Ivy leaf geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum)

Ivy leaf geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) are a popular type of geranium with a trailing habit and ivy-shaped leaves. The plants like to spread outward and Flowers throughout the warmer months with round-like blooms. Due to their trailing or cascading growth habit. They are well-suited for hanging baskets, window boxes, containers, and elevated planters, where their long, trailing stems can spill gracefully over the edges. The leaves of the ivy-leaved pelargonium can be eaten as a vegetable and have a tangy taste.

Physical Characteristics

  • Leaves: Ivy leaf geraniums have glossy, succulent leaves that are deeply lobed and resemble the foliage of ivy plants, hence their name. The leaves are typically dark green in color, but some varieties may have variegated foliage with lighter patches or edges. The leaves are arranged alternately along the trailing stems, providing a lush and dense appearance.
  • Stems: The stems of ivy leaf geraniums are long, slender, and trailing in nature. These stems can grow several feet long and are capable of draping gracefully over the edges of containers or hanging baskets. Ivy leaf geraniums may produce adventitious roots along their stems, which can help them anchor to surfaces and absorb moisture.
  • Flowers: Ivy leaf geraniums produce small, delicate flowers arranged in clusters or umbels. The flowers come in a wide range of colors, including shades of pink, red, white, lavender, and bi-color combinations. While individual flowers may be smaller compared to other geranium types, they are produced abundantly, creating a striking cascade of blooms.
  • Root System: Ivy leaf geraniums have fibrous root systems that spread horizontally in the soil. These roots are relatively shallow and do not penetrate deeply into the ground, making ivy leaf geraniums well-suited for container gardening.
  • Growth Habit: The primary growth habit of ivy leaf geraniums is trailing or cascading. They are well-adapted for use in hanging baskets, window boxes, containers, and as ground covers. Ivy leaf geraniums can also be trained to climb trellises or allowed to sprawl as a low-growing border plant.
  • Fragrance: Some varieties of ivy leaf geraniums may have fragrant foliage, emitting a pleasant scent when brushed against or crushed. The fragrance can vary from citrusy to spicy, depending on the cultivar.

How to grow and care for Ivy leaf geranium (Pelargonium peltatum)

USDA Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness ZoneTemperature Range (°F)Temperature Range (°C)Description
Zone 920 to 30-6.7 to -1.1Ivy leaf geraniums thrive in Zone 9, with mild winters and minimal risk of frost.
Zone 810 to 20-12.2 to -6.7Suitable for ivy leaf geraniums, with protection needed during colder winters.
Zone 70 to 10-17.8 to -12.2Ivy leaf geraniums may survive in Zone 7 with proper winter protection and care.
Zone 6-10 to 0-23.3 to -17.8Ivy leaf geraniums are typically grown as annuals in Zone 6 due to colder winters.
Zone 5-20 to -10-28.9 to -23.3Ivy leaf geraniums are not reliably winter hardy in Zone 5 and are grown as annuals.

Planting Location

  • Geraniums prefer full sun but can tolerate partial shade, especially in hotter climates.
  • Ensure the planting location has well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging, as geraniums are susceptible to root rot.

Planting Time

  • In cooler climates, plant geraniums after the last frost date in spring.
  • In warmer climates, geraniums can be planted in fall or winter for winter and spring bloom.

Soil Preparation

  • Use well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.
  • Incorporate organic matter like compost into the soil before planting to improve drainage and fertility.


  • Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the geranium.
  • Place the plant in the hole and backfill with soil, gently firming it around the plant.
  • Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on the cultivar.


  • Water geraniums thoroughly after planting and keep the soil evenly moist until established.
  • Once established, allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.


  • Feed geraniums with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10 or similar) every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season.
  • Avoid excessive fertilization, as it can lead to leggy growth and fewer flowers.

Pruning and Deadheading

  • Pinch back young geranium plants to encourage bushy growth.
  • Deadhead spent flowers regularly to promote continuous blooming.
  • Remove yellowing or dead leaves to improve air circulation and reduce disease risk.

Overwintering (for colder climates)

  • In regions with frost, geraniums can be overwintered indoors.
  • Before the first frost, dig up geranium plants from the garden and pot them in containers.
  • Place the containers in a cool, sunny location indoors and water sparingly during the winter months.

Pest and Disease Control

  • Monitor plants regularly for pests such as aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control infestations.
  • Keep foliage dry to prevent fungal diseases like powdery mildew and botrytis. Water at the base of the plant, avoiding overhead watering.


  • Geraniums can be propagated from stem cuttings or by division.
  • Take stem cuttings from healthy, non-flowering shoots and root them in moist potting soil or water.
  • Divide established plants in spring or fall by carefully separating the root ball into sections with a sharp knife.

Varieties of Ivy leaf geraniums

‘Tornado’Vibrant red flowers.
‘Cascade’ SeriesWide range of colors including pink, red, white, and lavender.
‘Caliente’ SeriesFlowers in vibrant shades.
‘Maverick’ SeriesAbundant blooms in various colors.
‘Tumbling Tom’Profusion of small, colorful flowers cascading gracefully over container edges.