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Geraniaceae

Geranium

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Geranium himalayense

These indispensable perennials offer distinctive leaves and simple flowers in white and shades of blue and pink. There are plants for almost any climate, in a range of sizes from 5-inch buns to 5-foot giants. In an era of highly hybridized, flamboyant plants and doubled flowers, hardy geraniums are modest and restful to the eye. They are versatile perennials that thrive everywhere.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsGeraniums occur as wildflowers widely—around the world from alpine slopes to low grasslands and woodlands—so there’s likely to be a geranium for any garden from USDA Hardiness Zone 1 (below -50°F) to the mild-winter areas of California and Florida. With the simple charm of wildflowers, they fill niches in woodland settings, perennial borders and rock gardens and can visually link shrubs to more formal and brightly colored perennials.

CareThe majority need only reasonably fertile, reasonably moist soil. A few prefer gritty, well-drained soil.

PropagationHardy geraniums are easy to propagate. Most can be started from seeds in the spring or divided at any time during the growing season.

ProblemsMost are not troubled by pests and diseases.

Species and cultivars

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