11 hardy geraniums for shade

Bring colour and style to shady spots, with our 11 hardy geraniums for shade.

Vibrant, beautiful and easy to grow and propagate, there are so many reasons to grow hardy geraniums.

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Plenty thrive in shade, too. Whether it’s at the foot of a north-facing wall, or simply the dappled shade of deciduous trees, these varieties will thrive as long as the soil is reasonably fertile, and isn’t parched or waterlogged.

Take a look at our feature to discover what type of garden shade you have.

More plants for shade content:

Discover 11 gorgeous hardy geraniums for shade, below.

'Rozanne' flowers most prolifically in part shade – in darker spots it sprawls more and flowers less.

1

Geranium clarkei ‘Kashmir Purple’

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More lavender-blue than purple, it does darken to purple round the white eye, and the veins are purple, too. This eagerly spreading plant is perfect in shady areas, wherever you need something robust and vigorous to create good ground cover.

Height x spread: 45cm x 1.5m.

2

Geranium ‘Patricia’

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The glistening, vivid magenta flowers have a contrasting burgundy centre and open right through summer, after which the foliage turns fiery. ‘Patricia’ is a more subtle version of the dramatic but rather large and floppy Geranium psilostemon, and prefers a few hours of sun.

H x S: 70cm x 70cm.

3

Geranium himalayense ‘Gravetye’

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Facing outward for a bright display, the lavender-blue flowers are reddish-purple in the centre, with veins of a similar hue. After the first May/June flush, it will repeat in September. ‘Gravetye’ makes good ground cover, filling the spaces around mature shrubs.

H x S: 30cm x 60cm.

4

Geranium nodosum

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An adaptable geranium, it’s a good plant for dry shade. The foliage is bright and glossy, and the pale-centred, mauve-pink flowers open over a long season, from June to August, when many shade plants are over. It is clump forming and often self-seeds.

H x S: 40cm x 60cm.

5

Geranium phaeum ‘Raven’

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Smoky purple flowers with slightly swept-back petals and a pale centre sit atop the vertical stems. Cut back after the June flush, then water well for a second crop of blooms and foliage. Happy in dry shade, its bright foliage forms a fresh green mound in spring.

H x S: 60cm x 30cm.

6

Geranium ‘Nimbus’

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As the petals don’t overlap, its distinctive flowers look like a ring of five big bluish-violet teardrops with vivid purple veins. The gold-tinted, finely dissected young foliage matures to rich green as the June-to-August flowering begins. Shade will limit its natural vigour.

H x S: 40cm x 75cm.

7

Geranium ‘Orion’

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The star of the RHS trial of hundreds of hardy geraniums, this stupendous plant has large, lavender-blue flowers with red-purple veins and white eyes. These open all summer over loose, spreading mounds of dissected leaves. It’s great in the shade of mature roses.

H x S: 80cm x 80cm.

8

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

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The clear blue, white-eyed blooms open repeatedly from June to October on cascading shoots. ‘Rozanne’ flowers most prolifically in part shade – in darker spots it sprawls more and flowers less. Great in a pot or as ground cover, it shoots in among its neighbours.

H x S: 30cm x 60cm.

9

Geranium ‘Anne Thomson’

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Its golden spring foliage lights up dark corners, then turns green as its magenta flowers open in June and July. Subsequent new leaves are also golden. It’s similar to ‘Ann Folkard’ but better behaved and less rampageous, with spreading shoots from a tight crown.

H x S: 50cm x 1.2m.

10

Geranium x oxonianum ‘Wargrave Pink’

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The pink flowers of ‘Wargrave Pink’ have an unusual, slightly bluish caste. After the early summer flowering, cut to the ground and water well to inspire a second flush later in the season. It is robust enough to thrive in the shade of mature shrubs or shrub roses.

H x S: 60cm x 90cm.

11

Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’

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As well as pale pink flowers in May and June, it has attractive green foliage that spreads slowly but steadily and often turns reddish in autumn. ‘Ingwersen’s Variety’ one of the toughest hardy geraniums, ideal in dry shade and containers, and filling in prettily around shrubs.

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H x S: 30cm x 60cm.