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Geranium Cinereum

Geranium cinereum, is another very popular perennial geranium plant (cranesbill).Pelargoniums (torchsbills/scented geraniums) look similar and often get confused with geraniums. Both genera are closely related and belong to the geraniaceae family.

Geranium cinereum is native to the Pyrenees Mountains. Several subspecies and varieties exist and the most popular of them for gardeners are:

Geranium Purple Pillow
The flowers have an intense purple color and a prominent darker colored centre.

Geranium Ballerina
The flowers have a light purple color with dark contrasting veins and a very prominent darker colored centre.

Geranium Guiseppii
The Flowers are carmine red with a purple black centre.

Their foliage is blue-green in color.

These three, pretty and long blooming varieties are truly jewels for your garden! The flowers attract insects and birds and they are terrific butterfly garden plants!

The plants only grow about 15 cm in height and an individual plant spreads about 30 cm. It is best to plant 10 to 20 plants per square meter about 20 centimetres apart from each other. These are ground-cover plants that are suitable for rock gardens, dry walls, border fronts and cottage gardens. Yet, they also grow in containers, on balconies and in small gardens. They like to grow in well-drained, sandy and chalky soils and in places with full sun to part shade.

Because these are ground covering herbaceous shrubs, they are great for weed suppressing!

They bloom from June to September and sometimes to October. This geranium species is a wintergreen plant in mild winters. The plants loose their leaves in frosty winters but sprout again in spring. Trim the foliage if it looks shabby (this might happen in summer) and a new flush of foliage will grow back. Do the same with withered flowers, this will initiate an additional bloom!

Propagation: The seeds are best sown in spring and the adult plants can be divided in spring or fall.

Pruning: Deadhead them before the flowers grow seeds and trim side stems to prevent an excessive self-spreading.

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