Geraniums are an elegant flower that comes in over 400 species with hundreds of years of history and multiple meanings. Geranium flower meanings include friendship, happiness, good health, and foolishness.
We will look at what color is Geranium, the history, meanings, and types of Geranium – the birth flower for Scorpios.
About the Geranium Flower
Before we get into the Geranium flower meaning, let’s look at what is a geranium? There are over 422 types of flowers that classify as a geranium plant.
The Geranium goes by many names and is known for being the birth flower for the astrological sign of Scorpio. It falls into the genus Pelargonium (the true Geranium belongs to the Geranium genus).
History and Origin
Geranium flowers came to Europe from South Africa by Dutch traders during the early 18th century. Unfortunately, many people confused the new geraniums with the wild geraniums that grew throughout Europe despite considerable differences.
Types of Geraniums
Geraniums fall into different types, including:
- True (geranium sp.) – Cranesbeak
- Ivy (Pelargonium ‘peltatum’)
- Horseshoe (Pelargonium ‘zonale’)
- Scented (Pelargonium sp.)
True geraniums are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3 – 9, producing dense ground cover with 1″ cupped flowers. The shape resembles Pelargonium blooms, but they form singularly rather than clusters and do not have a disc-shaped head.
Horseshoes (zonal) are tender perennials (usually grown as an annual) formed into clusters of disc-shaped flowers and heart-shaped leaves ranging from variegated to rich green, bronze, or white. Flowers can be bicolored or solid red, pink, white, orange, or lavender shades.
Ivy has similarities to zonal but with trailing ivy-shaped foliage. While scented geraniums have a light fragrance when touched. Foliage is a lacier version of zonal leaves with flowers that are similar in look but smaller in size.
Geraniums flowers are radially symmetrical saucer-shaped and produce five leaves that hide the delicate undersides of the Geranium plant. These flowers form in tight groupings at the top of thin stalks.
They have basal leaves with smaller leaves lining the stems. The height of the plants can range from 12″ to 6-feet, depending on your species.
Geranium Flower Care
Geraniums require warm weather and semi-shade with indirect sunlight, blooming from late spring through early summer. Your plants will need regular watering.
Uses Throughout History
The scent produced by the geranium flower makes it a popular component of aromatherapy. Some plants are used for a fragrance in perfumes.
This plant also has medicinal and healing properties, used for multiple health conditions since ancient times. For example, the leaves heal wounds or can turn into a tea to eliminate pain.
The most popular use is ornamental, often used to decorate fragrant gardens, balconies, and patios.
Geranium Flower Symbolism
In the language of flowers, you can pick a single Geranium flower meaning. Or use these flowers for many different situations.
Geranium is from geranos – the Greek word for crane. It got its name due to the shape of the seed pod, which resembles the bill of a crane.
One legend revolving around Prophet Mohammed gives credit to the origins of the Geranium flower. It’s said that after he washed his shirt, he placed it on a common mallow plant so it could dry. The undesirable weed then transformed into gorgeous Geranium.
Another fable said that after Mohammed went to pray at the mountain, he returned covered in sweat. When he took his shirt off to dry, he hung it on a basic plant. Once he put it back on, he blessed the plant for its help, turning the weed into the desired plant.
Odin: God of Wisdom
According to Scandinavian and Teutonic lores, the Geranium sylvaticum flower was symbolic of Odin, god of war, poetry, and wisdom. It became known as Odin’s Favor.
Another species of Geranium pratense – Gratia Dei – is the flower of Odin. This Latin translation comes from Gottesgnade – a German word for Odin’s Flower or Odin’s Grace.
In ancient times, the story goes that blue geranium plant flowers were made into dye used for warriors and robes for kings and priests. This shade of blue dye was the color of Odin’s eyes and represented the mantle.
Geraniums are the birth flower for the astrological sign Scorpio.
The Geranium is often associated with foolishness (stupidity). This represents a person who acts stupid without worrying or considering how their actions look to other people.
When presented to someone for a housewarming gift, Geraniums can represent well-wishes for happiness in life.
Because Geraniums have healing properties and reduce stress, they’re also often associated with good health.
Geraniums send an unspoken message of friendship and love. Giving this flower to your friend is sure to put a smile on their face.
Geranium Flower Color Meaning
The various colors of geraniums can change the flower geranium meaning from good wishes and happiness to other symbolisms.
Curious about what colors do geraniums come in? Possible geranium colors include purple geraniums, white geraniums, red geraniums, blue geranium flower, pink geranium flower, scarlet Geranium, and yellow geranium plant.
A white geranium flower symbolizes fertility, purity, innocence, and your spiritual life. It’s an excellent gift for making someone feel special, and it can repel snakes from your garden.
Red geraniums are symbolic of protection. Many believed a red geranium flower would turn in the direction of a stranger that approached your front door. Red geraniums also represent love and passion. Use a red geranium to express romantic feelings to a partner.
The pink geranium flower was a common ingredient for love spells, as many stories give pink geraniums the meanings of affection and love. Pink geranium flowers also represent romance and show a person that you feel love and respect for them.
A purple geranium flower is an excellent gift for all occasions and for any person. Purple geranium flowers represent royalty, accomplishment, nobility, pride, and success. You can also gift purple geraniums to someone retiring.
Geranium flowers in blue are associated with tranquility and peace. These flowers can inflect a sense of calm to anyone who has them.
Geranium Flower FAQ
Curious to know more about the sweet, gentle Geranium flower? Check out these commonly asked questions people have about Geraniums.
When Should You Give Someone a Geranium Flower?
Geranium can be a good gift to bring along during a meeting with someone or if there’s an unexpected visitor. You can also gift Geranium to a bride, an ancient tradition.
Are Geranium Flowers Fragrant?
Geraniums have a sweet fragrance that is often used for aromatherapy and perfumes.
What Does a Geranium Flower Tattoo Represent?
A geranium flower tattoo symbolizes a healthy state of mind and positive emotions. It can also wish good health to someone you unexpectedly met during a journey. And it can mean healthy relationships, genuine happiness, and good friendships.
Are Geranium Flowers Poisonous?
Geraniums are not poisonous to people or animals. Rather, they are often used as an herb and for garnishing dishes.
Are Geraniums Perrenials or Annuals?
Geraniums have types that are annuals and perennials.
Geranium Flowers Meaning: Final Thoughts
We’ve talked about the various Geranium flowers’ meanings, the different flower colors, and their uses and history. For example, you can use Geraniums to symbolize foolishness, happiness, friendship, and good health, and they are the birth flower for the sign of Scorpio.