Red geraniums come in a variety of flower and foliage types. They provide several shades of red from which gardeners may choose. The Alabama Cooperative Extension Service lists geraniums as the number one potted plant sold per unit, usually offered for sale April to June. The extension notes that red represents the most popular color option by far.
Maverick geraniums have variegated foliage and offer a mix of flower colors, including red. Since the cultivar has a showy appearance between the foliage and striking flowers, these geraniums would be best paired with a flower that stands strongly alongside it, such as the Mexican cigar plant. The Firecracker cultivar has a tubular flower in a brilliant red. When planting geraniums in containers, Clemson University suggests that growers need a deep pot for proper development of the root systems of the plants.
The Multibloom cultivar has zoned leaves and produces red flowers with, "up to 15 flower heads per plant at one time, virtually hiding the foliage," according to Colorado State University. Such a profusion of flowers may be matched with a more modest foliage plant, such as red and green perilla, when planted in a window box.
In The Flowerbed
Colorado State University notes that two groups of plants are known as geraniums: the flowering geraniums of the genus Pelargonium; and plants of the genus Geranium, also known as hardy geraniums. The university suggests cranesbill geraniums, also known as true geraniums, for garden border areas. These geraniums provide magenta flowers on low-maintenance, pest- and disease-resistant plants. Of the different varieties, some have red leaves, red veins or red flowers. Set off the spreading, but less showy cranesbill by placing it alongside flowers with strong coloring, such as the flower spikes of salvia or Texas sage. Zonal geraniums, also known as common garden geraniums, present with leaves that have zones of darker colors. Growers may select a variety offering leaves with red bands and flowers in a variety of shades of red with single or double petals. The colored foliage would pair well with the texture of hostas.
Iowa State University recommends blood-red geraniums for use as a ground cover underneath shrubs. The foliage offers winter interest, turning red after a hard frost. This type geranium looks striking when paired with an even lower-growing evergreen with dark green foliage, such as periwinkle. With a need for shade for part of the day, blood-red geraniums perform well with a taller and boldly colored flower, such as iris. Melody Red and Sincerely Yours geranium cultivars develop blood-red flowers. Continue the red theme by pairing these cultivars with coleus. Both geraniums and coleus require a well-drained soil and offer plants in a range of heights.