Try an Easygoing Perennial with All the Frills

Perennial of the Week: Geum/Avens

If you think everything that is worthwhile requires oodles of hard work, it’s time to get to know Geum – commonly known as Avens. These easygoing perennials produce neat, compact foliage and present gardeners with prolific, frilly, rose-like blooms that begin in early spring and continue through the summer. Geum lights up the landscape with warm-toned flowers that can range from cream to yellow to orange, pink, and scarlet.

Are they deer resistant? Yes. The hummingbirds and butterflies will stop by to visit, though.

Grow your Geum in full sun to partial sun. Use them in borders, rock gardens, cottage gardens, and even as ground cover. You’ll want to add some to your cutting garden, too, as they make wonderful cut flowers. These plants are not fussy, and will perform in ordinary soil, and garden beds that contain clay and sand. They are also hardy in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Zones 4 and 5.

Deadheading (removing the spent blossoms) encourages repeat flowering, and plants appreciate a “haircut” (removal of old flower stems) at the end of the season.

Purple Avens: Flames of Passion is not purple, but a rich scarlet variety of Geum. This plant will bloom continually throughout the summer, growing 16-20 inches tall. The dark-green leaves send up black stems bearing dramatic red flowers. Bonus: This variety is also known for being rabbit resistant.

Avens Totally Tangerine is all about (surprise!) orange blossoms that just won’t quit. Flowers begin to appear in May and continue to grace the garden well into September. This hybrid of Geum rivale is a tall beauty that can reach 2.5 feet in height.

The variety known as “Borisii” grows between 12-15 inches tall and thrills gardeners with orange-red flowers with bright yellow centers.

The hummingbirds in your neighborhood would like a Banana Daiquiri — Avens Banana Daiquiri to be precise. This semi-double lemon-yellow blooming variety is part of the Cocktails ™ series. A closer look at the flowers, which appear in late spring, reveals their fine veins and deep yellow anthers. These plants can reach 18 inches in height.

Of course, you might prefer Avens Mai Tai, which grows to a similar height (14-18 inches). This variety blooms from early to mid-spring and provides an exciting show that begins with a dark red bud. When they first open, the frilled flowers are salmon to orange and later turn a pale pink. Butterflies love this plant; deer don’t.

Now that you are familiar with Geum/Avens, stop by and pick up some Rohsler’s Grown plants today! 

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