Everything You Need to Know About Growing and Caring for Geranium Orion Plants at Home
The beauty, Geranium Orion offers a blooming season that’s several months long and abundant, stellar purple flowers. Easy to care for and conducive to a wide range of growing zones, the Geranium Orion is a simple, yet stunning choice for any garden or container. Here we’ll take you through everything you need to know about how to grow and care for Geranium Orion at home.
- How to Grow Geranium Orion – The Essentials:
- About Geranium Orion
- Geranium Orion Taxonomy
- What Region Is Geranium Orion Native?
- Botanical Characteristics of Geranium Orion
- Uses and Benefits of Geranium Orion
- Geranium Orion USDA Growing Zones
- When Is Geranium Orion in Season?
- Geranium Orion Growth Expectations
- Geranium Orion Companion Plants
- How to Grow Geranium Orion
- Is Geranium Orion Easy to Grow at Home?
- The Best Locations for Planting Geranium Orion
- The Best Time of Year to Plant a Geranium Orion
- Growing Geranium Orion Plants From Seed vs. Planting Nursery Plants
- What to Do Before Planting
- The Best Soil for Geranium Orion
- How to Plant a Geranium Orion
- Geranium Orion Light Preferences
- Geranium Orion Temperature and Humidity Preferences
- How to Care for Geranium Orion
- Common Geranium Orion Problems & How to Treat Them
- Essential Tools for Growing Geranium Orion
- Add a Twinkle to Your Garden With Geranium Orion
- Growing Geranium Orion FAQs
How to Grow Geranium Orion – The Essentials:
|Botanical Name:||Geranium ‘Orion’|
|Also Known As:||Cranesbill, Hardy Geranium Orion, Crane’s Bill Orion|
|Hardiness Zones:||USDA Hardiness Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8|
|Flowering Months:||Late June through September|
|Growing Difficulty:||Easy, low-maintenance, suitable for beginners|
|Type of Plant:||Semi-evergreen, spreading perennial|
|Light Requirements:||Full sun to partial sun (Needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight)|
|Temp & Humidity:||Thrives in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 95°F and can tolerate winter temperatures down to -30°F. Prefers moderate humidity.|
|Watering Needs:||Moderate water needs. Water when the top inch of soil is dry. Daily or every other day in the summer and less frequently in the winter. The hotter and drier the weather, the more frequent watering is needed.|
|Soil Preferences:||Rich, evenly moist, well-draining soil that’s never waterlogged. Thrives in acid, alkaline, or neutral soil composed of clay, sand, loam, and/or chalk.|
|Feeding:||Mix in a balanced, granular, slow-release fertilizer upon planting. Reapply a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to the surface of the soil every spring.|
|Growth Expectations:||18 to 24-inches tall with a spread of 20 to 30 inches across|
|Toxicity:||Non-toxic to humans and pets|
About Geranium Orion
Geranium Orion Taxonomy
What Region Is Geranium Orion Native?
Geraniums (Cranesbills) are native to several temperate and mountainous regions around the world, but most species are native to the Mediterranean region.
Since Geranium Orion is a man-made hybrid cultivar, it does not grow naturally anywhere in the world.
Botanical Characteristics of Geranium Orion
Geranium Orion features five-petaled blossoms in a bluish and purple hue with a central white-colored eye and deep violet veining that striates each petal. The plant gets its name from the starry appearance of its many twinkling blossoms against the plant’s bright-green foliage.
Uses and Benefits of Geranium Orion
Roots, leaves, and stems from plants of the Geranium genus have a history of use in herbal medicine. They are sometimes brewed and ingested in tea, applied topically, or infused into a mouth rinse. Geranium roots have a high tannin content which gives them powerful natural antibiotic and astringent properties.
Geranium plants have been used to:
- Combat mouth sores, toothaches, thrush, and sore throat
- Control bleeding and treat wounds
- Soothe digestive problems
- Repel insects and soothe insect bites
Geranium Orion can be very beneficial in the garden to help attract bees with its sweet pollen and purple flowers.
Cranesbill flowers represent positive emotions, friendship, and happiness.
Geranium Orion USDA Growing Zones
Geranium Orion can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8.
When Is Geranium Orion in Season?
Geranium Orion blooms starting in early summer and will continue through fall until the first frost.
Geranium Orion Growth Expectations
Geranium Orion can grow to be about 3 feet tall with a 3-foot spread. Well-tended plants can reach this mature size after about three seasons of growth.
Geranium Orion Companion Plants
Geranium Orion pairs well with plants that prefer similar growing conditions such as:
- Garden Sage (Salvia nemorosa)
- Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica)
- Lady’s Mantel (Alchemilla mollis)
- Hosta (Hosta)
- Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)
How to Grow Geranium Orion
Is Geranium Orion Easy to Grow at Home?
Geranium Orion thrives in a range of growing conditions, making it quite hardy, low maintenance, and easy for beginners.
The Best Locations for Planting Geranium Orion
Geranium Orion does well in containers, beds, borders, and as ground cover in cottage gardens and informal gardens.
The best locations growing Geranium Orion are those that receive at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. If you live in a warmer climate, where summer afternoons and evenings grow quite hot, look for a spot with partial shade. If you’re in a cooler climate, full sun is best.
Additionally, Geranium Orion prefers to have well-draining soil that will never be waterlogged.
The Best Time of Year to Plant a Geranium Orion
Geranium Orion plants can be planted at any time of the year, but they are best placed in early fall or after the final frost of spring.
Sew Geranium Orion seeds in spring or summer to enjoy blossoms the following year.
Growing Geranium Orion Plants From Seed vs. Planting Nursery Plants
You can either start Geranium Orion plants from seeds or purchase young nursery plants for your garden.
Either method works well. However, you should consider the time investment necessary. While purchasing nursery plants will ensure a blooming garden the same season, growing Geranium Orion from seed means waiting at least one year for flowers.
Cost-wise, purchasing seeds is typically less expensive than purchasing young plants from a nursery.
What to Do Before Planting
Before planting Geranium Orion, you’ll want to identify an ideal location with well-draining, moderately moist soil and enough sunlight. Then gather supplies like a shovel or trowel and compost or balanced, slow-release fertilizer pellets.
The Best Soil for Geranium Orion
Regardless of pH and composition, Geranium Orion thrives in just about any soil as long as it is rich, moderately moist, and well-draining.
How to Plant a Geranium Orion
First, dig a hole that’s slightly larger than your Geranium Orion’s root ball. Add a layer of compost of sprinkle some fertilizer pellets into the bottom of the hole. Place the Geranium Orion in the hole, so that the base of its stem is level with the ground or the top of your potting mix in a container.
If your soil is not well-draining or tends to become waterlogged, mix some perlite or sand into your potting mix to improve aeration and drainage before filling in around the plant’s roots.
If planting more than one Geranium Orion, be sure to leave enough space between the plants to allow for ample growth, about 3 feet.
Geranium Orion Light Preferences
To encourage abundant blossoms and discourage legginess, Geranium Orion needs at least 4 to 6 hours of full, direct sunlight each day.
In climates with hotter summers, aim for a location that offers part shade in the afternoon and evening. In cooler climates, look for the sunniest location possible.
Geranium Orion Temperature and Humidity Preferences
Geranium Orion is winter hardy down to -30°F and thrives in ambient temperatures ranging from 65°F to 95°F. These plants prefer low to moderate humidity but can tolerate high humidity and more moist conditions as long as their soil drains well.
How to Care for Geranium Orion
Watering Geranium Orion Plants
Most problems with Geranium Orion occur as a result of watering too much or too little. They need about 1 inch of water each week and even moisture is incredibly important for young plants that are not yet well established.
Water ground plants daily during spring and summer, providing more or less water depending on how hot and dry the weather is and how well your garden soil drains.
Water container plants when the top 1 or 2 inches of potting soil feels dry to the touch. Make sure all excess water drains from the containers.
How, When, and Why to Fertilize Geranium Orion
Fertilizer replenishes the nutrients in the soil around your Geranium Orion’s roots, helping it grow and blossom.
Add a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to your garden soil or potting mix when first planing a Geranium Orion. Fertilize every year after the last frost of spring has passed by applying balanced fertilizer pellets or liquid fertilizer to the top of the soil below the plant’s foliage.
Pruning and Cutting Back a Geranium Orion
Geranium Orion does not require much pruning. However, they can be cut back to help shape and control their growth. Additionally, removing spent blooms and cutting the plant back at the end of the summer season can help encourage another round of blossoms in the fall.
Propagating Geranium Orion
There are several effective methods for propagating Geranium Orion:
- Root bulbs can be split and repotted in the autumn, winter, or early spring.
- Seeds can be collected from the plant throughout summer.
- During the summer, you can collect semi-rep woody cuttings from the plant to root in water.
- Roots can be propagated in water any time of the year.
When propagating by cutting or root, use a growth hormone to encourage new sprouts.
Overwintering Geranium Orion
Geranium Orion can be overwintered outdoors in most climates in the United States – as winter temperatures do not drop below -30°F.
Potted plants should be overwintered in a slightly warmer, sheltered location such as a greenhouse.
When and How to Repot Geranium Orion in a Container
Geranium Orion rarely requires transplanting. However, if your plant becomes too big for its container, it can be removed, split into two or three smaller plants, and transplanted into new containers.
Transplanting is best performed in the fall or early winter when the plant is dormant. Transplanting, however, can also be done in early spring before your plant has entered the growing season.
If you plan to split your plant into more than one, be sure you have enough well-draining containers and potting mix available for all of your plants transplanting.
To transplant a Geranium Orion, grasp the plant by the base of its stem and gently tease it out of its pot. Loosen any potting mix from the plant’s root ball.
Add a layer of potting mix to the bottom of your container and place your plant inside, gently filling in around its roots with the fresh potting mix so the start of its stem is aligned with the soil line.
Gently pat down the soil and water thoroughly, ensuring all excess moisture drains.
Common Geranium Orion Problems & How to Treat Them
Geranium Orion is hardy and highly resistant to pests and diseases. However, overwatering, underwatering, and too much or too little sun can harm the plant.
Look for the following signs and adjust plant care accordingly:
- Underwatered – Stunted growth, shriveled leaves, crispy leaves, and losing leaves.
- Overwatered – Overwatering can cause fungal diseases in Geranium Orion. Signs of overwatering include yellow leaves on the bottom portion of the plant and/or light-colored spots on the leaves. Overwatered plants can also become spindly or stunted.
- Too Much Sun – Stunted, wilted, or scorched.
- Too Little Sun – Spindly, leggy, and stunted plants with few or no flowers.
Essential Tools for Growing Geranium Orion
Although Geranium Orion doesn’t require much fuss, having the following supplies will prove helpful in the cultivation of this charming plant:
- Balanced, slow-release fertilizer or compost
- Sand or perlite
- Moisture meter
- Gardening shears
Add a Twinkle to Your Garden With Geranium Orion
Named for one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky, Geranium Orion will add spectacular sparkle to your garden with truly minimal effort!
Growing Geranium Orion FAQs
What type of geranium is an Orion?
Geranium Orion is a cranesbill geranium. It’s a hybrid cultivar of the Geranium ‘Brookside’ and Geranium himalayense ‘Gravetye.’
What Colors are Geranium Orion?
Geranium Orion flowers have a purplish-blue hue with white central eyes.
How quickly does Geranium Orion grow?
Geranium Orion has a moderate growth rate, reaching mature size after about three growing seasons.
Is Geranium Orion considered invasive?
Although they are a spreading plant, Geranium Orion is not considered invasive because its growth is easily controlled.
Should I cut back Geranium Orion?
To control growth and shape and encourage a fall bloom, you can cut back Geranium Orion in the late summer. Spent blooms and dead or unhealthy foliage should also be removed.
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Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.