Geraniums in the Language of Flowers: Meanings, Myths, and More

From the sun-kissed coastlines of South Africa to the quaint cottages of the English countryside, geraniums have painted landscapes with their lovely flowers. Whether it’s the flush of pink for a budding romance or the bold red that speaks of steadfast affection, each geranium holds a message and symbolic meaning, waiting just for you to discover and share.

Geranium Flower Meaning, Symbolism, Popular Types, and Uses

Geranium Flower Symbolism – Key Takeaways

Geraniums symbolize happiness, good health, and friendship. The flowers are often given as housewarming gifts that bring good cheer to the home all year long. Although they are typically associated with positive emotions, this is not always the case. During the Victorian Times, a geranium was often considered a symbol of stupidity or folly.

Etymological Meaning

The geranium earns the common name of Cranesbeak from the way the seed pod forms, after blooming, a long, beak-like pod forms to hold the seeds. The name Pelargonium comes from the Greek word Pelargos meaning stork. The word geranium comes from the word géranos, meaning crane.

Geranium Flower Meaning & Symbolism

A cluster of colorful pink and purple geranium flowers in bloom.

In floriography, or the language of flowers, geraniums are rich with meaning and symbolism. Each color variation of this popular plant carries its own secret message.

Classic red geraniums are a declaration of love and passion, a bold statement of feelings that cannot be hidden.

Pink geraniums hint at a gentle affection and a growing love that is yet to be announced.

White geraniums, speak of purity and truth, often suggesting that the giver is of pure intention and wishes for peace.

But the geranium’s narrative doesn’t stop with color. The way its leaves are presented, and even the specific species, can hold additional significance. For example, scented geraniums, with their fragrant leaves, were traditionally used to convey a hidden message, suggesting that the recipient should prefer the sender’s “scent” or essence above all others.

Geraniums have also been symbols of folly and foolishness in Victorian times, and in some contexts, they represent a meeting place or a rendezvous. This might be rooted in their hardy nature, implying that, despite life’s challenges, the giver and receiver of the flower will always find a way to come together.

The cultural significance of geraniums spans the globe. In Victorian England, a pot of geraniums on a windowsill was a sign of hospitality, welcoming passersby. In Egyptian culture, geraniums were believed to promote fertility and health, often used in ceremonies and remedies.

Geranium Flowers and Astrology

Geraniums align well with the Scorpio zodiac sign because of the various meanings they carry. For example, red geraniums symbolize protection in some cultures, which suits determined and brave Scorpio.

Interestingly, some cultures believe white geraniums repel snakes, one of the animals that represent Scorpio. Perhaps the flower can protect Scorpios from negative temptations like jealousy and resentment. 

Suitable Gifting Occasions

Suitable Gifting Occasions for Geranium Flowers

Geraniums make lovely housewarming or hostess gifts with their cheery disposition and well-wishes. They are also appropriate for retirements or other ceremonies where you desire to wish the recipient well.

They also make a delightful presentation for the gardener in your life as they will continue to bring cheer all summer. Consider a big basket of ivy geranium for the deck or porch for housewarming or retirement gifts.

Wrap-Up

Geraniums are classic garden staples and are more than just eye-catching flowers; they carry a wealth of symbolic interpretations from love to protection. Geraniums have held various roles in folklore, traditional medicine, and even Victorian floriography, where they were used to convey secret messages. Whether red, pink, white, or variegated, each color variation of Geranium blossoms tells a unique story.

Geranium Flower Growing Guides:

For essential step-by-step guides to growing and caring for Geranium plants at home, please see our in-depth features to Geranium Rozanne, Geranium Orion, and Geranium maderense (Madeira cranesbill).


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