Brocade Geranium Care: How To Grow Brocade Leaf Geraniums

By: Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Zonal geraniums are longtime favorites in the garden. Their easy care, long bloom period, and low water needs makes them extremely versatile in borders, window boxes, hanging baskets, containers, or as bedding plants. Most gardeners are very familiar with the wide range of bloom colors for zonal geraniums. Continue reading for more brocade geranium info.

Brocade Geranium Info

Brocade geranium plants (Pelargonium x hortorum) are zonal geraniums that are more commonly grown as accent plants for their colorful foliage rather than their brightly colored, classic geranium blooms. Like all geraniums, their flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds, while the plant’s natural scent deters deer.

The truly outstanding characteristic of brocade geranium plants is the unique variegation of their foliage. Below are several of the highly sought after varieties of brocade geranium and their unique color combinations:

  • Indian Dunes – Chartreuse and copper variegated foliage with red blooms
  • Catalina – Green and white variegated foliage with hot pink blooms
  • Black Velvet Appleblossom – Black to dark purple foliage with light green margins and peach colored blooms
  • Black Velvet Red – Black to dark purple foliage with light green margins and red orange blooms
  • Crystal Palace – Chartreuse and green variegated foliage with red blooms
  • Mrs. Pollock Tricolor – Red, gold, and green variegated foliage with red blooms
  • Red Happy Thoughts – Green and cream colored variegated foliage with reddish pink foliage
  • Vancouver Centennial – Star shaped purple and green variegated foliage with pinkish red blooms
  • Wilhelm Langguth – Light green foliage with dark green margins and red blooms

How to Grow Brocade Leaf Geraniums

Brocade geranium care is no different than the care of other zonal geraniums. They grow best in full sun to part shade, but too much shade can make them leggy.

Brocade geranium plants prefer rich, well-draining soil. Improper drainage or too much moisture can cause root and stem rots. When planted in the ground, geraniums have low watering needs; however, in containers they will need regular watering.

Brocade geranium plants should be fertilized in spring with a slow release fertilizer. They should be deadheaded as flowers fade to increase blooms. Many gardeners cut zonal geranium plants back halfway in midsummer to shape and create fullness.

Brocade geranium plants are hardy in zones 10-11, but they can be over wintered indoors.

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Read more about Geraniums

Yard and Garden: Growing Geraniums

AMES, Iowa -- Garden geraniums are popular flowering plants for beds, borders, containers, hanging baskets and window boxes. Geraniums are easy to grow and provide color in the garden from May to frost. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on planting and selecting geranium varieties. For more information, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or [email protected]

Which types of geranium can be grown in the home garden?

Several annual geraniums can be grown in home gardens. Zonal geraniums (Pelargonium × hortorum) are the most common geranium in home gardens. Plants have round to kidney-shaped leaves. The medium green leaves often have bark bands or zones, hence the common name. Flower colors include red, pink, salmon, orange, white, lavender and bi-colors. Zonal geraniums are excellent flowering plants for beds, borders, containers, hanging baskets and window boxes.

Ivy geraniums (Pelargonium peltatum) have ivy-shaped leaves and a trailing growth habit. Flowers may be single or double and are available in shades of white, pink and red. Plants are best suited for hanging baskets and window boxes.

In recent years, plant breeders have crossed zonal and ivy geraniums. These interspecific hybrids are vigorous plants, bloom profusely and have vibrantly colored flowers. The two most prominent members of this type are cultivars in the Calliope and Caliente Series. Plants in the Calliope Series most closely resemble zonal geraniums, while those in the Caliente Series more closely resemble ivy geraniums. (A series is a group of closely related cultivars with uniform characteristics, such as height, spread and flowering habit. Generally, the only characteristic that varies within a series is flower color.)

Other geraniums available to home gardeners include fancy-leaf and scented geraniums. Fancy-leaf geraniums possess silver, white, gold, red or purple markings on their leaves. Scented geraniums have aromatic foliage. Their leaves emit their characteristic scent when rubbed or bruised. Cultivars are available with apple, lemon, pineapple, rose, peppermint, nutmeg, cinnamon and other fragrances. Flowers on fancy-leaf and scented geraniums are smaller and less showy than other geraniums.

Annual geraniums are not actually “true” geraniums as they are members of the genus Pelargonium. True geraniums are perennials in the genus Geranium.

When can I plant geraniums outdoors?

Annual geraniums should be planted outdoors when the danger of frost is past. It’s usually safe to plant geraniums in early May in southern Iowa, mid-May in central Iowa and late May in northern portions of the state.

What are suitable planting sites for geraniums?

Geraniums perform best in fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants will grow in partial shade, but will not bloom well. For optimum flowering, geraniums should receive at least six hours of direct sun each day.

What are the maintenance requirements for geraniums?

Annual geraniums respond well to applications of fertilizer. Prior to planting, apply and incorporate 1 to 2 pounds of an all-purpose garden fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, per 100 square feet of garden area. Geraniums growing in containers should be fertilized every two to four weeks with a dilute fertilizer solution.

During dry periods, a deep soaking once a week is sufficient for plants in beds and borders. Plants in containers require more frequent watering. Water geraniums in containers when the soil surface becomes dry to the touch. If possible, avoid overhead watering as wet foliage encourages disease development. To keep plants blooming continuously throughout the summer, remove spent flowers (deadhead) on a regular basis. Deadheading prevents seed development and encourages the plants to produce additional blooms. It also improves plant appearance.

PHOTO: Variegated Geranium. Photo by Cindy Haynes.

The best time to take a cutting is when a plant has a flush of new growth, and before it sets buds, at any time during the growing season.

If you are growing garden geraniums as annuals, taking cuttings in fall before the plants fade means you’ll have fresh new ones to plant out in spring.

Choose a sturdy stem with healthy leaves. Try to avoid the flimsy newest growth and the older, woodiest stems, as well as any with discolored or damaged foliage.

Use clean, sharp pruners, or a fine blade to slice through a stem.

Make the cut just below a leaf node and four to six inches down from the stem tip.

Snip off the lower foliage, leaving two or three leaves at the top, so you have three to four inches of bare stem. Remove any flower or leaf buds, as they might direct energy away from root formation.

Pelargonium, Fish Geranium, Horseshoe Geranium, Zonal Geranium 'Vancouver Centennial'

Family: Geraniaceae (jer-ay-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Pelargonium (pe-lar-GO-nee-um) (Info)
Species: x hortorum (hor-TOR-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Vancouver Centennial
Additional cultivar information:(Stellar series)
Synonym:Pelargonium x zonale
» 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:


Foliage Color:




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


Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

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:

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Gardeners' Notes:

On Jan 28, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A beautiful and unusual zonal geranium.

The foliage is chartreuse with a large burgundy/maroon zone, the latter larger and more pronounced in full sun than in partial shade. No blue-green.

The flowers are a brilliant red-orange, on the small side but because of the color they read well from a distance. The flowers are self-cleaning. No pink, negligible white.

On Jan 28, 2016, Ancolie88 from Innsbruck,
Austria (Zone 6b) wrote:

I love this one because it has such beautiful leafs an fits well in my garden as if you can see at one of my photos

On Nov 6, 2011, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I've had one for years growing in a big tub with large succulents such as Euphorbia ammak. I almost lost it a couple of times from lack of now seems to have a root system that handles the occasional drought. Slow growing-choice rock garden type plant that does make a bonsai like trunk and thick low branches. Watch that weed grasses dont smother it,keep away from people or pet traffic,bait for slugs and snails.
Many,many are sold,few are seen doing well..and when they do,they are standout plants.

On Mar 6, 2010, esteve59 from Annapolis, MD wrote:

Great plant for a pot or any annual decor. I found it easy to grow. not very many flowers but beautiful leaves.

On Jan 19, 2010, darylmitchell from Saskatoon, SK (Zone 3a) wrote:

Definitely a hit for anyone who likes unusual, variegated foliage. I love the maple-leaf shape as well! On the downside, it's a pretty slow grower. Also, I find the flowers to be rather puny and insignificant compared to the foliage.

On Apr 28, 2007, lakeshoredrive from Chicago, IL wrote:

I agree it has fantastic color and texture, but is slow to start from cuttings and even slower growing. Over watering kills this one fast!

On Sep 1, 2005, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Atlanta: Beautiful coloring - lovely flowers. I kept this under a 'shop light' through the winter last year and it is bigger and better this summer.

I've not been able to get pieces to propagate from cuttings.

On Aug 31, 2005, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:

I fell in love with the colors and texture of this wonderful plant.
I keep it outside spring, summer and into fall. I move it into an unheated greenhouse in winter. I have had this plant for about 5 years . it has survived drought conditions and come back flourishing.

On Apr 23, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Washington
This colorful geranium was developed for our friends in Canada. It is called "Vancouver Centennial", the leaf shape is resembling the Canadian Mapleleaf. Is a beautiful plant that leaf color intensifies in exposure to bright sunlight. Just another geranium with great foliage color to acsent the orange red blooms.

On Apr 22, 2003, Zanymuse from Scotia, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

The colorful foliage on this cultivar far outshines the smallish red flowers. I left it in a pot on an exposed balcony over winter and it not only thrived but continued to bloom year round!

6. Pinch your geraniums

If you want your geraniums to have a bushy look and not only a main stem, you need to pinch them.

Peaching consists in cutting off the tops of the plants when the plant is still young.

This will allow the plant to grow more ramifications from the side buds and your Geraniums will get that nice bushy look.

Watch the video: How to grow Geraniums. Zonal Geraniums. Pelargonium zonale in containers

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