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Geranium

 

Basic Facts:

(Common Name: Cranesbill, Hardy Geranium).

Garden Use:

There are varieties suitable for a wide range of uses - ground cover, trailing, mid-border, sun, dense shade. In fact the only situation I've not come across a Geranium to fill is very boggy or in water - but I have a sneaking suspicion there's one out there somewhere.

Read about Geraniums for foliage interest in our garden diary for September 2011.

Wildlife Interest:

Geraniums are great plants for bees.

Cut Flower Use:

Not tried.

Cultivation:

Different species require different conditions and there is a Geranium to suit most gardens.

There are quite invasive types among the goodies so read up about them first.

Not all "Hardy Geraniums" are hardy! - all of ours are though.

Propagation:

Propagation and care differs between species - see below for specific notes.

Pests and Diseases:

The only specific pest we've experienced is a saw fly caterpillar that makes holes in the leaves in late summer.

History:

The common name is a reference to the shape of the seed capsules. Hardy Geraniums should not be confused with their half-hardy distant cousins, the Pelagoniums, which are commonly called Geraniums just to confuse things! 

A member of the Geraniaceae family.

 

Geranium x cantabrigiense St Ola

Tough, low growing, carpeter with semi-evergreen, glossy leaves. Great in a sunny, dry spot. The flowers come in early summer and are white maturing pinkish.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot) 

Geranium Elke

Sanguineum type but with large white-edged pink flowers for a long season. Low mat former and a great edger.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium himalayense Gravetye

Mauve-centred deep blue flowers, on and off from June to autumn. Tough and adaptable to full sun or light shade.  1ft tall.

These send up new shoots around the plant, so propagation is by division. Root cuttings are also possible.

RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium himalayense Irish Blue

Pale, pinkish blue flowers, endlessly from May to autumn. One of the best and most reliable flowers amongst hardy geraniums.

2ft tall and spreading to about the same in 2 years.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium x.oxonianum

These are hybrids between GG. endressii and versicolor and form clumps of large leaves and slowly spreading to occupy about 2ft across in a couple of years.

They grow to about 1ft - 1ft 6in tall and flower from early summer repeating throughout the summer if cut back after each flush. They will self seed if not deadheaded.

I grow them in more or less full sun in dry soils but the books say they can be grown in shade as well.

Propagation of named types is by division although some will come true from seed this can't be relied on.

Geranium x.oxonianum Katherine Adele

Grown as much for its olive and brown marked leaves as for the pale pink veined flowers. In spring and early summer the markings become more pronounced and take on orangey tints.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Katherine Adele has spectacular spring and early summer foliage.

Geranium x.oxonianum Lace Time

Intricately veined, pearlescent pink veined flowers. 1ft 6in tall in flower. Flowers in flushes through the summer.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium x.oxonianum Sherwood

The star-shaped pink flowers appear from May onwards on plants reaching 1 1/2ft.

Price: 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium Patricia

Raised by Alan Bremer

Brilliant magenta with a black eye. Flowers all summer. Quite bushy plants about 1ft 6in tall. It is a hybrid of GG.endressii and psilostemon.

Divide in spring. We've had failures in a cold winter when dividing in autumn.

RHS Award of Garden Merit

Price: 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium phaeum

Great for dry shade these plants from neat clumps of large, often patterned leaves and have flowers on top of 2ft stems in late spring into summer and often continue in the late summer, albeit reduced in number.

These will self seed, but not excessively but we propagate by division to ensure purity of type. I only divide plants in spring as they don't do well in pots in winter but for planting in the garden they can be divided in autumn.

Geranium phaeum Album

Pure white form with plain green leaves.

Rather lovely especially with the sun shining through the petals revealing the star-shape calyx in silhouette.

RHS Award of Garden Merit

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium phaeum Our Pat

New to our catalgoue 2017

Large, deep purple flowers

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium phaeum Springtime

Large, bold leaves with white, maroon and green patterns. Typical phaeum flowers.

This one has plant varietal rights so we have to buy in plugs rather than propagate ourselves.

Price: 5.00 (9cm pot)

Geranium phaeum Variegatum

Leaves boldly splashed with white, red and silver. Flowers are the typical phaeum maroon colour.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium pratense Mrs. Kendall Clark

Blue and silver flowers like Mother of Pearl on 2ft 6in (75cm) stems. Mounds of divided leaves. Blooms May - July and sometimes again September - October.

RHS Award of Garden Merit

Price: 4.50 (9cm pot)

Mrs Kendall Clark with Tree Bumblebee

Read about a great planting combination with Mrs Kendall Clark in our garden notebook for July 2012.

Geranium pratense Summer Skies

Neat, shortish plants (2ft / 60cm), with double flowers like tiny rose buds. Will rebloom if cut back after first flowering

Price: 6.00 (9cm pot)

Geranium Rozanne

Such a long flowering period: from June to October and beyond. Trailing stems that provide ground cover or cascade over edges or from pots.

No wonder she was voted "Plant of the Centenary" at RHS Chelsea in 2013.

Around  9-12in. tall and spreading to 1-2ft. Planting distance 18in.

Flowers keep their best colour when growing in light shade.

SOLD OUT - If you've ordered this variety we have reserve stock for you.

Geranium sanguineum

Good ground cover for well-drained soil in sun. Low growing (about 9 - 12" tall) and giving good autumn leaf colour. Best in sun.

Give the plants a trim after the first flush of flowers (May - July) and they will flower again later in summer.

They will seed but not come true. Best propagated by division or even root cuttings.

See also Geranium Elke  above and Tiny Monster below.

Read more about Geranium sanguineum as autumn bloomers in our garden notebook for October 2010.

Geranium sanguineum Album

Pure white version of this lovely mat forming plant. Rather more upright than other types

RHS Award of Garden Merit

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium sanguineum Elsbeth

Bright purple, very large flowers.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium sanguineum John Elsley

Mat forming plants with bright magenta flowers in early summer and again in autumn. Leaves get good autumn tints as well

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium sanguineum Max Frei

Deep rose pink flowers in early summer and again in autumn. Leaves colour up in autumn

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

 

Geranium sanguineum Striatum

Pale pink flowers with deeper rose veins in early summer and again in autumn.

RHS Award of Garden Merit

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geranium sanguineums are a great favourite with Carder Bees

Geranium Stephanie

Leaves like Geranium renardii and pearly pale violet flowers from April - June. Low growing and great in dry and poor soils but give her some TLC and you won't regret it! Needs a sunny spot.

Propagate by division in spring.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Stephanie makes a great combination with sliver-leaved plants - see her with Cynara carduncularis (Cardoon) in our garden notebook for May 2012

Geranium Tiny Monster

This is a cross between Geraniums sanguineum and psilostemon producing a low-growing plants (like a sanguineum) with large, magenta flowers like psilostemon (albeit lacking the black eye). They do well in dry, sunny spots and flower from May through to the autumn with a little rest in high summer.

Propagate by division in spring or by root cuttings.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

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