Favorite hardy geraniums?

linrose(6b KY)April 9, 2010

I just bought Dilys, Brookside, MacBevans Variety and Macrorrhizum. I have Biokovo, Biokovo Karmina, Rozanne, G. striatum lancastriense, and Purple Pillow that I can think of right off the bat. I've had mixed results so I want to know what you like and have been successful with. Location is everything with hardy geraniums I've found. I've moved them around a lot to find the perfect spot for them.

What's your experience?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sue36(Z5 Maine)

I have Rozanne in a mostly sunny location (sun until about 2:00, Endless Summer Hydrangeas like this area also), and it grows like crazy. MacBevans and Biovoko are on the north side with a few hours of sun in the morning and then a little in the afternoon. They seem very happy. The Biokovo got so huge I had to divide it after only 2 years. I planted G. striatum lancastriense in an area that is mostly sunny, but nothing grows well in this garden (I think due to Birch roots). It is struggling along, so I will move it, maybe this weekend. I also have Nimbus, but it is too soon to know if it will do well where it is (west side, all afternoon sun). I had two Ballerina planted near the Rozanne. They were very unhappy. I lost one and moved the other to the north side, near the Biokovo. It looks like it made it through the winter, but I don't know if it will thrive there yet.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have always had a thing for hardy geraniums. The prettiest I have had was ballerina, but alas, I killed it. I planted it in a pot in partial sun. I looked for another one locally, and have not seen another ballerina yet.
It was compact and pretty, with grayish green leaves and exquisite little flowers.
I'm willing to try another because you say that location is everything and I think I can pick a better spot. I think morning sun only may be the key?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
laceyvail(6A, WV)

If you like geraniums, try G. wlassovianum--good bloom and spectacular fall color.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gottagarden(z5 western NY)

Without trying, I seem to have become a collector of these. They do so well, effortlessly. I've never had one die or even look unhappy.

Patricia - bright violet/magenta color, long stems almost viny, very slow grower

Orion - beautiful purple and blue

Wargrave pink - pink blossoms on tall stems

Samobor - great dark splotch on the leaves makes them handsome all season

Rozanne - for the long bloom time and great color

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Geranium magnificum - love it! Also a big, big fan of "Biokovo" as a groundcover.

These photos of G. magnificum are from early June 2009. Had a lot of unopened buds at the time the photo was snapped, wasn't in its full glory:


    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

I should note that a major reason I'm partial to the above two is that they don't get that "weedy" look some geraniums tend to get - they're not weaver-type cultivars.

"Biokovo" *always* stays low and tight, and I whack G. magnificum down to the ground immediately after blooming, and it bounces back at lightening speed to form a very tidy mid-height clump of foliage which is a great asset to the bed.

Also, the foliage of "Biokovo" is fragrant, which I enjoy - to my nose, it is reminiscent of Vernors, but others have told me they detect a pine-like scent.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beautiful pictures, mxk. I love the built-in garden bench.
I did not know that biokovo stays neat and compact; it is nice to know because I have a small garden.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
linrose(6b KY)

I like the compact forms too. Rozanne gets viny which is OK sometimes, like when it clambers among the roses. It really likes more sun than shade, I've had them fizzle out in half shade. They stay bushier in full sun. The clumpiest (is that a word?) one I have is Purple Pillow. It stays neat and compact, just like its name. I moved a Biokovo into more sun and it is doing better. Most of the shade comes from surrounding perennials and shrubs.

Gorgeous photos mxk3. Great specimens. In fact all your plants look happy and well cared for. G. magnificum is lovely. I'll have to check that one out for sure. I love the built-in bench too! Great idea for a hillside garden.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mxk3, I love all the different textures and colors in your bed. I really want to add more shrubs to my perennial borders like you have done. :)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 12:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've never heard any one complain about g.magnificum, but mine flops. Does it need full, full sun?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 12:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mxk3 your photos top; does your G. x magnificum set fertile seed? Does it reflower after your cutting back as mine does not. Strange that the crossing of species of two geraniums do not continue flowering for the season.(Consider aster x Frikartii, never without a flower in season.)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 2:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

RE: G. magnificum: Like I said, I hack it down to the ground immediately post flowering and it makes a lush clump of foliage that stays very neat and tidy the rest of the season - no flopping.

No clue if it sets fertile seed - the hacking down takes care of the seed issue. :0p

RE: The built-in bench: I am dreading the day that sunken patio starts to cave in, that day probably isn't too far off. As you can see, the walls/benches are wooden, they're already rotting out in some places. Oh, and there's a resident woodchuck who lives under there and multiple families of chipmunks, I'm sure that's de-stabilizing the area, too. Oh dear is that area going to be *expensive* to have re-done. Well, we want to move in a few years anyway, hopefully it will hold until then, then it will be someone else's problem....

I do love having a walk-out lower level, though :0)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 11:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
christinmk z5b eastern WA

Like another poster said above, didn't realize I had a collection until I counted them up on my list. Turns out there are seventeen of them, lol. But I justify that by the fact that Geraniums are so versitile- when in doubt, plant a Geranium!

So far my favorite Geraniums have been:
Geranium magnificum (fairly certain this plant is sterile, or does not set seed)

The Geranium cantabrigiense (like Biokovo) and macrorrhizum are also wonderful plants.

I also love my G. sanguineum 'Vision Violet' and 'Vision Light Pink' since they tolerate a bit of dryness and will rebloom some if deadheaded.

Also like the double G. himalayense 'Plenum', even though it is a flopper.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

When in doubt, plant a Geranium - Margery Fish, British gardener & designer.

There's not many that I do not like. Certainly, 'Rozanne' & 'Jolly Bee' top the list for long-blooming appeal. I love G. magnificum, in particular a form called 'Rosemoor'. The G. cantabrigiense and G. macrorrhizum forms are great for weed-proof mats, both being useful for difficult dry-shade areas.

I planted the new 'Sandrine', 'Perfect Storm' and 'Dragon Heart' last year and look forward to seeing their performance this year.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 1:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gonativegal(zone 5a)

All lovely - I really dig wargave's pink and biokovo; I use these alot in client's yards. Mxk - love the pictures! I will have to try G. magnificum.

Here's two more that I really like from my own place:

Geranium maculatum - Native wild geranium, early bloomer in late April/May with light pink blossoms and lovely foliage. Prefers partial shade.

Geranium pratense - Meadow Geranium (I think it's native to the British Isles). Creates a huge 2 to 2 1/2 perfect mound with sky blue flowers in May to early June right after G. maculatum has finished. And if you cut the foliage back after flowering you oftentimes get a second crop of flowers later in the summer which is a bonus. Will take full sun to partial shade.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wish cutting it back after it bloomed made it less floppy while it is in bloom! That's the problem: while blooming, not after blooming.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

That purple variety by the wooden bench is beautiful! How big was the original plant and what kind of care is needed for it to look like yours? How old is that beautiful purple plant? That's going on my wish list for next year! I'm clipping your posting so I'll know the name of it. Thanks for sharing your photos.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 1:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Ida: Is it in FULL sun? If not, do you think that could be the problem - ?

Pippi: That is G. magnificum. I bought bare roots years ago (around 12 years ago) and have divided them numerous times - it's a strong grower. Full sun, average water, cut back after blooming to keep it tidy - other than that, no extra care!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

MXK3, beautiful pics of two of my favorite geraniums also. Here is Biokovo Karmina along with the white Biokovo. They are great performers in my not so great ammended clay soil. The scent is a pleasant 'pine' to me, but my DH says it stinks!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 9:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
christinmk z5b eastern WA

-gazania, can't tell you how much I love that bed! Wonderful color combos.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mxk3(Zone 6 SE MI)

Wow, Gazania - that bed is GORGEOUS!!!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 3:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leafy02(6 Central Kentucky)

I put in several 'St. Ola' last year and I adore them. They stay quite low and neat, and they've doubled or more in spread since they were planted last May or so. They are in full sun near a brick walkway. They have white blooms similar to Biokovo, I am not sure what the difference is between the two.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 8:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brody(z7 WA)

Least favorite hardy geraniums would be easier to pin down. There are just too many good ones and all have different qualities I find valuable. My personal favorites are probably 'Russel Pritchard' 'Buxton's Variety' and 'Ann Folkard' but I love the colors in G. psilostemon and G. cinereum subcaulescens even though their season is short. G. macrorrhyzum is probably the most vauable of all as ground cover in dry shade and for its tidy, fresh foliage.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 4:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just got into Hardy geraniums last couple years and love them. For those of you that are really into it do you do any fertilization?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 5:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I got one called Dragon Heart and I love it!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I have a few and like them all, Jolly Bee, Cambridge, Biokovo, Ann Folkard, Annabelle's Variety, Midnight Reiter Strain. A very low growing, the flowers the color of Ann Folkard, caught my eye at a garden center the other day, me thinks I must go back and pick one up :).


    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would recommend Geranium psilosetemon. It's a moster compared to other geraniums, forming a huge, billowy mass covered for about 2 months by very large magenta blooms with black centres. Mine sprawls through my Tiger Eyes sumac, and the combination of deep pinks and day-glow yellow is stunning.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 9:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I just bought one called 'Cheryl's Shadow', chocolate pink foliage, pale pink flowers, grows 6-10". I also picked up 'Crystal Rose' another low grower 12" with magenta flowers. Anyone have these?


    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 3:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a new cultivar of G.magnificum Rosemoor, which stays upright for the whole season. Geranium psilostemon and its hybrid Patricia are not totally hardy below zone 7 in Denmark. I've had Patricia for 10 years, and this winter all the clumps died.I think it could have survived if covered with something.Pity, it was the only Geranium worth growing in my opinion.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

I have had G.magnificum Rosemoor for several years, and it is a very trouble-free plant, grows in part shade or sun,and average soil. After it blooms, I cut the foliage back quite a bit and it forms new leaves and acts as an attractive green groundcover. It is NOT a rebloomer. Patricia grows fairly well for me, but I find it is not very drought tolerant. The leaves tend to brown around the edges if too dry. No problem with winter hardiness for me (USDA zone 4/5). My longest bloomers are Jolly Bee and Rozanne, but there are many others to try as well. It depends on what you like and your climate.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 8:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi I am going to a herb farm come spring for Salvias and Geraniums and wanted to bring this thread back to get more opinions on some of your favorite hardy geraniums. Maybe a couple of years later to see if you still like the ones you did before or any new ones you have tried. Thanks...If you want to browse the nursery I am going to it is http://www.sandymushherbs.com/download/Handbook9.pdf

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

bobbygil, climate is one of the deciding factors for choosing geraniums to grow in your garden. The ones that grow well (or NOT so well) for me may not be the same as for you. Try to get the advice of people in a similar climate, soil, heat, summer humidity, winter hardiness, etc. Most geraniums do not like extremes of any kind. Good luck. They are a wonderful family of plants.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:09AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What groundcover would you mix with Helleborus?
I'd like to plant a new bed of hellebores, but I'm...
magpiepix 5b/6a
A walk in the park
A few pictures from my local park this morning.
floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
lost blooms on azalea and hydrangea
It got below freezing last night and today I noticed...
Elk in Dogs for mrtulin
The link is in here scroll down and have fun. Some...
Patty W. zone 5a Illinois
Sponsored Products
Star Wars 18-Oz. Travel Tumbler
$8.99 | zulily
Lights Up! Red Mumm Small Meridian Accent Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Rectangular Outdoor Market Umbrella
Grandin Road
Fiesta Tangerine AD Espresso Cup & Saucer - 807325
$12.99 | Hayneedle
Mille Righe Flat Sheet
$129.50 | FRONTGATE
Kinston Single-Hole Bathroom Faucet
Signature Hardware
Welles Ottoman - Key Largo Grape Purple
Joybird Furniture
Caribbean Style Rope Hammock with Wood Arc Stand - AL594
$379.98 | Hayneedle
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™