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Geranium sanguineum

 

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A hardy Geranium, sun loving Bloody Crane's Bill is the most popular of them all. Blooms for months with no care at all. In autumn the leaves turn red adding to the plant's vibrance. (Geranium sanguineum)

Zones 3 - 8
Advantages
Groundcover
Groundcover
Extended Blooms
Extended Blooms
Plants for Small Spaces
Plants for Small Spaces
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Half Sun / Half Shade
Half Sun / Half Shade
Mature Plant Size 8-12" tall, 12-16" wide
Bloom Time Early to late summer
Size Plant - 3" pot
SKU 73PER

Plant Information

This is one of my favorite plants. I planted one in our wildflower meadow in Vermont over a decade ago, and very few other flowers have rewarded us so richly. It has had no special care, left to its own for watering and everything else, growing in tough, heavy clay. From the beginning, I was amazed how it simply stayed in bloom. From late spring all the way into fall--that clump with the deep red flowers was always there! Over the years, it has spread nicely, and is more beautiful every season.

This incredible geranium is not a No. American native, but it is closely related and reminds many people of our own Wild Geranium, G. maculata (which by the way has a very short bloom season!). Geranium sanguineum is a beautiful dark green groundcover-like plant with ferny foliage, it is not invasive, it needs absolutely no care, and it just keeps blooming. Who could ask for more from any plant? You cant beat this one for anyplace where you'd like low permanent cover and constant color.

About The Hardy Geraniums. These fantastic perennials were not very well-known in North America until recent years, but have always been a favorite group in Europe. Now, American gardeners have really embraced them, and cant get enough. Far different from windowbox geraniums, which are in a totally different botanical group, the hardy geraniums are tough perennials that bring to gardens what every gardener wants: compact plants with beautiful flowers and a long season of bloom. Some bloom longer than others, but basically, long bloom is one big advantage of the hardy geraniums.

A common name across all the species is Cranes Bill which refers to the sharp-pointed seed pod after flowering.

Our wild species: There are about 20 species worldwide, and two magenta-flowered ones are well-known in the US as native plants. Our Wild Geranium, or Wild Cranes Bill, G. maculatum, plus another with the curious name of Herb Robert are found over most of the east as treasured wildflowers, but their short season of bloom makes them non-competitors with the hybrids for garden space. Most of the garden favorites are crosses between species from Europe and Asia.

Blue: The basic coloring of The Lilac Geranium from the Himalayas, for example, gives us many of the great blue selections. Most popular from this group is Johnson's Blue, a world favorite with large (1 1/2 to 2 inch) true blue flowers. Another from similar parentage is Brookside with even deeper blue flowers. And then there's the newer, spectacular blue-splashed white one called Splish Splash.

Purple/Magenta/White: Geranium sanguineum, is a species native to northern Europe and Asia, and known as Bloody Cranes Bill due to its magenta flowers. It has become famous itself (the wild form) and is now the most popular hardy geranium in the US. One of the reasons is that it blooms almost all summer and fall. A cultivar named Maxfrei is a dwarf version, and a newer one, Elke has striking bi-colored flowers in magenta and white. Then there's the fantastic dwarf white one with pink veins in large white petals, called Geranium sanguineum var striatum, to me, the best-looking of them all.

Pink: Patricia is a favorite deep pink and is also one of the larger plants, up to 36. Another sensational pink one that's only about 12 inches high is Ballerina, from the G. cinereum species with large striped pink petals and dark centers, almost like a bi-colored petunia. And more recently, Purple Pillow from this group gives us really red flowers with a purple sheen.

You can't have too many hardy geraniums. They are wonderful as edging in the front of a border, and equally impressive as mounded specimen plants anywhere. If they're sheared after bloom, many will do a complete repeat performance for you before fall. If you don't have them in your garden, start your collection now. You'll love them all.

SKU 73PER
Common Name Crane's Bill
Botanical Name Geranium sanguineum
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements Full Sun, Half Sun / Half Shade
Flower Color Pink
Mature Height 8-12" tall
Estimated Mature Spread 12-16" wide
Bloom Time Early to late summer
Planting Depth Crown of plant should rest just at or above the soil surface after watering in.
Ships As Potted Plant
Foliage Color Green
Planting Time Spring / Summer
Advantages Groundcover, Extended Blooms, Plants for Small Spaces
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Shipping

Shipping begins in late March based on ground temperatures, warmest zones first.

As soon as your order is placed you will receive an order confirmation email that will include your shipping information. We ship perennials and spring-planted bulbs at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennials and spring-planted bulb orders will arrive separately from seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Your order is scheduled to arrive at your door, fresh and ready to plant, usually within 3-5 days of leaving our warehouse, depending on your shipping address. We pack our plants to withstand up to 10 days in transit, in the event transit is delayed. We cannot guarantee arrival on a specific day. Please make sure to open your package upon receipt and follow the instructions included.

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Reviewsby PowerReviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
American MeadowsGeranium sanguineum
 
3.9

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

71%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Attractive (4)
  • Hardy (4)
  • Healthy (4)
  • Accurate instructions (3)
  • Versatile (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Garden (3)
  • Outdoors (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid gardener (5)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (4)

Reviewed by 7 customers

Displaying reviews 1-7

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1.0

Never Bloomed

By 

from New York

Pros

  • Low Maintenance

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about American Meadows Geranium sanguineum:

      There were a lot of greenery, however, only 1 flower bloomed the entire season. Very disappointed!

       
      2.0

      hoping for improvement

      By 

      from S E Pa

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Pros

        Cons

        • Slow Growth
        • Spindley

        Best Uses

          Comments about American Meadows Geranium sanguineum:

          we hope that in time this plant will begin to thrive

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Nice Filler

          By 

          from Utah

          About Me Casual Hobbyist

          Verified Reviewer

          Comments about American Meadows Geranium sanguineum:

          I put these plants as a reliable groundcover throughout my flowerbeds. They are the only flowers that are not bulbs and they bloom nicely for most of the season, and add some color when one set of bulbs is dying back and before the next "set" begins to bloom. They spread nicely and help keep weeds down a bit, plus the root system is at a different level than my bulbs, so there's no intereference.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Beware if you have sandy soil

          By 

          from Central B.C., Canada

          About Me Avid Gardener

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Attractive
          • Drought tolerant
          • Hardy
          • Healthy
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Can be invasive
          • Overly prolific

          Best Uses

          • Embankments
          • Ground cover

          Comments about American Meadows Geranium sanguineum:

          The Geranium Sanguineum has a lot of pluses. It looks good through the growing season. It is lovely in the fall. It tolerates hot dry conditions. I've found it to be excellent on embankments because its root system helps keep the soil from eroding.

          However, in none of the books that I'd read did it tell me that it could be invasive. Perhaps this is because it is most often grown in the UK in more clay acidic soils which are not its favorite conditions?

          In any case my garden soil is very sandy and not acidic at all and the cranesbill geranium adores it. I have them everywhere! Even growing in the pure sand between my patio bricks! This is fine on embankments and most areas in my yard but not when it is trying to take over my perennial borders.

          Please note: The white variety (geranium sanguineum "alba") has been well behaved, as have other varieties in the family. It is only the magenta variety that has become very prolific to the point of me considering it invasive. I find digging it up once it is well established is difficult due to its spreading tuberous root system, so don't let it get out of control if your conditions are similar to mine.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Hardy and Constant Bloomer

          By 

          from Newbury, Vermont

          About Me Avid Gardener

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate Instructions
          • Attractive
          • Hardy
          • Healthy
          • Lightweight
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Garden
            • Outdoors

            Comments about American Meadows Geranium sanguineum:

            This great plant dies back completely during the winter, but is always the first to pop up through the soil in the spring. It blooms all season long, but zeniths just before the hottest month.

            I find it does better in part shade, as direct hot sunlight causes it to wilt slightly. About mid-season, I shape it with a light trim, as it tends to start sprawling. This also encourages a new spurt of flowers. It looks pretty growing next to Johnson's Blue hardy geraniums.

            You will get many volunteers!

            • Primary use:
            • Personal

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Fast growing border plants

            By 

            from Nazareth, PA

            About Me Avid Gardener

            Pros

            • Accurate Instructions
            • Attractive
            • Hardy
            • Healthy

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Garden
              • Outdoors
              • Patio
              • Pool Area

              Comments about American Meadows Geranium sanguineum:

              I used these plants as a border around fountain grass and the contrast is stunning.

              • Primary use:
              • Personal

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Simple...and simply beautiful!

              By 

              from Saint Louis MO

              About Me Avid Gardener

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate Instructions
              • Attractive
              • Hardy
              • Healthy
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Garden
                • Outdoors

                Comments about American Meadows Geranium sanguineum:

                Few flowering perennials will not only live, but thrive, with so little care and attention as needed by the classic, "Bloody Cranebill"! I put mine 1/3 of the way back into my bed and it spread beautifully to fill in between and under (and peeking through!) its shorter and taller companions. The leaves and flowers are gorgeous and trouble-free all summer into fall, but I was equally pleased with the splendid reds and oranges of the autumn foliage! A "must-have" that compliments most everything in my cottage and wildflower gardens. A+++++

                • Primary use:
                • Personal

                Displaying reviews 1-7

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                USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

                To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

                • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
                • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

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