Geranium macrorrhizum happy in damp rich soil?

linaria_gwSeptember 12, 2012

Hi there,

I am puzzeling/ planning what to plant between/among 2 large trees, so it`s like a small clearing. (the trees are Linden?/Tilia and Acer pseudoplatanus/Norwegian Maple?).

The soil is pretty good, loamish and tends to be moist, some hours of direct sunlight.

Now what I am wondering is whether Geranium macrorrhizum would thrive under these conditions. Funny when I trained as a landscaper, we planted hundreds of them, often in heavy soil. Now I read up on this plant to find it described as preferring light, well drained poor soil and sunny spots. One catalogue said it could suffer with fungal disease when planted in very wet spots.

What are your experiences?


I want to pick a hardy, spreading perennial which is happy with the annual falling leaves in autumn. Any suggestions welcome, thanks a lot, bye,


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Well-drained and moist is one thing - very wet is something quite different :-)

This is a very adaptable geranium - it is happy in sun as well as shade, dry soils as well as evenly moist. I doubt you will have any issues with it in the situation you describe.

FWIW, G. m. 'Variegatum' is a bit more fussy and it would prefer a somewhat enriched but evenly moist soil.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:38PM
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How about that....I have the two exact trees...I'm always commenting on "unter der linden"....well under my linden I cant for the life of me grow grass. I've cut back the lower branches and I keep the undersides clear of debris....which da*n it it seems everyday I pick up branches. This tree is the worse....even worse than silver maple.
But I cant grow grass under it....and I've tried...numerous years overseeding and once the grass grew mightily....only to die back before winter set in.

I cant imagine there is a worse spot to grow something like the geranium between it and a Norway Maple.

Also, I cant imagine how the ground between these water beasts lets it gain 'wetness'....ttrees in general are notorious for being water hungry.

Its never a good idea to plant where the ground is forever wet...pretty soon, the roots are not able to take up any further water---even when they are surrounded by water. Just like overwatering a houseplant...too much water causes the roots to stop taking up water and eventually the plant has problems....often dieing because of it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Hi there,
thanks for your answers. To describe it more accurately: the trees grow at the neighbor`s casting their shade and foliage, the plots are divided by a ca. 6 feet wall (concrete, which should keep out the roots to some degree). The soil is loam-based and water retaining, but I reckon not logged/stagnant. The annual precipitation is about 1000 mm.
And my main concern was whether G macrrorhizum demands a dry spell in summer in order to thrive and gain frost hardiness.
So I will get this geranium and a second species/type along with some Brunnera and test them.

Well, have a great autumn, bye, Lin

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 4:14PM
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No, no "demands" for a dry spell :-) I've grown this plant under a wide range of soil and sun conditions, with dry soils and with regular irrigation - it seems to perform equally well under any circumstances.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 6:56PM
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