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What Is Eating My Geraniums? A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

Geraniums are popular for their vibrant flowers and easy maintenance, but they can still fall prey to various pests. Identifying what’s eating your geraniums and knowing how to manage these pests is crucial for maintaining a healthy garden. This guide will help you determine the common culprits and provide effective solutions to protect your geranium plants.

Key Highlights

  • Common Pests: Identify the primary pests that feed on geranium leaves and flowers.
  • Signs of Infestation: Learn to recognize the signs of pest damage.
  • Control Methods: Discover effective ways to manage and prevent pest infestations.
  • Natural Remedies: Explore eco-friendly solutions for protecting your plants.

Last update on 2024-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Common Pests Eating Geraniums


Caterpillars, such as the geranium plume moth larvae, can cause significant damage to geranium leaves and flowers by chewing large holes and edges.


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that can be green, black, or gray. They feed on the sap of the plant, causing leaves to curl, yellow, and become distorted.

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails feed on geranium leaves, leaving large, irregular holes and silvery trails on the leaves and soil.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny, red or brown mites that suck the sap from the leaves, causing them to develop yellow spots and eventually turn brown and dry out.


Whiteflies are small, white flying insects that feed on the undersides of leaves. They cause leaves to yellow and drop prematurely and can produce a sticky substance called honeydew.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are metallic green and copper-colored beetles that chew on geranium leaves, creating skeletonized foliage.

Signs of Infestation

Chewed Leaves and Flowers

Look for irregular holes and ragged edges on the leaves and flowers. This type of damage is often caused by caterpillars, slugs, and Japanese beetles.

Yellowing and Curling Leaves

If the leaves are yellowing, curling, or wilting, it might be due to aphid or spider mite infestation. These pests can also leave a sticky residue known as honeydew.

Silvery Trails

Slugs and snails leave behind silvery trails on the leaves and soil, along with large, irregular holes.

Tiny Yellow Spots

Tiny yellow spots on the leaves can be a sign of spider mite damage. These spots can eventually cause the leaves to turn brown and dry out.


If you see tiny white insects flying around your geraniums when disturbed, it’s likely an infestation of whiteflies.

Control Methods


For larger pests like caterpillars and Japanese beetles, handpicking is an effective control method. Inspect your plants regularly and remove any pests you find.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is effective against soft-bodied insects like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Spray the soap directly on the affected areas, making sure to cover the undersides of the leaves.

Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of your plants to deter crawling insects like slugs and snails. This natural powder dehydrates and kills insects on contact.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural insecticide that works against a wide range of pests, including aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Mix according to the instructions and spray on affected plants.

Slug Traps

Use slug traps filled with beer or a mixture of water and yeast to attract and trap slugs. Place the traps around your geranium plants to reduce the slug population.

Natural Remedies

Companion Planting

Planting herbs and flowers like marigolds, garlic, and nasturtiums can help repel pests. These plants can attract beneficial insects that prey on common geranium pests.

Beneficial Insects

Introducing beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps can help control pest populations. These insects feed on aphids, caterpillars, and other pests.

Homemade Sprays

  • Garlic Spray: Blend garlic cloves with water and a small amount of dish soap. Spray this mixture on your plants to repel pests.
  • Pepper Spray: Mix hot pepper flakes with water and a few drops of dish soap. Spray this solution on the leaves to deter pests.

Fascinating Facts About Geraniums

OriginGeraniums are native to South Africa and have been cultivated for hundreds of years.
Nutritional ValueWhile not typically consumed, geraniums have been used in traditional medicine for various treatments.
VarietiesThere are over 400 species of geraniums, offering a wide range of colors and forms.
Scented GeraniumsSome geranium varieties are grown for their fragrant leaves, which can smell like rose, lemon, or mint.
Culinary UsesScented geranium leaves are sometimes used to flavor desserts, teas, and jellies.

More Top-Selling Geranium Pest Control Products

Bonide Pyrethrin Garden Insect Spray Concentrate, 8 oz Ready-to-Mix Fast Acting...
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  • Designed for use on asparagus, beans, broccoli, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, dogwoods, azaleas, begonias, roses, geraniums, plus ornamental trees and shrubs
  • The active ingredient, pyrethrin, naturally occurs in chrysanthemum flowers and is considered to be one of the best biodegradable insecticides; pyrethrin kills and controls insects by targeting their nervous systems
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Mighty Mint Gallon (128 oz) Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil - Natural Spray for...
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EarthKind Stay Away Moths - Moth Deterrent for Closet, Pantry & More - DIY Pest Control...
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GERANIUM GARDENING Cultivation, Care Tips Management And Profit: Step-By-Step Instructions...
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Mighty Mint 32oz Peppermint Bug Control Natural Lawn Spray for Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitos,...
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Last update on 2024-07-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent pests from attacking my geranium plants?

Preventing pests involves regular inspection, proper plant spacing, and maintaining healthy soil. Using slug traps, companion planting, and introducing beneficial insects are also effective preventive measures.

What are the signs of a healthy geranium plant?

A healthy geranium plant has firm, dark green leaves with no signs of yellowing or wilting. The stem should be strong and upright, and there should be no visible holes or pest damage on the leaves or flowers.

Can I use chemical pesticides on my geranium plants?

While chemical pesticides can be effective, they may also harm beneficial insects and affect the overall health of your garden. Consider using organic and natural methods first before resorting to chemical treatments.

How often should I inspect my geranium plants for pests?

Inspect your geranium plants at least once a week, paying close attention to the undersides of the leaves and the flowers. Regular inspections help catch pest problems early before they become severe.

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