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Regional Picks: Plants for Dry Shade – Northeast

Fine Gardening – Issue 158

Bigroot geranium

Name: Geranium macrorrhizum

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8

Size: Up to 18 inches tall and 2 to 3 feet wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil

Once established, bigroot geranium is one of the best perennials for dry shade. If this plant had a mailbox, it would probably receive thank-you notes from grateful gardeners across the country. The deeply lobed, slightly fuzzy leaves are apple scented when crushed, making the plant deer and rabbit resistant. It starts blooming in late spring and continues through early summer with lovely pink flowers. Perhaps one of this plant’s most desirable features is its fall foliage, which turns beautiful shades of reddish orange. Bigroot geranium is fairly care-free, requiring only a little shearing after the initial flush of bloom to encourage some fresh foliage growth.

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