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Hardy geraniums--revisited

Posted by ispahan 6a Chicago (My Page) on
Fri, May 24, 13 at 22:51

Let's use this thread to discuss and consolidate our experiences with hardy geraniums aka cranesbills.

Last year I put in many small plants from a wide variety of sources. Much to my disappointment, most of them sulked the entire season, and failed to grow and bloom. Some of them even appeared to yellow and die in July and August. I thought the extreme heat and drought had done them in.

Now, during this long, cool spring with more rainfall, many of these geraniums are growing with a vengeance. Here is what I have so far:

'Rozanne'. Many of you seem to be underwhelmed with this cultivar, but I have been in love since I planted it last spring. Although she never grew much last year, she valiantly tried to bloom the entire season. This year, my little clumps have returned with added vigor, forming lusty stems with attractive foliage that are already weaving through their neighbors.

Geranium x magnificum 'Rosemoor'. This is one that seemed to die in last year's extreme heat wave. It started to regrow, albeit weakly, when cooler temperatures returned in autumn. This year, however, the plants are wonderfully robust and full and are sending up abundant flowering scapes.

Geranium maculatum 'Elizabeth Anne'. This selection of our native cranesbill is exquisite. Foliage is stunning and seems to have an almost irridescent quality to the bronze-chocolate tones that make it stand out even in a shady setting. Blooms are abundant and lovely. (I also have many plants of regular wild G. maculatum that are also wonderful in every way.)

'Tiny Monster'. I bought three pots of this cultivar last spring and decided last minute to divide them each into tiny pieces when planting them out to scatter them around the garden. Each of these pieces sat there and did nothing all season. But this year, each division is huge and lusty and covered with buds. I love the small, feathery foliage almost as much as the shocking magenta blooms.

'Blue Sunrise'. Much hardier than expected, all three of my plants have returned and look far happier than last year with greatly increased vigor.

Geranium himalayense 'Derrick Cook'. Much like 'Rosemoor' this cultivar has bulked up into highly attractive mounds of foliage and emerging bloom stalks after an unpromising first season (non) performance in my garden.

'Anne Folkard' and 'Crystal Lake'. Only one out of three of each of these cultivars survived the winter, but my remaining plants appear quite vigorous.

Geranium pyrenaicum 'Bill Wallis'. I grew these from seed and all of my original plants have survived the winter. They have been bloom for past 2-3 weeks with tiny but pretty purple flowers. I have to admit that it does look a like a weed and I hope I don't regret planting it.

Based on Richard Hawke's article on hardy geraniums found in the May/June edition of Fine Gardening magazine, I have decided to add a few more this year: Blue Cloud, Sirak, Moran and Butterfly Kisses. I am also adding a form called Eureka Blue which is said to be a more vigorous sport or possible tetraploid version of the classic 'Orion'.

What hardy geraniums do you all grow and love and recommend? Which ones have you been unsuccessful with or displeased by for whatever reason?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

Unfortunately, I don't know what I've planted because I got them from my sister who got them in trades. But, I'm very happy to hear that yours languished their first year and came back more lush. Are yours in full sun or some shade? I have limited full sun in my yard, so everything gets put in part shade at first to see if it can tolerate our most available exposure. If necessary, I can move things to my strip of full sun up by the road. I'll check back as more folk post. Have a lovely holiday weekend.

Martha


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

I have Rozanne, what's not to love? Carefree, great filler, absolutely no pink in her (a requirement in my yard!) and blooms for more than one season. Meets all of my criteria.

I HAD Bill Wallis, but unfortunately he succombed to the torrential rains that we have been having. Couldn't quite deal with the excess water.

I just bought two new ones, I'd love to hear from anyone that's growing them. Tshelda (supposed to bloom summer into fall) with blue lavender flowers and Double Jewel (supposed to bloom April to September! of course, no idea what zone they are talking about here) and has white blooms with "purple" centers. Pic looks pink to me, if that is the case, I'll have to rip them out! Hopefully, they will have lavender centers, though. Tag says "Compact and does not flop." We shall see.

Anyone grown Double Jewel or Tshelda?

This post was edited by funnthsun on Sat, May 25, 13 at 16:40


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

Good topic. I want to purchase more of them

I only have 3.....
'Rozanne' I agree what is not to love. But I understand that there are different garden styles and people like the look of mulch and space between their plants. It is not my style, I do not care for mulch I love to see plants flowing together like they are growing in the wild and not perfectly placed at a distance.

'Midnight Reiter This is second year and it is starting to take off. Very pretty large flowers.

Geranium maculatum 'Elizabeth Anne' that I purchased last year. It looked dead last year and it is barely hanging on this year.

I forgot I do have a no name pink that blooms summer and if I cut it back I get a second small bloom in the Fall.

I looked forward to other suggestions.


I have


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

"Geraniaceae" is a mail order site in CA. It carries only hardy geraniums. If you covent one you can't find retail try here. They are very well rooted, not pot bound, grown outside so they don't need to be hardened off.
I bought about 25 from her in several weeks ago and they survived our droughty weather. They're loving 3 days of rain!

The owner can also suggest ones for specific needs or sites.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

I love 'Rozanne' for its twining proclivities--looks great tangled up in Caryopteris 'Snow Fairy'.
I also have and love 'Brookside' (or it could be 'Nimbus'); Dilys, a great non-rooting groundcover; and G. wlassovianum, nice looking all season and spectacular fall color on the leaves.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Sun, May 26, 13 at 10:34

Broken record chiming in here --> "Biokovo" for a groundcover-type, and G. magnificum for a mounding cultivar.

The problem with a lot of geraniums is they get sprawly and/or floppy, and that is not an attribute I admire in a plant. The above two stay neat and tidy all season, the foliage is definitely an asset.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

How could I have forgotten to mention G. macrorhizum--big Root Geranium--a great groundcover for shade and 'Biokovo' and 'Karmina', also groundcovers for more sun.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

New Hampshire Purple for early summer bloom. It literally covers its self in bloom for about a month. It Is a clumper and I trim foliage after bloom. Grows back quickly making a nice mound again.

My Brookside purchased at Hornbakers and one bought from Bluestone eons ago are clearly different from Rozanne With flowers more on the blue side and foliage is not the same either.

Orion is another all summer bloomer for me. Really nice plant and clearly different from Brookside and Rosanne.
Flowers always on blue shaded side. Brookside and Orion both have the same growth habit of Rosanne.

Just planted Double Jewel looking forward to see how it grows.

Max Frie is gorgeous but has pale pink flowers.

Tiny Monster is a good geranium here. First year it clumped each year after grows like Rosanne. Flowers are mauve colored.

Species geranium planted where nothing else ever grew.
It"s happy there and so am I

Happy growing season everyone.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

New Hampshire Purple for early summer bloom. It literally covers its self in bloom for about a month. It Is a clumper and I trim foliage after bloom. Grows back quickly making a nice mound again.

My Brookside purchased at Hornbakers and one bought from Bluestone eons ago are clearly different from Rozanne With flowers more on the blue side and foliage is not the same either.

Orion is another all summer bloomer for me. Really nice plant and clearly different from Brookside and Rosanne.
Flowers always on blue shaded side. Brookside and Orion both have the same growth habit of Rosanne.

Just planted Double Jewel looking forward to see how it grows.

Max Frie is gorgeous but has pale pink flowers.

Tiny Monster is a good geranium here. First year it clumped each year after grows like Rosanne. Flowers are mauve colored.

Species geranium planted where nothing else ever grew.
It"s happy there and so am I

Happy growing season everyone.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

Wow, I guess I never delved deeply into the world of geraniums! Half of the ones mentioned here I've never heard of!

I tend to go for the more compact ones. I love biokovo and b. Karmina. I've tried and given away Brookside, Claridge Druce, and Johnson's Blue - too sprawly for me. I just picked up some big root at a swap and really like the foliage - planning on planting it this week, actually.

I'll have to check out some of the ones mentioned above. Fun thread!

Dee


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

hardy geranium are very easy from seed - this was a revelation for me a couple of years ago - although given pratense's rampant seeding about, I dunno how I hadn't realised this before. Anyway, pros and cons of sowing your own
cons - as these types are not sterile (obvs), it is unlikely to get a super-long flowering variety of the likes of Rozanne. Nor do many named varieties come true from seed (even if they set them).
Pros - obviously, an easy and cheap way to fill many a border.
Often quite unusual varieties, including, some of the less hardy types such as maderense, palmatum, and my favourite this year, Rambling Robin, hybrids between robustum/incanum (Silver Cloak is also one) with lovely filigree glaucous foliage. Many unusual varieties such as G.platyanthemum, G eriostemon and the easy G.wallichianum, including a pink Rozanne type, Syabru - try Plantworld or Chiltern seeds(both of who ship to the US).
Very easy - nice big seeds, easily sown in modules, very reliable requiring no special heat/light situations - very amenable to winter-sowing.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

Max Frie is gorgeous but has pale pink flowers.

I know this is might be considered a pretty prosaic geranium but I love it for its very compact size (still having a huge flush of blooms in the spring). My 3 MF are part of a border set of plants and are just now beginning to bloom with a vengeance.

(It would be a perfect plant for me if it would bloom all summer. There is no such geranium like this...right i.e.compact like MF and yet blooms like "Rozanne"?)


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

I have both Rozanne and Jolly Bee. For where I have each of them, I like Jolly Bee better. It runs and blooms and blooms until frost in an area where it is free to do so. I planted Rozanne in an area full of perennials and am not as happy with her habit to "run" everywhere. I pruned her back last year with pretty good results. If I have too much Rozanne again this year, I'll get out the pruners and give her a hair cut.

I bought Orkney Cherry last year, replacing a gift-NOID from the next door neighbor. I'm pretty sure the gift was one of the species Cranesbills, one with dark pink flowers. It got much too large for the space and I'm continuing to dig up volunteers from the whole side of the house this spring.

Orkney Cherry grew well and bloomed all summer last year. This year, it still seems small but it may be that the foliage is smaller than what I'm used to in cranesbills. I have high hopes for it since it's had a year to get established. I also like the dark color of the leaves.

Linda


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

I'm thinking that this variety Double Jewel could be one with all the parameters that some of us are looking for: long blooming and compact. It is supposed to be approx. 10 inches by 10 inches--no legginess. It supposed to bloom from April to October. Here is a pic of mine, although newly-planted, you can see that it is holding the rounded shape. (Ignore the Rozanne behind it.)


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

I don't have extensive Geranium experience, but here's what I have/had:

Biokovo-I have 3 clumps growing where my concrete walkway meets my asphalt driveway. So, it gets super hot. In 2 years time, I have nice 18" wide clumps. I suspect by next year, they may grow together.

Ballerina-I was thrilled with how it performed last year. But it has completely disappeared... no signs of even the crown. I wonder if it succumbed to rot this spring.

Midnight Reiter-planted this in 2011.... I'm underwhelmed. It's not been a great grower. Not shrunk, but stayed the same 1 gallon size.

I want to try Rozanne, but I'm not sure it'll appropriatey fill the space now vacated by Ballerina..... might need something shorter.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

How about some pictures? My favorites I got in trades, so only know the name of one. I have a lovely rich pink blooming right now. Never floppy. I've had it for maybe 3 years and it is almost 2 feet wide! One with a really unique flower form is Lily Lowell. The rationale of the cranebill name is obvious on that even while the flower is just starting.


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RE: Hardy geraniums--revisited

Used to have Brookside in back of a semi circle of coreopteris the dark purple blue blooms of brookside would fall into the silvery foliage of the coreopteris. Geez that was gorgeous. The geranium made it appear as thou the bush bloomed all season. There were also three tall slender Indian Sioux grass behind. After about three years the coreopteris couldn't take the moisture any more. Now I do as another poster and plant the sprawlers with rose bushes. A plus during JB season when the geranium is blooming in the rose bush.


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