Wild geranium...no longer in it's prime bloom

cadillactasteJune 20, 2014

I absolutely loved this wild geranium...it transplanted well from one part of my property to the main flowerbed. Thing is...it has that looked spent on it's last leg. I recall letting it do that last year. Thinking it was the transplanting as well. But rather see it is it's nature to do so.

My question is...those who have this in their flowerbeds. What do you do when it reaches this stage? Cut it back? Or leave it as is...

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In it's prime blooming...just so pretty. So many compliments on it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 7:23PM
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I'd give shearing a try and see how it does.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:01PM
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It's actually not a wild geranium; it is a true geranium also commonly called 'Cranesbill' after the look of its seedpod. The big, blousey plants we call geraniums are Pelagoniums although both are in the same family-Geraniaceae.

I don't think it is the nature of the plant to look like this. It looks like it may be getting sunburned. Is it in the sun? As the summer progresses, the sun might be getting too hot for it and burning it. I am also in Ohio and I grow all of my Geraniums in the shade.

I would cut your plant back and see how it responds. And maybe think about a re-location.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:12PM
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Thanks Linda for the information...it is located on the side of the house...does not get many hours in the sun...but...does get some afternoon sun. So complete shade would be better for this plant then? I could transplant it to another location. If you think that more wise. Complete shade plant then...I pulled it out from under a tree on our property...so that makes sense it does better in shade.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:39PM
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Curious if lack of watering was more of an issue than sun. You see we left for two weeks on a mission trip. During that time...we hadn't watered our flower beds. Hoping for rain which didn't come.

When I looked up cranesbill...I found it can be located in full sun. Which makes me think lack of water was the issue. (We left last year as well on a mission trip. It's the only one in the yard that suffered)
Step 1

Plant bare root cranesbill in spring or fall in a location which receives full sun to light shade, and has well-drained soil. Use a garden tiller to mix one cubic yard of organic compost per every eighty square feet into the soil. Space plants two feet apart to allow room for growth.

Step 2

Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch to the soil surrounding cranesbill geraniums. This will conserve moisture in the soil and prevent the growth of invading weeds. Use bark mulch, shredded leaves, grass clippings or any other type of organic mulch.

Step 3

Water cranesbill plants once per week to a depth of 24 inches anytime the temperature exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Water once every two weeks when temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and once per month when temperatures drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Cranesbill can tolerate drier conditions due to its deep, thick-root system.

Step 4

Apply a granular iron and sulfur fertilizer, according to the manufacturer's instructions, only if the leaves of the cranesbill plant begin to turn yellow in the heat of summer. No other fertilization is necessary, as long as the soil was properly amended at planting.

Step 5

Use hedge trimmers to cut cranesbill back to about four inches in height at the beginning of spring and before new growth begins. Remove spent flowers as they die to improve aesthetic appeal, although this will not increase the volume of blooms produced by the plant.

Read more: How to Care for Cranesbill : Garden Guides http://www.gardenguides.com/68445-care-cranesbill.html#ixzz35P4B68FX

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.gardenguides.com/68445-care-cranesbill.html

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 4:52PM
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I thinned out a few of the worst looking...then noticed new growth appearing in the soil. And butchered it back to only keep the green un damaged foliage. Curious...if I over fertilized it. I recycle water that has drained out of my bonsai pots. They are fertilized more frequent than other plants. Was not observant to see now that I think about it...if they looked bad upon our return or shortly afterwards. But...seeing it push new growth is nice to see. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:31PM
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It could very well be Geranium maculatum, in which case it IS a wild geranium. This plant is native to much of the east coast and well into the Midwest. Photo not large enough for me to ID for certain.

Most hardy geraniums can tolerate full sun provided sufficient water is available. And virtually all can be cut back hard after the primary bloom cycle. Some species will rebloom after this haircut but all will put out clean new growth.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:59PM
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