‘It is hard to imagine gardening without hardy geraniums. In their midst are plants that are totally indispensable. They are resilient, versatile, and offer something for every garden situation. Rich in colour and generous in display, the best hardy geraniums are deserving of any mixed border.”
Head Gardener at Great Dixter
The hardy geraniums are undoubtedly one of the most popular groups of garden plants. They are beautiful, reliable and endlessly various. Today’s stunning hybrids are the modern flag bearers of a genus with a long history in our gardens.
One of the longest bloomers in the garden, hardy geranium bears flowers for months at a time. It produces jewel-tone, saucer-shape flowers and mounds of handsome, lobed foliage. It needs full sun, but otherwise it is a tough and reliable plant, thriving in a wide assortment of soils. Many of the best are hybrids.
This generous selection is taken from our seed breeder’s collection and includes items with too few seeds to list separately. Exceptionally good value this mixture always contain a few real rarities.
Sowing: Sow in late winter/late spring or in late summer/autumn.
Fill pots, cells of trays with a good seed starting compost. (John Innes or similar). Sit the containers in water to moisten thoroughly. Sow the seeds 2.5cm (1in) apart, on the surface of the compost and cover seed with vermiculite, sand or sieved compost after sowing. Keep soil slightly moist but not wet. Perennial geraniums often germinate over several months, usually between 30 to 90 days at temperatures around 5 to 10°C (41 to 50°F). Seed trays should not be discarded prematurely. Constant moisture must be maintained. Do not leave in direct sunlight.
Transplant the seedlings into 7.5cm (3in) pots to grow on. Avoid large pots, because the compost will be wet permanently and wetness can a cause growth inhibition and a poor root development.
Overwinter autumn sown seedlings indoors frost free at 3 to 5 °C (37 to 41°F). If outdoors use an outdoor fleece cover to protect the plants.
Plant outdoors in spring after the last expected frosts. Gradually acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out into their permanent positions. Space 30 to 40cm (12 to 15in) apart.
In mid summer after flowering rejuvenate plants that are beginning to look jaded by shearing it back, this will promote dense growth and encourage better reblooming. Lift and divide large colonies in spring, March to May
Low-moderate fertilisation levels are required use a complete balanced fertiliser. Avoid high ammonium and high nitrogen levels. Very high nitrogen levels will cause shoot stretching and then the shoots fall apart. Don't fertilise after mid September.
The roots are sensitive to wet substrates which can cause rotting of roots and poor plant quality. Allow for the plants to dry thoroughly between irrigations.
Cottage/Informal Garden, Flowers Borders and Beds, Wildlife / Butterfly Garden. Beekeeping.
Full sun to partial shady locations. Rock gardens, stone walls, perennial borders, ground cover, large containers.
Geranium is a genus of 422 species of flowering annual, biennial, and perennial plants, found throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region.
They are found on every continent on earth except Antarctica.
The name Geranium comes from the Greek 'geranion', which is a diminutive of 'geranos' meaning crane.
It gets its common name 'crane’s bill' from the 'beak' over the seed pod and is also called storksbill in some areas.
The name “crowfoot” is often used for geraniums, because the leaves resemble buttercups, which historically were called crowfoots
- Additional Information
Packet Size 20 Seeds Family Geraniaceae Genus Geranium Common Name Mixture of species and cultivars Other Common Names Crane’s Bill. Garden Geranium Hardiness Hardy Perennial Hardy Hardy to -15°C (5°F) Flowers White Natural Flower Time Late spring to late autumn Foliage Various Height Approx 30cm to 76cm (12 to 30in) Spread Approx 30cm to 60cm (12 to 24in) Position Full sun to part shade. Soil Fertile, well-drained Time to Sow Sow in late winter/late spring or in late summer/autumn. Germination 30 to 90 days at temperatures around 5 to 10°C (41 to 50°F).