Once again, my crummy photography skills present a marginally acceptable picture for your enjoyment.
This is my new geranium. I've never had one before, but the screaming purple color (Rocky Mountain Violet) grabbed me by the eyeballs and insisted that I take this one home.
It's actually thriving.
Since I'd like it to continue thriving, I did a little research. My little potted plant is one of over two hundred species of Pelargonium, with lots of hybrid cousins. I've also learned that the geranium has a crummy reputation, considering its popularity.
I told my mom that I'd gotten one, and was knocked over with a shout of dismay. "Ew, yuck! Those things reek! Why would you want one?"
Because it's pretty? And it actually doesn't smell like much of anything, really. True, many geraniums flowers have a very... distinctive scent, but there are plenty of varieties with scented leaves that smell like things from roses to peppermint.
So, on to geranium care. Like about ten billion other plants, geraniums enjoy lots of sun and well-drained soil. Shocking. They don't mind a little fertilizer, but avoid too much of a good thing or you'll get leggy plants with few flowers.
You'll want to walk a fine line with watering. Let the soil get kind of dry between waterings, but not so dry that the leaves droop. Too much water can lead to root rot, while too little leads to empty containers. When you do get dried leaves (or limp blooms) remove them from your plant to prevent killer fungus.
Unlike your typical tropical houseplant, the geranium is keen on cooler temperatures. If it's got the window seat, make sure it doesn't share space with a radiator.
With a little care and a lot of light, you can propagate geraniums from seeds and cuttings. With a little more care, you can enjoy this attractive plant both in and out of your home.