In the highlands of western Réunion, the abandonment of fallowing, the use of monocropping and crop rotations under bare soil conditions, and excessive application of pesticides has led to physical, chemical and biological soil degradation. The technical and socioeconomic performances of farms with geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) as main crop have been markedly affected by these trends. They have also had a detrimental effect on the environment already weakened by serious natural constraints. Cropping over plant covers could enhance the sustainability of such farms under these adverse conditions.