Traditional and unusual Shrubs,  Herbs, Plants and flowers
Scientific Name : Geranium Maculatum Common Name : Cranesbill Blooming Season : Spring, Summer Plant Habit : Upright Water : Medium Position : Sun Height : 12inches
Known as Hardy Geraniums these tough perennials are great as low care, moderate water edging plants. They bloom heavily in the spring and early summer. Trim back flowers and some of the foliage after the bloom cycle to encourage new growth and flowers. In late winter prune back close to the base of the plant to allow spring growth. Fertilise twice per year with slow release fertiliser or organic fertiliser in February and July. Divide every 3-5 years as the plants get thin, don't bloom as much and get dead sections. Most often when people hear the name Geranium they think of Grandma's plants with bright colored flowers often seen in hanging baskets and tubs Actually those plants are Pelargoniums . The real, honest to god Geraniums are low growing border perennials with lovely pastel flowers, finely divided leaves and delicate texture. Hardy geraniums have the common name- Cranesbill. The seed pods have the look of a birds beak. The native species of geranium can be weedy. Hybrids, large flowered forms are hardy to heat and cold. They can tolerate sun and light shade. Good drainage is a plus but not a must. Growing guide Geraniums are generally very adaptable and forgiving plants, which will tolerate most soils (unless really waterlogged) and, as a rule, cope with either sun or shade. The exceptions are the smaller species that do need sun and free-draining soil. During the growing season, feed with a balanced fertiliser such as growmore every month and water during prolonged dry spells. In the winter they will prefer to be kept quite dry. Pruning off the dead flower heads will encourage further flowers later in the season. The foliage of some varieties, can look tatty by midsummer, but they can be cut back hard with shears to encourage a further flush of fresh foliage. Give trimmed plants a thorough soaking and a boost with a high-potash fertiliser, such as tomato feed. Geraniums are fairly trouble free although they can be attacked by vine weevil larvae, slugs and snails. Also, in dry conditions, they may suffer from powdery mildew. A good layer of mulch applied in spring will help to combat this. The mulch helps maintain the soil moisture level, which will prevent the water stress that encourages the fungus.
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