Caring For Hardy Geranium

The care information provided in this section represents the kind of practical advice is available for all the plants in this web site if you subscribe to the monthly customized newsletter Yardener’s Advisor.

Although bloodred cranesbill is moderately drought resistant, it grows most vigorously with adequate moisture. Water it well when it is first planted. If rainfall is normal there is no need to water. During any prolonged droughty periods water it with the other perennials and annuals in the yard. Run a sprinkler or drip system for 20 to 30 minutes every 5 to 7 days until rainfall resumes. For information on products see the file on Choosing Watering Equipment

Sprinkle a small handful of an all-purpose granular fertilizer on the soil around each clump of cranesbill in the spring for the rain to soak in. Do not let it touch the stems or foliage of the plant. This should be sufficient for the season. For more information see the file for Fertilizer Products

Mulching and Weed Control
A 2 or 3 inch layer of some attractive organic material spread on the soil around mounds of cranesbill offers several benefits. This layer of wood chips, chopped leaves or something similar discourages weeds, retards water evaporation and run-off from rains or sprinkler, and conditions the soil as it decays. For more information see the file on Using Mulch

The easiest way to acquire more cranesbill plants is to divide exisiting clumps when they begin to get too large for their space in the garden. This is likely to happen every 4 years or so. In either the spring or fall gently dig under the clump and lift it from the soil to expose the tangle of roots. Gently loosen small clumps up to 6 to 8 inches from the edges of the main plant and separate them, taking care to keep as much of the root system as possible. Plant each small clump as described above in new locations. Cranesbill's long rangy roots are difficult to retain, so it may only be possible to get small slips of plant with barely developed roots. Treat these as cuttings and insert them into a box or bed of moist vermiculite for a week or two to encourage their root systems. Then plant them in the yard.

Winter Protection
While these plants do not require special winter protection, like most plants they benefit from a covering of winter mulch after the ground begins to freeze. Spread a light covering of chopped leaves or evergreen boughs over the plants in areas where winters are severe. See the files on Winter Protection For Plants and Plant Protection Supplies

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