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The Ultimate Guide to Cranesbill Geraniums: Types, Characteristics, and Care


types of cranesbill geranium
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Types of Cranesbill Geranium

Cranesbill geraniums are a popular choice among gardeners for their delicate beauty and ease of care. There are many different types of cranesbill geraniums to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the most popular types:

1. Johnson's Blue Geranium

Johnson's Blue Geranium is a classic cranesbill variety that produces stunning blue-purple flowers in late spring and early summer. It grows to a height of around 18 inches and prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

2. Rozanne Geranium

Rozanne Geranium is a newer variety that has quickly become a favorite among gardeners. It produces large, violet-blue flowers that bloom continuously from June until frost. This cranesbill variety is also known for its heat tolerance and disease resistance.

3. Geranium macrorrhizum

Geranium macrorrhizum is a tough and hardy cranesbill variety that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It produces fragrant leaves and pink or white flowers that bloom in early summer. This variety is great for groundcover or as a border plant.

4. Geranium phaeum

Geranium phaeum, also known as the mourning widow geranium, is a unique variety that produces deep purple flowers in late spring. Its foliage is also distinctive, with dark green leaves that have black markings. This cranesbill variety prefers partial shade and moist soil.

5. Geranium sanguineum

Geranium sanguineum, also called bloody cranesbill, is a low-growing variety that produces bright pink or red flowers in late spring and early summer. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

6. Geranium pratense

Geranium pratense, or meadow cranesbill, is a tall variety that grows up to 2 feet in height. It produces blue or purple flowers in early summer and prefers moist soil and partial shade.

7. Geranium cinereum

Geranium cinereum, or ashwood cranesbill, is a low-growing variety that produces delicate pink or purple flowers from June to August. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun.

Characteristics of Cranesbill Geraniums

In addition to their unique blooms, cranesbill geraniums also have several other characteristics that make them popular among gardeners:

1. Easy to Care For

Cranesbill geraniums are relatively easy to care for and can thrive in a wide range of growing conditions. They are drought-tolerant and can handle both full sun and partial shade.

2. Attract Pollinators

The beautiful blooms of cranesbill geraniums attract a wide range of pollinators, including bees and butterflies.

3. Versatile Plants

Cranesbill geraniums are versatile plants that can be used in many different ways. They are great for borders, groundcover, and container gardening.

4. Long Blooming Season

Many cranesbill geranium varieties have a long blooming season, with some flowering continuously from June until frost.

5. Low Maintenance

Cranesbill geraniums are low-maintenance plants that require little pruning or fertilizing.

Care Tips for Cranesbill Geraniums

While cranesbill geraniums are relatively easy to care for, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure they thrive:

1. Soil and Watering

Cranesbill geraniums prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. They should be watered regularly, but not over-watered, as this can lead to root rot.

2. Sunlight

Most cranesbill geraniums prefer full sun, but some varieties, like Geranium phaeum, prefer partial shade.

3. Fertilizer

Cranesbill geraniums do not require much fertilization. A light application of balanced fertilizer in early spring is usually sufficient.

4. Pruning

Cranesbill geraniums do not require much pruning, but deadheading spent blooms can encourage more flowers to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I water my cranesbill geranium?

Cranesbill geraniums should be watered regularly, but not over-watered. It's best to allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again.

2. Do cranesbill geraniums attract pollinators?

Yes, cranesbill geraniums are great at attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies with their beautiful blooms.

3. Can I grow cranesbill geraniums in containers?

Yes, cranesbill geraniums can be grown in containers. Just make sure the container has good drainage and the soil is well-drained.

4. How tall do cranesbill geraniums grow?

The height of cranesbill geraniums varies depending on the variety. Some, like Geranium sanguineum, are low-growing and only reach a height of around 6-12 inches, while others, like Geranium pratense, can grow up to 2 feet tall.

5. Do cranesbill geraniums require much maintenance?

No, cranesbill geraniums are relatively low-maintenance plants that require little pruning or fertilizing.

In cranesbill geraniums are beautiful, versatile, and easy-to-care-for plants that are perfect for any garden. With so many different varieties to choose from, you're sure to find one that suits your needs and preferences. Just remember to provide them with well-drained soil, regular watering, and plenty of sunlight, and they'll reward you with beautiful blooms year after year.


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