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The 4 Best Hardy Geraniums for Your Garden

Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.

The violet-blue geranium 'Rozanne' is an excellent choice for almost any garden.

The violet-blue geranium 'Rozanne' is an excellent choice for almost any garden.

4 Hardy Geraniums to Plant in Your Garden

  1. Geranium 'Anne Thomson': This plant produces striking magenta flowers with black eyes. It flowers all summer long.
  2. Geranium 'Ann Folkard': Very similar in appearance to 'Anne Thomson', this excellent plant is vigorous and requires very little care.
  3. Geranium 'Rozanne': This violet-blue geranium is an award winner. It flowers all summer long, making glorious clouds of blue, and is perfect for the front of a border.
  4. Geranium renardii: This is a smaller plant than the others, with tactile, felt-like leaves that you'll enjoy long after the white, violet-veined blooms of early summer have passed.

All four of these plants may be grown in full sun or part shade in well-drained soil and are suitable for US hardiness zones 5 to 8. 'Anne Thomson' and renardii also do well in zone 9. All are hardy to -20C (-4F).

Geraniums, like the 'Anne Thomson' cultivar shown here, fill in garden gaps without overwhelming other plants.

Geraniums, like the 'Anne Thomson' cultivar shown here, fill in garden gaps without overwhelming other plants.

Why Geraniums Are a Must for Any Garden

While geraniums do look lovely in pots, they're true musts in the garden. Here are a few arguments for planting geraniums.

They Fill in Garden Gaps

They're ideal for padding any gaps in your herbaceous borders or flower beds, and we all have gaps! They give an informal yet exuberant feel to any plantings.

They're Low-Maintenance and Provide Year-Round Interest

What's more, geraniums are low-maintenance and provide interest and color from spring until winter. It's no wonder that experts advise, 'if in doubt, plant a geranium'. Once geraniums are established, the only work required for most types is to cut back dead growth in spring.

They Won't Overwhelm Adjacent Plants

Many geraniums are scramblers, which means that their foliage spreads out of the border, filling any spaces with delicate flowers. This is especially useful in places where you've planted spring bulbs that disappear completely in summer.

Bulbs like tulips, anemones, crocuses, daffodils, netted irises and snowdrops all have foliage that melts away in summer, leaving bare earth behind. Yet you can't plant anything in that space, as it would stop the bulbs from coming back up and spreading. This is the situation where geraniums shine.

Most geraniums are clump-forming, so their roots never interfere with adjacent plants. Instead, their foliage works its way around, weaving into large and small spaces without overwhelming plants.

Geranium vs. Pelargonium

Though these two plants are often called by the same name, they have very different qualities and should not be used interchangeably. Here's how to tell the difference between garden and pot geraniums.

How to Care for Geranium Renardii

How to Divide and Replant Garden Geraniums

More Garden Inspiration!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Rachel Darlington

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