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Geraniums - recommendations please

Looking to replace the common pink geranium with something a little less.... invasive.

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New year, new changes in the garden...! Looking forward to getting back out there again, so going about the planning/dreaming stages at the moment.

I've got a few large clumps of the common pink geranium - I've no idea which type it is, just that it grows incredibly well, and each year starts taking over where it's planted. Spreads and seeds massively. It's been pretty good to fill out the garden in the first couple of years, but now I'm looking to replace it with one a little less thuggish.

The bees have loved it, so I'm looking for one that they will also like, and I'm very open to any suggestions.

What are your favourites? What would you recommend for a cottage style wildlife garden?

Thank you!


"Rozanne" is a popular choice and the bees certainly love it in my garden.

Personally, I prefer "Azure Rush" which is a "sport" from it. My friend recommends "Lilac ice" , which is on my to buy list for this year.


My favourite is Geranium pratense 'Purple Haze' with dark foliage and purple flowers.  It can be grown from seed and stays where it is put.  'Rozanne' is a superb performer.  I like the look of 'Orkney Cherry', Papi Jo. 


I find Geranium Sanguineum leaves so nice to have even when not in flower. They are low mound forming and always well behaved. Striatum has the most beautiful and delicate shade of pink I like. 

Last edited: 02 January 2018 18:12:04


I love hardy Geraniums - such good ground cover with little care required. I recommend Rozanne for a long flowering season. There are many varieties with interesting foiliage too - I like my sanguinium 'Album' for deep green leaves which colour-up in Autumn. I would love the 'Orkney Cherry' for its bronze-y foiliage!


They are probably Wargrave pink, the most common geranium. I love Rozanne & Johnson's Blue, long flowering and the bees will be attracted by the purple/blue hue. Geranium Psilostemon/Patricia are also favourites for their bright magenta against black centres, have a google. 

Last edited: 02 January 2018 19:04:09

Thank you all!


Coming from the other direction - one to avoid in my opinion is splish-splash.  I have tried this in several places and so far been disappointed by leggy foliage with a tendency to snap, few wishy-washy flowers and floppy, muddy results.

I'm trying it one last time in baking full sun and if it doesn't perform this year, it's out.

Think it's between Rozanne and the sanguineum Album. Maybe both, in fact - I have several clumps to replace, so might be nice to use some of each. Lovely!

My Rozanne is in semi-shade and gives a little height as well as ground cover - great value plant.  

Mike Allen

Anna quite a dilemma, however our gardening friends have made some very positive suggestions.  At first sight of your thread, perhaps many less experienced garden lovers would imaging the typical potted geranium/pelargonium.  Yes, of course the geraniums in question are of the Cranesbill family.  So many to choose from.  Have you checked out the internet, Ebay for instance.  There is one seller in particular who has a vast collection and freely gives advice.  Hope this helps.  All the best.

If you have a shady spot, Geranium phaeum is great. I have G. phaeum 'Samobor', which is an outstanding performer and the bumblebees absolutely adore it. The foliage is attractive as well as the flowers, so a double bonus. The white form is nice too.

I also recommend G. pratense 'Mrs Kendall Clarke' and G. sylvaticum 'Mayflower'.

I wouldn't be without G. macrorrhizum  'Ingwersen's Variety', either. It's a real hard-worker, flowering over a long season, with aromatic foliage that probably shows better autumn colour than many trees!

Last edited: 03 January 2018 09:39:50


My favourites are Psilostemon and Susie White, for sun, and Svelte Lilac for shade. I got them from Plantsmans Preference. They have one of the best collections of hardy geraniums in the UK. 


That awful pink thing is the worst PITA in my front garden. It seeds from next door. Good luck with getting rid of it. There are many much nicer ones. I plant them but cannot benefit from their self-seeding habit as I can't tell their seedlings from the pink b#####s


Papi Jo

I do know that Geranium Rozane has a very good reputation. I do like its lovely blue colour but must say I'm quite disappointed with its meagre growth in my garden.

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