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Many varieties of geraniums might be found in gardens, but a few geranium varieties are more common than others. Zonal, or common, geraniums are typically the most popular type of geraniums found in gardens, while ivy geraniums are often found in hanging baskets. Some geraniums, like Martha Washington geraniums, are usually best grown indoors, and others have very fragrant leaves.
There are literally hundreds of species and geranium varieties. Most of these flowers have five petals, and many also have distinctive veins. Some of the petals are even two toned. Flowers may be many different colors, including pink, purple, white, and salmon.
Zonal geraniums are the most commonly found geranium varieties. They are typically very easy to grow, and many of them are even drought resistant. While they do grow well in containers, these types of geraniums are also commonly used as a border or accent plant in outdoor gardens.
These geranium varieties get their name from the zone of dark color on the inner sections of their leaves. Zonal geranium flowers may be one of several colors. Some varieties may even have two-toned petals, with a darker splotch of color surrounded by a lighter hue. They also have long stems, which make them excellent for cut flowers.
Ivy leafed geraniums are another popular type of geranium. These get their name from their ivy-shaped leaves and vine-like qualities. The leaves are also a little more waxy than other geranium varieties. The trailing vines of these plants usually make them excellent for hanging baskets or ground cover. Ivy geraniums also seem to grow in colder climates better than other geraniums.
Regal geraniums are also sometimes referred to as Martha Washington geraniums, and these may be a little more difficult to grow than other geranium varieties. They typically prefer cool temperatures, but they are not cold hardy. Many gardeners plant these flowers in pots and take them inside during the winter. These types of geraniums also have larger, showier blooms than other types.
Unlike other geranium varieties, scented leaf geraniums are not grown for their flowers, but for their leaves. The flowers on scented leaf geraniums are typically smaller and less showy than on other varieties of geraniums, but when the leaves of these plants are bruised, they release a very fragrant oil. Some of these types of geraniums are even used to make rose scented oils and perfumes. It is much easier and less time consuming to extract oil from these leaves than from roses.