A to Z Herbarium: Geranium




Protection, Fertility, Love, Health



All geraniums have protective properties when grown in a garden or brought into the home. It is said that red geraniums planted near a witch’s cottage will lean towards strangers as they approach and warn the witch of the impending arrival. Red geraniums are also especially protective and bolster health.

Pink geraniums are used in love spells, white ones to increase fertility. Fresh leaves of the rose geranium can be brushed onto doorknobs and windows for protection. Geraniums also protect against snakes.

Snakes will not go

Where geraniums grow

Rose-scented geraniums (Geranium pelargonium) are the only geraniums that are edible (all others are toxic). They have anti-inflammatory properties, and can be brewed into a tea to treat sore joints and aching muscles. It also relieves stress, aids in digestion, and helps boost the immune system against colds and flu.



Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham, 2016, Llewellyn Publications

Organic Facts



  1. Hi Sara – love rose-scented geraniums … and particularly rose-scented jellies – there’s just that something extra about their taste and aroma … interesting about snakes … so much we don’t know – yet we are reminded to look to our ancestors for their uses … they delight in the garden too – cheers Hilary


    • Sara C. Snider

      Geraniums are lovely. I’m noticing for a lot of herbs, keeping away snakes is one of its uses. I wonder if it’s true, or just more fanciful lore. πŸ˜‰

  2. Thank you for the post. I will be filling the pots on the porch with red geraniums this weekend!

  3. I did not know that geraniums may deter snakes – I’m going to try that on my back porch!

    Interesting stuff here! Thanks. πŸ™‚

    • Sara C. Snider

      I’m curious to know if that actually works. If not, you still have lovely geraniums to enjoy. πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Interesting theme, I just found your blog today. My a-to-z challenge is all about LEGO, come check it out if that’s your thing!

    • Sara C. Snider

      I will definitely check out your Lego theme. Sounds fun. πŸ˜€ Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I am loving your post for the challenge. πŸ™‚

  6. I love geraniums, they’re so beautiful. Now I know what they stand for!

  7. I love geraniums. They make me think of my Grandmother, she always planted them in her planters and her garden. Great post, thanks for sharing.

  8. With my luck I’ll eat the wrong kind… Happy A-to-Z-ing πŸ™‚

  9. Hmm, geraniums . I don’t think they grow in neck of the world.

    We never had them in the house because they are poisonous to pets.

    • Sara C. Snider

      They grow in flower boxes around here, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any in the wild though. And, yeah, we’ve thrown out a fair share of potted plants/flowers people have given us because they were poisonous to cats.

  10. Michelle Morrison

    Geraniums are pretty,especially the rose geraniums. Good stuff.

  11. My mom always had geraniums in her garden.

  12. But why would a witch want them anywhere near their cottage then?… πŸ˜€
    (We used to have geraniums on our 8th floor balcony)

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF – Weird Things in Folktales

    • Sara C. Snider

      I guess geraniums are like a witch’s guard dog? πŸ˜›

  13. I did not know that about the snakes. EXCEPT for snails and slugs sure loved them. When I lived in San Francisco as a child, they ate up our red geraniums. Used to make my mom so mad.

    If you are interested in genealogy, Stop by for a visit: From 1840 to 1880, GERMANS were the largest group of immigrant

    • Sara C. Snider

      I guess geranium’s protective qualities don’t extend to snails. πŸ˜‰

  14. Geraniums grow feral as weeds in my part of Australia. (Then again, so do Calla lillies.)

    They always have a particular smell.

  15. Gell, I bought red and pink geraneums just yesterday. It’s a flower I really like, I always have a few plants on my window. I always also try to meke them last through the winter, because I knwo peopel who keep the same plant through the years, but so far, not luck at it…

    The Old Shelter – 1940s Film Noir

    • Sara C. Snider

      Geraniums are rather popular as summertime window flowers here too. Though, I imagine making them last through the winter here is near to impossible. πŸ˜‰

  16. I wonder if I could find a rose scented geranium tea. I bet it’d be tasty and benefit my health.

    • Sara C. Snider

      I bet it would be tasty, and might be worth a shot in regards to your health.

  17. I wish we could grow geranium in Delhi. Well apart from the winter of course. I’d love to use them on doorknobs to ward off snakes πŸ™‚

    Hindsight #Lexicon of Leaving

    • Sara C. Snider

      There’s bound to be some snake averse herb you could grow in your area, but geraniums are very lovely.

  18. Geraniums always look so bright and cheery in flower boxes. And now I know they’re snake repellents – good to know. I’ve just purchased a lovely rose geranium essential oil, so I can appreciate the fragrance even though the flowers aren’t available here yet.

    • Sara C. Snider

      They do look cheery. πŸ˜€ I bet the essential oil smells fantastic.

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