By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
When searching for flowers that are adaptable, compact and long-blooming, consider hardy geranium plants (Geranium spp.). Also called cranesbill geranium flower, the plant comes in colors ranging from pinks, blues and vivid purples to subdued whites. Attractive, cup shaped or frilly flowers bloom profusely and spread abundantly. The hardy geranium flower blooms in late spring and lasts until fall. Some hardy geranium plants have attractive foliage that lasts until nipped by frost.
How to Plant Hardy Geraniums
Growing hardy cranesbill geranium may be as easy as planting and watching it blossom when conditions are somewhat damp. Hardy geranium plants grow best in consistently moist soil when first planted, but become somewhat drought tolerant when established. Growing hardy cranesbill geranium in fertile soil also encourages the plant to spread.
Many varieties of hardy geranium plants exist and thrive in full sun to shady locations. When considering how to plant hardy geraniums, consider the location where you wish to plant and choose an appropriate plant for the available sunlight.
Locate the plant where it has room to sprawl, clipping the edges back if necessary to keep it within its boundaries. Some varieties may be used as ground cover, while others are attractive as border plants. Brighten the rock garden with various cultivars of the cranesbill geranium flower, which may be as short as six inches or as tall as three feet. Smaller varieties may cascade from containers.
Hardy geraniums should be planted so the crown of the plant is at soil level; planting the crown more deeply can result in the loss of the cranesbill geranium flower.
Hardy Geranium Care
Hardy geranium care involves the removal of spent blooms and occasional watering for the best performance.
When mature, the cranesbill geranium flower has few insect pests and requires only limited fertilization. Rich organic soil is often all the plant needs for optimum growth and flower set.