Imperial Butterfly Geranium Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly' (A/sc)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly'


Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly' is a stunning plant commonly known as a geranium. This particular variety stands out for its unique and eye-catching foliage, which is variegated with a mix of green and white patterns. The leaves are not only colorful but also intricately shaped, with a ruffled or lobed appearance, featuring a palette of green tones starkly contrasted by creamy white. Adding to the attractiveness are the blooms that the plant produces, which typically come in rich shades of purple and pink with a velvety texture. These butterfly-like flowers are often clustered together at the ends of long stalks that rise above the foliage, giving the plant a full and abundant look. The overall impression is of a lush, decorative plant that can bring a vibrant splash of color and texture to any setting it graces.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Imperial Butterfly Geranium, Fancy Leaf Geranium, Variegated Geranium.

    • Common names

      Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Geraniums, the common name for Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly', are not considered highly toxic to humans. However, ingestion of parts of the plant may cause minor symptoms of irritation in the mouth, throat, and possibly result in mild gastrointestinal upset including nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea if consumed in large quantities.

    • To pets

      Geraniums, the common name for Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly', are known to be toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. If ingested, they can cause symptoms such as vomiting, anorexia, depression, and dermatitis. In more severe cases, it could possibly lead to kidney failure or other serious conditions. It is advisable to prevent your pets from ingesting any part of geranium plants.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: The Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly' adds vibrant color and unique texture to gardens and living spaces with its striking butterfly-like flowers and variegated foliage.
    • Ease of Care: It is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow, making it suitable for both experienced gardeners and beginners.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it has a good tolerance for dry conditions, requiring less water compared to many other plants.
    • Versatility: This Pelargonium can be planted in pots, hanging baskets, or directly in the ground, fitting various garden designs and spaces.
    • Seasonal Interest: It provides long-lasting flowers from spring to autumn, ensuring a continuous display of color for much of the year.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers can attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, promoting biodiversity in the garden.
    • Compact Growth: Its manageable size makes it suitable for small spaces, balconies, or as part of a mixed border.
    • Propagates Easily: It can be easily propagated by cuttings, allowing gardeners to produce new plants and share with others.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly', commonly known as the butterfly geranium, can be used as a natural dye due to the pigmentation in its petals, offering a range of colors from pink to deep red.
    • The leaves of the butterfly geranium can be used in potpourri for their scent and decorative appeal, adding both fragrance and color to the mixture.
    • Butterfly geranium leaves can be infused in oil to create a fragrant geranium oil for use in candles and soap making, imparting a floral aroma.
    • The plant can be utilized as an educational tool to teach children about pollination, as it often attracts butterflies and bees to gardens.
    • When dried, the petals of the butterfly geranium can be used to create natural and biodegradable confetti for use at celebrations or eco-friendly events.
    • The butterfly geranium can be grown as part of a butterfly garden to support local butterfly populations and promote biodiversity in the area.
    • Used as a natural fabric softener, the leaves can be placed in a cloth bag and tossed into the dryer, leaving clothes with a subtle floral fragrance.
    • Artists can press and preserve the colorful butterfly geranium flowers to create unique botanical art pieces or to adorn handmade paper.
    • The plant can serve as a companion in the garden, repelling pests naturally due to its scent, thereby protecting neighboring plants without the use of chemicals.
    • Butterfly geraniums can be cloned relatively easily through cuttings, making them an ideal plant for sharing with friends and fellow gardeners.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Geranium is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Geranium is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Transformation: The 'Imperial Butterfly' variety of Pelargonium, commonly known as Geranium, with its unique butterfly-like petal markings, symbolizes significant changes and the beautiful outcomes of life's metamorphoses.
    • Balance: This Pelargonium's equilibrium in petal shapes and coloration represents stability and harmony in life, encouraging a balanced approach to daily challenges.
    • Elegance: With its refined appearance and sophisticated floral patterns, the Geranium embodies grace and poise, reminding one to carry themselves with dignity and respect.
    • Protection: Historically, Geraniums have been thought to ward off negative energies and spirits, signifying protection and the creation of a safe, peaceful environment.
    • Friendship: Geraniums are often associated with positive social interactions and close connections, making them symbolic of deep and enduring friendships.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 1-2 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Scented Geranium, commonly known as Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly', should be watered thoroughly when the soil feels dry to the touch. Typically, this would mean you should water every 7 to 10 days, but this can vary greatly depending on the humidity, temperature, and light conditions. When watering, aim to soak the soil until water runs freely from the drainage holes, which could be about 16 to 32 ounces for a medium-sized pot. Always avoid letting the plant sit in water as this can lead to root rot. During the winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant enters a dormant phase.

  • sunLight

    The Scented Geranium prefers bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. It should be placed in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, but it should be protected from the harsh midday sun to prevent leaf burn. An east or west-facing window can provide the ideal light conditions for the Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly'.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The preferred temperature range for the Scented Geranium is between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and should not drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night. These plants can handle temperatures up to around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but they start to stress if it gets hotter. Always protect them from frost, as temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit can be fatal.

  • scissorsPruning

    Regular pruning is important for the Scented Geranium to promote bushy growth and prevent legginess. Prune in early spring before new growth starts by cutting back the stems to about half their length. Additionally, deadhead spent blooms to encourage continued flowering. Pruning can be performed every few months or as needed to maintain the desired shape and size of the plant.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Geranium 'Imperial Butterfly' thrives best in a well-draining potting mix composed of equal parts peat, pine bark, and perlite or coarse sand. The ideal soil pH should be mildly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0, to promote healthy growth and blooming.

  • plantRepotting

    Geranium 'Imperial Butterfly' should be repotted every 1 to 2 years, or when it becomes root-bound. Repotting in the spring is recommended to allow the plant to establish in the new soil before the active growing season.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Geranium 'Imperial Butterfly' prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable to lower humidity found in typical home environments. It does not require high humidity to thrive.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure good airflow.

    • Outdoor

      Grow in partial sun to full sun with shelter from harsh weather.

    • Hardiness zone

      10-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly' (A/sc), commonly known as Geranium 'Imperial Butterfly', begins its life as a seed that germinates in moist, well-drained soil under warm conditions. After sprouting, the seedling grows into a young plant with characteristic lobed leaves and begins to develop a sturdy stem. As the plant matures, it develops bushy foliage and produces its distinctive, ornamental flowers which are bi-colored, often featuring petals with a contrasting feathered or marbled pattern. After the flowering period, the plant sets seeds, which can be collected for propagation or allowed to self-sow if conditions are favorable. Throughout its life cycle, the geranium 'Imperial Butterfly' requires pruning to remove dead flowers and leaves, encouraging a compact growth habit and further blooming. The plant may enter a period of dormancy during colder months; however, with proper overwintering care, it can survive and regrow when the growing season resumes.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Propogation: The most popular method of propagating Pelargonium 'Imperial Butterfly', commonly known as Geranium, is through stem cuttings. Optimal propagation time is during the warmer months, from spring to early summer, when the plant is actively growing. To propagate, select a healthy stem that is about 4 to 6 inches long (10 to 15 centimeters), making sure it has at least two sets of leaves. Cut just below a leaf node at a 45-degree angle to increase the surface area for rooting. Remove the bottom leaves to prevent rot and dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder to encourage faster root growth. Plant the cutting in a well-draining soil mix, and maintain consistent moisture without waterlogging. Keep the cutting in bright, indirect light and in a warm environment to promote rooting, which typically occurs in a few weeks.