weak, and their growth slows down slightly, but they do not die very easily.
For places with harsher weather conditions, these plants may be shifted into a temperature-controlled room in the winter or overwintered.
When bringing outdoor plants indoors, you need to be careful that you don’t shock them with a drastic change in temperature.
This is why, as soon as fall arrives, you should gradually start bringing your plants indoors for a few hours. This allows them to get accustomed to the temperature by the time you bring them in full time during the cold months of December/January.
During the summer, if temperatures reach 90 degrees F or higher, you would want to shift them into the partial shade for a few hours.
Daily Sunlight Requirement
Pink Geraniums love their time in the sun. Make sure your plant gets at least five to six hours of sunlight every day.
Place your indoor plant near a south-facing window to fulfill its daily sunlight requirement. You should be careful with the exposure to sunlight, as you do not want your plant to overheat either.
If you live somewhere cloudy, supplemental lighting can also serve the purpose by helping the plant bear through darker days.
Place your Pink Geraniums in the supplemental light for about 14 hours every day to ensure they grow healthy.
Overwatering for this drought-resistant plant is a bigger problem than underwatering. Allow the water to dry off before you water your flowers again, as Pink Geraniums do not do well in wet soil. They require much less water during the colder seasons when they are dormant. However, you must ensure that their roots do not dry out completely by regulating your plant’s water intake.
You will be able to tell if your plant is not being adequately watered if its leaves turn yellow. This is an indication that you need to be consistent with the watering routine.
Remember: An underwatered Pink Geranium has a better chance of being revived than an overwatered one.
The Right Fertilizer
An all-purpose fertilizer (20-20-20 fertilizer) contains all the nutrients your plant requires, like Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus, which should do the trick.
As Pink Geraniums do not like wet soil, make sure you choose a dry fertilizer for the best result. The frequency of fertilizing depends on where the plants are planted and on their maturity.
Determining the fertilizing needs of your plant
- Indoor Geraniums do not require as much fertilizing as they are not exposed to the rough external weather of the outdoors, such as heavy rains, scorching heat, and rough winds.
- If the Pink Geraniums are potted rather than planted in the soil, you will need to fertilize them more frequently.
- Newly planted Pink Geraniums do not require as much fertilizer as those that are two to three months old and are in their growth phase.
How to Propagate Pink Geraniums
Propagation is the process of growing new plants from the parent. Pink Geraniums, like other plants, should be propagated in spring when they are in full bloom.
Follow this step-by-step guide for propagation:
- Take slanted cuttings just below a leaf node from a healthy green stem, about four to six inches long.
- Any buds or flowers should be removed from the cutting.
- Plant the stem deep enough to bury all the leaf nodes inside the soil.
- Wait at least four weeks for the roots to form before you replant each stem cutting.
Pruning Your Pink Geraniums
Pruning Pink Geraniums will keep the plants looking healthy, especially after being overwintered. When you prune a plant, you are essentially removing the dead leaves and woody stems from it.
Pink Geraniums should ideally be pruned in early spring before they are replanted.
Here is how you can prune your Geraniums:
- Properly examine the plant first to determine what parts need to be trimmed.
- Deadhead the plant by pinching right below the spent flower.
- Remove the dead leaves from the plant.
- Remove any stems that are crossing over.
Pruning enables the plant to use its energy towards growing new flowers and helps the plant branch off properly.
Disease and Pest Control
Like all plants, Pink Geraniums have their fair share of diseases and dangers from certain pests.
The most common risks that can be detrimental to your Pink Geraniums are listed below.
– Bacterial Leaf Spot
Caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas pelargonii, this disease is rampant during the winter seasons.
The first phase of the disease affects the leaves, whereas the second phase infects the plant’s stems and roots.
To catch the disease before it reaches the second phase, you should look for small, water-soaked, or brown spots on the leaves’ undersides.
– Botrytis Leaf Spot
Also known as botrytis blossom blight, this fungal disease is caused by Botrytis cinerea. Like bacterial leaf spots, these are prevalent in cold and humid conditions. The symptoms include brown water-soaked spots that transition into fluffy tan fungal growth.
Prevention is your best course of action when it comes to fighting bacterial leaf spot.
You can control these diseases by taking a few simple precautions:
- Improve air circulation, as moist and humid conditions attract this disease.
- Avoid overhead watering.
- Adding a fine bark to the soil will prevent the water from making the stems wet.
- Sterilize any tools you may use on the plant.
- Use copper fungicide sprays or other tropical treatments. It is necessary to keep changing the fungicide after a while as the bacteria may become resistant.
- Prune old and wilted parts and make sure you properly dispose of the debris.
The pests that most commonly attack the plant are aphids, cabbage loopers, caterpillars, and fall cankerworms, and it always helps to know what pests you are dealing with before you spray any insecticide on your Geraniums.
Ideally, you should spray a relevant insecticide as soon as you see the first sign of a pest attack.
The following steps may also go a long way when it comes to protecting your plant:
- Add predators of the pest to your garden. For example, ladybirds hunt and feed on aphids, protecting your plant from an attack.
- Spray insecticides on your Pink Geraniums every day or every other day. Make sure you cover the top and bottom of the leaves.
- To protect your plant from caterpillars, spray a pesticide that contains Bacillus thuringiensis.
- Apply horticultural oil by mixing it with water and spraying it on your plant to protect against pest attacks.
When you decide to buy Pink Geraniums, make sure to look out for signs of any discoloration or pests before you bring the plant home, as these are excellent indicators of its health.
An unhealthy or infected Pink Geranium will not only make your purchase a failure, but it could even spread diseases to all the other plants in your garden.
Taking care of any plant is a long-term commitment, and Pink Geraniums are no exception to this. If handled with care and a little bit of dedication, these enchanting pink flowers are bound to thrive in your home and beautify it throughout the year.