Geum

Soil and Site:

Geums thrive in most garden soil except very dry ones where they will grow slowly and flower poorly. The rivale types enjoy moist soils and tolerate some shade. The taller border types (based on Geum chiloense) like some sun and good soil.

Seasonal Care:

Spring: Protect from slugs if damage is seen. This is not a big problem in our garden but each site is unique. Now is a good time to lift and divide plants as this keeps them vigorous. 

Summer: Most Geums first flush of flower is late Spring / early Summer. Keep well watered and deadhead by pull off the spent flower stems at their base. This encourages more flower production.

Watch out for tiny caterpillars that roll the central leaves and eat them from inside. Not a big problem but a little vigilance in early June is worth it.

In very dry conditions some Geums may be slightly affected by powdery mildew. If it bothers you cut off all the mature leaves keeping the small, new ones starting to grow from the base.

Autumn: Keep deadheading to get more flowers!

Winter: Geums will remain evergreen through winter but the old leaves become brown by the end of winter and make the plants look scruffy. You can give the plants a good haircut in late winter or pull off old leaves. If keeping plants in pots over winter watch out for vine weevil grubs.

Using Geums:

Geums tend to have a mound of foliage and flowers either on spikes or just above the foliage so place them at the front of the border. The colours are to some extent all on the warm side of the colour wheel so they associate well with other warm and hot colours.

Propagation:

Geums can be propagated by:

Division - dig up in spring or autumn and break up into separate plants each with roots. Plant out straight away. Discard old weak parts.

Seed - Varieties like Mrs Bradshaw can be raised from seed. Geums do hybridise so saved seed may not come true. Sow in early Spring in heat or May in the open.

Geum Abendsonne

The name means "Evening Sun" and this is a compact variety has upward facing sunny orange and yellow blended flowers. It flowers at height of about 1ft tall.

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Geum Alabama Slammer

A new variety with ruffled orange and yellow flowers in late spring and early summer. About 1ft tall in flower.

Price 5.00 (9cm pot)

Geum rivale Barbra Lawton

Geum rivale Barbra Lawton

Barbra Lawton has flowers that are quite like the wild species but its tremendous flowering ability marks this lovely variety out as something special.

The shrimp pink nodding bells are held on 9-12in stems and the 2ft wide clumps are smothered in them between late April and the end of June.

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Geum Bell Bank

Bell Bank has large, frilly rosy-coloured flowers on pink stems. It grows to 1ft / 30cm and flowers from late spring into mid summer and often again in autumn.

Introduced by Geoffrey Smith from Harlow Carr gardens and was lost to the nursery trade for a while before being "rediscovered" growing in a Yorkshire garden.

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Geum Cosmopolitan

Silky pink, semi double flowers held on 1ft stems and outward facing. A very good new introduction

Price 5.00 (9cm pot)

Geum Eos

Single, bright orange flowers, and golden leaves in spring make a stunning contrast.

It is very similar to the variety Ann which also has golden leaves.

Price 5.00 (9cm pot)

Geum Dolly North

Border geum with lovely dobule orange flower in summer. We are really please to be able to offer this favourite of ours again

1ft / 30cm mounds with flowers on longer stems

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geum Farmer John Cross

Low growing geum with nodding yellow flowers.

The difference between this and Herterton Primrose is apparent to geum geeks only - I can't see any!

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Geum Hannay's  2008 SpecialPerennials.com

Geum Hannay's

This is a brilliant Geum with large, shimmering, outward facing, soft orange flowers on 1ft / 30cm stems in early summer and repeating in September.

She forms neat mounds of leaves and performs very well in dry soils.

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Geum Herterton Primrose

This variety from Herterton House Garden in Northumberland has nodding primrose yellow flowers on 1ft stems. It flowers in late spring and early summer repeating in August and September.

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Occasionally this variety produces double flowers - read more in our garden notebook for May 2012.

Geum Lemon Drops  2008 SpecialPerennials.com

Geum Lemon Drops

(Beth Chatto)

A chance seedling from Beth Chatto's wonderful Essex garden. The true form has the palest green-lemon nodding bells in late spring - early summer and again in autumn. It performs best in moist soils but grows happily in the driest, sunniest spot in our garden. The low mounds of leaves spread to a 2ft / 60cm across clump in time and a flowering height of about 9in-1ft / 22-30cm

We've found that seedlings from this plant are quite similar but always fall short of capturing the full beauty of the original plant - all our plants are all produced by division from a plant obtained from Beth Chatto's nursery.

Price 4.50 (9cm pot)

Geum Mai Tai

Mai Tai is new variety with lovely ruffled, semi double flowers in a gorgeous peachy pink. She grows to about 1ft tall.

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Geum Mrs. J Bradshaw

(Amos Perry c1906)

Another dear old lady who has graced our gardens for over a century. Although the plants do come true from seed, there are a lot of inferior seed strains around - the true plant is semi-double and bright scarlet with a large yellow boss of stamens. She reaches 2ft / 6ocm tall in flower (1ft / 30cm tall leaf mound). She flowers on and off from May through to October.

RHS Award of Garden Merit (H4)

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Francis Perry tells the story of Mrs Bradshaw. Amos Perry received a box of Geum seedlings from an amateur gardener John Bradshaw of the Grove, Southgate (now part of Enfield, Middlesex) raised by his gardener Mr. G. Whitelegg. From these Mrs J. Bradshaw was selected and introduced from Perry's famous Winchmore Hill Nursery.

Geum Old Luv

Our introduction - a daughter of Geum Lissane. Named for Janet's favourite Eric Clapton song.

Large amber flowers, nodding at first and then outward facing. 1ft / 30cm tall.

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Geum rivale Snowflake

This is the only pure white Geum we know. It has outward facing flowers and grows to about 9in / 22cm tall. It is quite a rare variety.

Like all rivale types this one prefers a moist soil but will make do with drier conditions.

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Geum Tangerine

Tangerine has single nodding bells in a deep, pinkish copper (not exactly tangerine!). It grows to about 12in / 30cm tall. It does well in sun or shade provided it doesn't dry out completely. It is in flower in late spring and again in Autumn. (picture below was taken on 13th October).

It should not to be confused with the orange variety "Baby Tangerine".

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Geum Tangerine  2008 SpecialPerennials.com

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