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Kitchen Gardening

If You’re not Growing Geums, You’re Missing Out

They’re uncommon and good looking, and they shine at a time when not much else does. What more could you want?

Fine Gardening - Issue 144

Plant-Trial Results | EXPERT TESTED

It was a late-spring morning, outside the Indianapolis Museum of Art, when I first consciously noticed geums (Geum spp. and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 3–9). It was shocking to see a plant with startlingly bright flowers—other than tulips—in the midst of the pastel spring landscape. For years after this encounter, I wondered why I didn’t see many geums in local beds and borders. Were they too “hot” for the average gardener to handle? After all, these plants do flaunt their smoldering reds, simmering oranges, and fiery yellows at a time of year when softer hues reign supreme. While I think there may be some gardeners that stay away from geums because of their hot-color palette, there is a more obvious reason why they are so rare in gardens: competition.

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