Crop Rotation Group
Fertile, well-drained soil that holds moisture well.
Full sun to partial shade.
Yes, geum is a hardy perennial. Well-rooted plants are hardy to -15°F (-26°C).
Topdress the soil over the plants’ root zone with rich compost in spring. If growth is sluggish, drench with a liquid organic fertilizer when plants begin to grow tall in late spring. Plants can be fed again in late summer to stimulate a little new growth.
Single Plants: 11" (30cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 11" (30cm) with 11" (30cm) row gap (minimum)
Sow and Plant
Better cultivars of geum are vegetatively propagated and sold as potted plants in spring. Some types of geum can be grown from seed, but seed collected in gardens may not reflect the best characteristics of the parent plants. But should a friend divide their geum in spring and offer you divisions, they will grow into plants exactly like the mother clump. Geum plants naturally spread via thick, rhizome-type roots, topped with multiple growing crowns, so they are easy to dig and transplant. Set out new plants as early as possible, while the soil is still cool, setting plants at the same depth they grew in their containers. Young plants need water when they are actively growing, and thereafter when dry weather prevails. A surface mulch suppresses weeds while making the plants look more attractive.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.
Bees and butterflies love geum blossoms, which rise on wiry stems in late spring to early summer. The compact plants bear delicate, rose-type blossoms for several weeks, with lush green foliage often persisting year-round. Heavy-flowering hybrids are easy to grow in cool temperate climates. Geum is happiest with regular rainfall, cool summer nights, and winters that are not extremely severe. Several Geum species are native to the US, and the showiest is prairie smoke (G. triflorum), which is often included in wildflower meadows. Its finely cut foliage and nodding flowers are attractive, but the special feature of prairie smoke are its dramatically swirled seed heads that resemble puffs of smoke.
Gather stems for use in cut arrangements as you need them, when the blossoms are halfway open. After the big flush of flowers fades, trim back the tops and foliage to stimulate regrowth. As late-season blooming subsides, leave some flowers to mature into decorative seed heads.
Warm, wet weather can lead to problems with leaf spots and root rot diseases. Spider mites are a risk in summer. Geum does not do well with high heat or drought.
Planting and Harvesting Calendar
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