Geranium oxonianum f. thurstonianum

10 hardy geraniums to grow

We pick 10 of the best hardy geraniums to grow, including low-growing choices for pots and containers.

Cranesbills, or hardy geraniums, are perennial border plants with saucer-shaped flowers in shades of pink, purple and blue. They are easy to grow, thrive in shade and flower for months.

They’re popular in cottage garden schemes and offer a long season of pollen and nectar for a number of pollinators, particularly bees.

Most geraniums will grow in a wide range of conditions, preferring sunny positions and humus-rich soil. They're often vigorous plants, which can freely seed themselves around the garden.

Discover 10 great hardy geraniums to grow, below. 

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Geranium oxonianum

Geranium oxonianum f. thurstonianum bears single to double, pink-purple flowers with very narrow petals. It’s perfect for growing at the front of a mixed herbaceous border, or at the base of shrubs such as roses. H x S 50cm x 70cm.

Geranium sanguineum var. striatum

Geranium sanguineum var. striatum is a compact, very low-growing geranium, which bears masses of pale pink, veined flowers in contrast with dark green foliage. It’s perfect for growing at the front of a mixed herbaceous border, or in containers on the patio. H x S 10cm x 30cm.

Geranium ‘Patricia’

Geranium ‘Patricia’ bears bright purple flowers with black centres over a low-growing mound of dark green leaves. Leaves turn a fantastic shade of red in autumn. H x S 60cm x 45cm.

Geranium cinereum 'Giuseppe'

Geranium cinereum 'Giuseppe' is a compact variety that remains as a neat cushion. From early to late summer the plants are covered with half inch-wide, bowl-shaped magenta flowers. H x S 30cm x 30cm.

Geranium ‘Max Frei’

Geranium ‘Max Frei’ bears bright pink, veined flowers on hairy stems, from June to August. Grow it at the front of a mixed herbaceous border, and deadhead spent blooms regularly to prolong flowering. H x S 40cm x 35cm.

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Named after nurserywoman Rozanne Waterer who discovered this attractive hardy geranium with her husband Donald, Geranium 'Rozanne' bears large violet-blue flowers with white centres and grey anthers, for months on end. H x S 30cm x 60cm.

Geranium x magnificum

Geranium x magnificum produces a glorious show of rich violet-blue flowers in mid-summer. The Royal Horticultural Society have given their prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM). H x S 60cm x 90cm.

Geranium ‘Brookside’

Geranium 'Brookside' bears large deep blue flowers with white centres from June to September, in contrast with mid-green leaves. Grow it at the front of a mixed herbaceous border, and deadhead spent blooms regularly to prolong flowering. H x S 60cm x 50cm.

Geranium 'Spessart'

A pink-flowered plant is sometimes sold under the name 'Spessart' but the true plant has white flowers. It makes a useful ground cover plant for dry, shady areas, producing a dense mat of aromoatic leaves, which take on rich autumn tints. H x S 50cm x 60cm.

Geranium maderense

Geranium maderense is the largest of the geranium species, reaching a lofty 1.5m in height. Although perennial, it often acts as a biennial, producing pretty magenta pink blooms in its second year. H x S 100cm x 150cm.

Geranium maderense is the largest of the geranium species, reaching a lofty 1.5m in height.

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Low-growing geraniums for pots and containers

  • Geranium cinereum 'Laurence Flatman' – prominently veined light pink flowers with neat, rounded leaves
  • Geranium dalmaticum 'Album' – starry green leaves with pure white flowers. Has a spreading form
  • Geranium sanguineum 'Ankum's Pride' – bright pink flowers are set atop a carpet of deeply cut green foliage
  • Geranium sanguineum 'Pink Pouffe' – a mat-forming geranium with light pink flowers and finely cut foliage
  • Geranium catabrigiense 'Berggarten' – mid-pink flowers and green foliage. Spreads well
  • Geranium catabrigiense 'Westray' – lush green foliage is topped by magenta flowers
  • Geranium renardii – green foliage with a texture like that of culinary sage. Pale pink flowers with purple veins
  • Geranium pratense 'Midnight Ghost' – deeply cut bronze foliage with white, veined flowers
  • Geranium pratense 'Midnight Reiter' – deeply cut purple foliage with lilac flowers


Discover more ideas and inspiration

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