Growbag Blog

What’s not to love about hardy geraniums?

Suzie Dewey from the Hardy Geranium Nursery

Suzie Dewey, from the Hardy Geranium Nursery shares her top tips on geraniums with The3Growbags, and makes a great offer just for our gang (at the end of this post).

Hardy Geraniums are herbaceous perennials and for the most part they are fuss free and super easy to grow. They require minimal maintenance, and, in most cases, you will be able to propagate them by division and have many more plants in next to no time.

They are also generally pest and disease resistant and, once established, drought tolerant – even slugs and snails turn their noses up at them!

Very generous with their flowers and a long flowering period, what’s not to love about geraniums? Their burgeoning foliage comes in a huge array of colours and shapes. They must be one of the most forgiving and enduring yet generous plants around,

Where and how to plant geraniums

For the most part geraniums can be planted anywhere, ideally in a moderately fertile, free draining soil. The main thing with putting any plant in your garden is getting the location right. If you match your plant to the location, it will be sure to thrive. For example, there are some geranium species that will prefer a shady spot, such as phaeum, sylvaticum, maculatum and nodosum. They will grow in sun, but they won’t thrive. 

They really don’t mind which soil they’re in; clay, chalk or sandy providing they’re not in a prolonged drought or waterlogged situation.

General care

Geraniums are very easy to care for. If you’ve got them planted in the right location for their needs, they shouldn’t need a great deal of further care. In prolonged dry periods I do recommend watering, ideally in the early morning or evening.

You might like to give them a liquid feed throughout the growing season. Many geraniums benefit from a good cut back after they have flowered. They won’t necessarily produce another flush of flowers, but they will send up fresh foliage.   

Best geranium varietes

It’s very hard to pick best or favourite varieties as there are so many to choose from. My favourite species is the phaeums – for several reasons.

  1. There is a huge selection of cultivars available, lots of different flower colours and patterns and different foliage.
  2. They’re early flowering so are great for kicking everything off in the spring as the winter bulbs and hellebores are fading.
  3. Vigorous but neat growth and super easy to propagate as well as being very pest and disease resistant. Lily Lovell and Samobor are both lovely though personally I would choose Misty Samobor; the flowers open white and mature to pink, I love the two tone affect it creates.
One of Suzie’s favourite phaeum geraniums – Lily Lovell retina
And who wouldn’t love G. Misty Samobor?

Some of my favourite non-phaeum cultivars though are:

G. renardii, gorgeous textured leaves and large white flowers with purple veins.

Looking as fresh as a Spring day – G. Renardii retina

G. Elworthy Eyecatcher, large pink flowers and quite a long flowering period. 

A proper colour blast – G. Elworthy Eyecatcher

G. Azure Rush, a more compact form of the long-flowering Rozanne, but is just as floriferous.  

If you love the popular G. Roxanne – you’ll love this even more – Geranium Azure Rush

G. Lakwijk Star, a wlassovianum hybrid with large purple flowers, and stunning autumnal foliage. 

Did you see its foliage in the gallery above? What a fantastic all-rounder – Geranium Lakwijk-Star

The Hardy Geranium Nursery has a special offer for our subscribers this week. You’ll get a free set of Kathy Pickles botanical art Hardy Geraniums note cards, worth £8 (while stocks last) when you place an order for £15 or more of plants (plus postage). Just enter 3GROWBAGS in the promotional code box at the checkout.  

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

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