Red geraniums now have some competition. There is a variety of new bright colors available as started plants, such as rose, salmon, white, pink, and bicolored blooms.
These new rainbow-hued plants have more than a new color to recommend them. Many have been started from seed instead of the traditional method of vegetative cuttings. The seed-started hybrids bring a new measure of stalwart, all-summer performance to the garden.
The increased sales of geraniums other than red are primarily a result of a new-found interest in natural-sided and earth-toned houses.
While the traditional red geranium does look fine against a traditional white setting, the newer colors provide a more effective contrast.
The most popular runner-up to red in geraniums is salmon.
Each year more and more salmon-colored blossoms appear in the landscape with the brightest salmon to date called Cameo. This large-flowered hybrid will produce its bright blooms from planting to frost while vegetatively produced geraniums will slow down by mid-season.
Bicolored geraniums can even satisfy the red fancier. There's lots of contrast when red and white appear in the same bloom. Razzmatazz sports this combination and is a most welcome change in window boxes and planting areas.
White geraniums used to be rarities. The fine new hybrids from seed have increased the availability of this unusual geranium color. Seed vigor also brings more blooms, as a planting of hybrid Ice Queen will indicate.