Geraniums and Pelargoniums are related. Palargoniums are the hardy type, usually called scented geraniums or storksbills. Even though there are biennial and perennial Geraniums, here in the high desert, Geraniums are often used as an annual for outdoor gardening. The family, Geraniaceae, which includes both Geraniums and Pelargoniums, make up over four hundred different species, most of which are indigenous to more temperate zones than what we have here in Nevada. With the hot summer sun, these beautiful plants with the fragrant leaves -- many of which are grown specifically for their scented oils -- seem to prefer more shade to sun without diminishing flower production. They do enjoy some cool morning sun. Flowers come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, blue, violet and pure white. They begin blooming in spring and continue all summer long.
To compensate for the winter chill that will kill many types of Geraniums, gardeners often grow them in containers that can be brought indoors once the cold weather threatens. They can also be planted in raised planter boxes and transplanted to pots as autumn arrives.
If planting outdoors, late May to early June is a good time, after the danger of frost has passed. Make sure your plants have well-draining soil. For the most part, Geraniums are care free. Just be sure to plant them high enough so that their stems are not buried. As the summer heat begins to bare down, don't let the roots dry out.