Geraniums are one of the most common container and garden plants in the United States. They are valued for their long-lasting blooms and variety of colors. There are hundreds of species, including those found naturally in the U.S. and other countries. Gardeners around the world may wonder: Are these plants poisonous to humans or pets?

purple geranium
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purple geraniums


Morning coffee
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geranium tea

Geraniums are not poisonous to humans or pets, and they have a variety of uses. In 2006, geraniums were voted the herb of the year. They are utilized for teas, cakes, astrigents and compresses.

Products That Contain Geraniums

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white geranium lotion

Geranium oil is used in insect repellents, lice shampoos, lotions, soaps and creams.

Scientific Name

Pots of colourful geraniums
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potted geraniums

The scientific name for geranium is Pelargonium, followed by one or more names that differentiates the species and varieties from each other.


Red geranium flowers
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geranium leaves

Geraniums may be identified visually by looking at the leaves. Leaves will be fused into a fan shape called palmate leaves. The lines, called veins, radiate from one central point on the leaf. Geranium flowers come in a variety of colors.


Planting a flower box
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hands planting geraniums

According to Dr. Alice B. Russell, geraniums may cause minor skin irritation due to the essential oils present in the plant.