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Friday, December 18, 2015

Beauty, Varieties and Benefits of Geraniums


If you love naturally scented and perfumed flowers loaded with amazing health benefits then geraniums are the best plants for you. Geranium plants love to be in part shade and part sun, an environment which is easily available in home gardens. The fancy geranium flowers are beautiful and adorable. You will love to grow them in your home garden.


Amazingly adorable dark pink geraniums variety

Now before sharing some important information on geraniums, let us fly through their amazing history.


HISTORY OF GERANIUMS
The name ‘geranium’ has come from the Greek word, ‘Geranos,’ which means ‘crane’ because the seed pods of geraniums are shaped like the beak of a crane. Geraniums were formerly considered major curative plants. They have been used since ancient times as a natural remedy for tumours and wounds.

Geraniums are also good in treating cholera. Also, ancient people treated skin problems and ulcers with geraniums. They also help stop bleeding and helped in keeping away evil spirits.

ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION
Geraniums were first introduced to Europe in 1690 from the region of Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. They were then cultivated by French industry for rose geranium essential oil due to its excellent perfume and as a substitute for expensive pink oil. Geraniums were also grown extensively in different countries of the world such as Spain, China, Egypt, Morocco, Italy, Japan, and Switzerland due to their use in perfumery and excellent medicinal benefits.

TYPES
Zonal Geraniums
It is a common name for a big group of geraniums that are found in gardens during summertime. They have a small ring of dark-coloured inside margins on their leaves. The flowers come in a variety of colours including magenta and lavender and pink and orange, salmon geraniums, red and white geraniums, and also different other variations of tri-coloured geranium flowers. Geranium plants have a tendency to form a mounding habit as they love summertime and full sun.

 A variety of stellar geranium flowers

Stellar Geraniums
Just like zonal geraniums, stellar geraniums also belong to the same group. They are small and tiny bushy plants. They are beautiful star-shaped structures. But unlike zonal geraniums, they do not love sun and this is the reason they are grown in southern regions. Some important cultivars or breeds of stellar geraniums are Peppermint Star, ‘Vancouver Centennial, Exotic Glitter and Chinese Cactus geraniums.

Fancy-Leaved Geraniums
Fancy leaf geraniums belong to the sub-group of zonal geraniums. Fancy-leaved geraniums are able to tolerate part sun and part shade so they need to be planted accordingly. It is interesting to note that even when their flowers are not blooming, their leaves will stand out on their own to look like green flowers. Some important cultivars or breeds of fancy-leaved geraniums are Mr. Henry Cox, Black Velvet Series, and Black Velvet Rose.


Fancy-leaved geraniums - sometimes their green leaves also look like flowers
Ivy Geraniums
They look great in hanging baskets (see the first picture in the beginning of this article). While planting ivy geraniums, they should be put in east-facing location to protect them from the hot sun in the afternoons. The scientific name of ivy geranium is Pelargonium peltatum.
Some important cultivars of ivy geraniums for hanging baskets are Breakaway, Summer Showers Mix, (see pic on the side) and Martha Washington Geraniums.

 Summer showers mix geraniums variety
 Ivy geraniums in hanging baskets in the backyard of a home garden. You can also grow these at home easily.


MEDICINAL BENEFITS


  1. Essential oil extracted out of geraniums helps in treatment of skin disorders such as hemorrhoids, dermatitis, wounds, bruising, lacerations, oily skin and scalp, loose skin, and insect stings. Their essential oil is also good for wiping out wrinkles. They are beneficial to get rid of acne. Application of geranium flower oil leaves our skin looking radiant, young, and healthy.
  2. Geraniums for endocrine system: Essential oil helps in treatment of menopause and postmenstrual syndrome in the form of baths, massage, and local application.
  3. Geraniums for excretory system: Geranium oil is good in treating fluid retention and cellulites. It works as a tonic for the liver.
  4. Geraniums for circulatory system: Essential oil helps in treatment of bleeding, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins in the form of baths, local area massage, and general dilution.
  5. The purpose of this article is solved if you are tempted to grow at least one variety of these beautiful plants in your home garden. If yes, give it a go and buy geranium seeds for your garden.

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