Fish Geranium, Horseshoe Geranium, Zonal Geranium

Pelargonium x hortorum

Family: Geraniaceae (jer-ay-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pelargonium (pe-lar-GO-nee-um) (Info)
Species: x hortorum (hor-TOR-um) (Info)
» View all varieties of Pelargoniums



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:






12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:





White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Calistoga, California

Chico, California

Chowchilla, California

Knights Landing, California

Merced, California

Oakland, California

Paradise, California

Hollywood, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Palos Hills, Illinois

Lebanon, Missouri

Sullivan, Missouri

Cranbury, New Jersey

, Ontario

Houston, Texas

La Porte, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Kirkland, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 17, 2010, ogon from Paradise, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is not an annual in parts of Northern CA that are considered zones 7-9 (Chico, Paradise, etc). Not sure if this is due to our hot, dry summers and wet winters or some other factor/s. I can remember one specimen that lived well over 10yrs before becoming overly woody and being removed. Over the past winter, temperatures dropped into the teens and water froze in the pipes, but my red flowering variety, which was dug up in December from an apartment and put in a temporary pot outdoors in my new home, did great. It was sitting right next to an outdoor faucet that burst due to the frozen water inside. Now it's planted in the yard right against the foundation of my house and is growing and flowering like crazy. I would not consider this plant "tender" by any means :).


On Jun 17, 2010, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

I always go for these when I can. Sometimes they can survive a few winters but then get killed by the odd one, this year was such a winter that killed them.

Surprisingly though I noticed recently one of them has self sown and a seedling emerged. it's still going, which was a surprise.

Nice plant for summer bedding in parts where it cannot survive the winter. When it does survive the winter it can become a fairly large plant, from 2006-2009 ours became almost shrublike.


On Dec 15, 2007, jdiaz from Chowchilla, CA wrote:

Staple in gardens throughout central and southern CA. In central Ca, they are evergreen and if they are planted in a favorable location, will bloom through the winter. Very easy to propagate. I start new plants every year by just sticking the cuttings where i want them to grow, then in about a month, they begin to leaf out and bloom. They prefer full sun and and seem to not like a lot of water (which makes them rot) so i keep them on the dry side.


On Oct 13, 2006, Gina_Rose from Hollywood, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I hate to give it a neutral as it was GORGEOUS while it lasted... but it would take extra work for those of us in South FL, where we can get alot of rain. My geraniums did not survive, but I will definitely try them again, maybe if I plant them near the underhangs where they won't get as much water, but there they won't get as much sun! Fool that I am, I will probably purchase them again next year. ;)


On May 25, 2005, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

An old favourite and with good reason. Pelargonium is a reliable and almost trouble-free annual that offers great colour and texture to the garden. I planted mine in a pot on my patio. Despite it being a hot, windy location, in a summer of drought and grasshopper infestation, it still performed well. Some people have successfully overwintered theirs and had them for years. A lot of people here call them "geraniums" and they are sold under that name, although technically that isn't accurate.


On Aug 1, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Often difficult to grow in the very wet summers in Florida, but dry summers are perfect for them. I try to keep them going all the time, but often need to replace them.


On Dec 14, 2003, mrsmitty from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

You can get seeds from a geranium by using a very small bristle paintbrush. Dip along the center of the flowers dragging pollen from plant to plant. Seed pods develop quickly. Let them dry out on the parent plant. Your next generation may or may not resemble the parent plants, but who knows what color and look it will have!


On Jan 19, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Geraniums are one of the mainstays of modern gardens; they thrive in containers. The foliage is interesting enough to provide a framework, even during its non-flowering cycles.


On Mar 10, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A favorite bedding and container plant, this tender perennial is grown as an annual in all but the warmest regions of the U.S. Plants have succulent leaves, which are circular, 2 to 3 inches in diameter and may be disctinctively marked or banded. Flower clusters of small florets arranged in a half sphere, appear throughout summer. Choose from white, pink, magenta, scarlet, lavendar, orange or salmon colors. Grown in average soil, keep regularly watered, especially in the hottest part of summer. Pinch off spent flowers to encourage a new flush of growth.