Geranium macrorrhizum

hardy geranium

cranesbill

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Outstanding Qualities

Few people think of hardy geraniums as a groundcover. The very useful species, Geranium macrorrhizum makes a tight and dense mat of fragrant, light green foliage. The evergreen foliage is topped with profuse clusters of mid-to-light pink flowers in late spring to early summer. This hardy geranium's weed blocking foliage creates a slow-spreading patch that provides great filler around other perennials. It does not have an aggressive root system and will not harm the more delicate shallow root systems of plants like rhododendrons and azaleas. Geranium macrorrhizum works well growing in front of taller perennials such as Asters or Solidago. It is also quite useful as an edging for borders. It's medium-sized, round leaves contrast well with the fine foliage and textures of ornamental grasses or woody shrubs like, Nandina, hebes and barberry.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: spreading perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 5 ft. 0 in. (1.52 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Flower Color: pink

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light or open shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering during prolonged dry periods

Wildlife Associations: bees, butterflies

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: dark green, gold, silver

Great Color Partners: pink, lavender, rose

Culture Notes
This groundcover hardy geranium grows best in rich moist to well-drained soil, but is tough and will tolerate sand and clay. Plant it in full sun to light or open shade. This plant requires very little maintenance. A light shearing in mid winter can tidy the foliage, but is not necessary. It has relatively shallow roots and can easily be divided and spread to other areas in the garden. Divisions are best done while dormant, from late fall to early spring. Once established this hardy geranium only needs occasional water during prolonged dry periods.