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Perennial of the Week: Geraniums

You want it all, and Hardy Geraniums deliver. Hardy and adaptable, Hardy Geraniums will grow in a wide range of soil conditions in full to part sun. They also stand tough against heat and drought. Many varieties are also deer resistant making them a welcome addition to the garden.

Try Hardy Geraniums as a groundcover in small spaces, borders, cottage gardens, and pollinator gardens. Bees and butterflies love them, and so do savvy gardeners.

If you’re wondering about the aesthetic merits of these hard-working plants, here’s the bottom line: They’re gorgeous. Their showy flowers range from white to pink to purple to blue and bluish violet. While some perennials bloom for a particular timeframe and then stop until the following year, Hardy Geraniums often produce a second round of blooms in the late summer. Lucky you!

Even when they are not flowering, their foliage provides texture and color. Hardy Geraniums have “cut” leaves that can appear fern-like in some species. In the fall, the leaves turn shades of deep red, augmenting the seasonal color.

Some sources say the name Geranium sanguineum, “Bloody Geranium” or “Bloody Cranesbill,” is a reference to the plants’ scarlet leaves.

While that matter may be subject to speculation, most people agree that the names Geranium and Cranesbill are firmly rooted in the Greek word “geranos,” or crane, which accurately describes the plants’ pointed fruit, which resembles the bill of a crane.

Several Rohsler’s Grown varieties of Hardy Geraniums are currently in bud and bloom. Look for the following Hardy Geraniums in pots that bear the Rohsler’s Grown logo:

Geranium sanguineum  — purple

Geranium sanguineum “album” — white

Geranium sanguineum “Ankum’s pride” – pink with red markings

Geranium sanguineum var. Striatum – pink with red veining

Geranium sanguinium “Max Frei” — purple

Geranium Tiny Monster – a vivid pink with ruffled petals

Geranium Orion – bluish purple

Geranium Rozanne — purple

Geranium Azure Rush – light blue

Geranium pratense “Midnight Reiter” – violet blue

Our staff will be happy to assist you in deciding which varieties of Hardy Geraniums will perform best in your garden and landscape. Have a pleasant Memorial Day and we look forward to seeing you.

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