The Dirt

Geranium Trials at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Purple Geraniums
Geranium himalayense. Photo: Michelle Gervais

Richard Hawke is plant evaluation manager at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where he conducts long-term trials on dozens of ornamental plants. For the past 15 years, he has evaluated more than 180 varieties of true geraniums (Geranium spp. and cvs.), then tabulated the results of those available today for purchase by gardeners.

You’ll find Richard’s top picks and why he likes them in “Geraniums: The Best of the Best” in the May/June 2012 issue of Fine Gardening (#145). We couldn’t print the full results of his study in the magazine, but we can offer many of them here as a download.

The chart includes more than 100 geranium varieties, and each is characterized by sun/shade requirements, plant height and width, flower color and size, bloom period, and flower coverage, along with Richard’s rating. If you’re in the market for a new geranium or if you want to get an expert opinion on a plant you already have, download the chart and take a look.



Geranium trial results (Excel file)

Geranium trial results (PDF file)

More info

See geranium varieties in Fine Gardening‘s Plant Guide

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