Hardy geraniums, sometimes known as Cranesbill geraniums, are a real feel-good plant as it’s hard not to be successful with them. You can take advantage of the fact that they are happiest when grown in sunny areas and don’t like to be overwatered. They are extremely hardy and can tolerate temperatures up to -20°, so can survive even the harshest of British winters.
Their colours range from the violet-blue ‘Brookside’, to the striking magenta of the ‘Pink Penny’, to the delicately veined renardii. With hundreds of varieties to choose from, there is a geranium for everyone!
The foliage of many varieties of geranium is highly attractive in its own right. Many varieties produce low growing, carpet-like foliage, making them ideal as ground cover. Flowers are generally quite small but are produced in huge abundance and will almost cover the whole plant when in full bloom.
Flowering times vary between varieties. Some will flower for only a few weeks in spring, with others such as ‘Rozanne’ flowering from early summer through to autumn. Hardy geraniums are extremely useful for filling gaps in beds and borders when spring blossoms have finished and summer flowers have yet to open.
Well established hardy geraniums will grow larger over time so can be lifted and divided in spring or autumn. Cut or ‘divide’ sections from the parent plant making sure you take some root with it, and simply plant in the ground or a container. The parent plant won’t be damaged and you can continue dividing every year or two.
Geraniums are extremely pest resistant. They won’t be munched on by rabbits, deer, slugs and snails but are adored by bees.
With all of these wonderful attributes, there's no good reason why you shouldn’t grow your geraniums in abundance!