Crane's bill

Common name: Hardy Garden Geranium

An excellent hardy ground cover plant that is also well suited for container planting.

They also do quite well in a partially shaded site providing it is well drained.

Plants will not tolerate a wet root system!

Garden geraniums flower from early May until the first frosts.

The colour range of the flowers includes white, pink, lavender, blue, purple and magenta.

Some varieties may even sport veined petals.



Do not overfeed the plants as this can lead to lank spindly foliage at the expense of flowers.

Plants generally grow from 200-300mm (8"-12") high and spread to around 500mm (18")

Tall growing species may need the support of twiggy sticks, particularly in exposed or shady sites.

Regular deadheading will help to prolong the flowering season.

As the flowers fade, cut back the flowering stems to just below the foliage to encourage a second flush of flowers.

Cultivation

Week 4: Sow seed in trays of seed compost 21°C (70°F)

Germination should take five or six days.

Week 6: When seedlings are large enough to handle prick out 75mm (3”) pots and grow on in a minimum temperature of 10°C (50°F)

Week 12: Place in frost free cold frame until planting out time.

Week 18: Feed every couple of months with a balanced liquid fertiliser to boost performance.

Week 27: In late summer, mildew (small white patches on the foliage) can be a problem.

Routine spraying with a recommended systemic fungicide will help.

Week 35: Plant 500mm (18") apart out in fairly dry soils in a sunny site between now and April.

Week 36: If established clumps become untidy, open or woody divide them between now and April, re-plant immediately.

Established plants can also be divided now and replanted immediately after.





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