How to Grow Hardy Perennial Geranium
Hardy geranium are wonderful flowering plants, and are very popular among gardeners in most climate zones.
These plants come in a variety of colors and bring a desirable versatility to your garden.
Different varieties of this plant have different heights – for example, Geramium cinereum reaches up to ten to fifteen centimetres (or four to six inches), and Geramium psilostemon will grow as big as hundred and twenty centimetres high (three to four feet), so you can use them for different levels of your flower beds arrangement.
The Geranium likes a rich soil, moist but well drained. In fact you should avoid letting the soil dry off: try to water the plants as often as possible, but at the same time there should not be any standing water in your garden to prevent the roots of the plants from rotting.
These plants do not care that much about the pH of soil, but the best option would be to plant them into slightly acid or neutral soil (5.8 -7). It can be mildly fertilized, but do not overdo the fertilizer – too much nitrogen will result in extra-large foliage and no flowers.
The preferred lighting conditions for these plants is full sun (if watered well) and they can also handle partial shading, but may become more susceptible to mildew you keep them too damp.
Other than that, growing in mixed shade would not be a problem – a little of full sun at noon would keep the foliage from excessive straggling. Hardy perennial geranium will also survive in full shade, but the cost of that would be reduced blooming.
The procedure of dead heading is not that easy with geraniums as the plants become a little scraggly after a blooming period.
You can choose an alternative way of shearing the plant: it will induce the second blooming and improve the look of the geranium in general. It will take the plant a few weeks to fill back though.
However, there are some varieties of Geranium which can be easily deadheaded and therefore do not need to be sheared. Geranium macrorrhizum is one of these varieties.
To prolong your Geranium’s life, it is advisable to divide the plant every three to five years. Of course, you can do that more frequently to prevent them from spreading if needed.
The most common colours of geranium’s flowers are pink and blue shades. Sometimes the colour combination creates an interesting effect – even red flowers seem to be touched with blue.
Young geranium plants may be attached by slugs.
In partial shade and moist conditions there may be a danger of the foliage being infested by mildew and rust. If this occurs, the damaged leaves should be removed, but if there are too many of them – pruning the plant back will help to get rid of these unpleasant conditions.