Saw Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium) on sale

edlincoln(6A)

Saw Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium) on sale at Prarie Moon. Bare root for $3.00 each. What do people think of it? How much does it spread? How good is its shade tolerance? Would it survive under a Norway Spruce that had its lower branches removed? Would it work at the foot of a yew hedge? In a bed mixed with Lily of the Valley or one with nodding Nixon? Is it native to New England?

Trying to decide how many to get and where to put them...

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

Yes on the native to New England question, at least according to BONAP:

https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/geranium/maculatum


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edlincoln(6A)

Do you have answers to any of the other questions? I have a few dry shaded spots I might want to stick spreading flowering natives.

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

No, I just haven't grown it long enough to be able to say. I hear it's a moderate spreader, but one that's reasonably easy to pull from locations where you don't want it.

I treated mine horribly -- got them from a native plant source nearby and left them in their little containers (like deep plugs) for weeks and let them dry out almost completely at one point before finally getting them in the ground. Still waiting to see if they'll come back this spring, but if so, I'd say it's one tough plant.

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tps_report(6 KY)

Mine get a few hours of sun and are slowly spreading. The soil is somewhat dry there and not terribly nutrient rich. If your perspective spot receives some sunlight at some point in the day, I'd say go for it and see what happens.

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edlincoln(6A)

I'm thinking of three spots. The worst is blocked from above but gets plenty of indirect sun from the north and East. Another is shaded to the southwest but gets sun from directly above and to the northeast.

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nekobus(6)

I've got a bunch, some sourced bare root from Prairie Moon. They're pretty tough, and like a lot of things, tolerant of shade but more aggressive in full sun. You see them wild in the Fells -- they seem to occur naturally here in deciduous woods where they get a lot of light in spring before trees leaf out, and then not a lot of sun all summer. I haven't planted any near the roots of conifers, so can't help you there.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Ed, I'd rate this plant as one of the better choices for dry shade.

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way2maykids2003

Geranium maculatum is one of my favorite plants for my shade gardens. I have had it for many years and it never fails to disappoint me. It spreads readily by seeds (once established) and they will pop up here and there. It is extremely shade tolerant-most of my plants never receive any direct sun-they are growing at the base of pines and maples. Drought tolerance is exceptional, but they will also grow in damp spots (where they reseed). I highly recommend this plant! It is one of my favorites!

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

Did you get them ordered? I saw that was only a one-day sale.

There is by the way a cultivar of G. maculatum called 'Espresso' with dark foliage. There's a picture of it on this page:

http://carolynsshadegardens.com/2013/04/03/native-plants-2013

The 'Espresso' cultivar would be more expensive, but might be interesting for color contrast at some point in the future if you find that the species is doing well in your location. Bigelow carries it.

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edlincoln(6A)

Was debating how many to get. I got five and in response to comments ended up getting another five. Unfortunately, the glowing comments about them came after the sale ended, but at least they made me feel good about the purchase. Is a $3.00 per bare root price good?

Unfortunately, most of my shade beds are dry and beneath conifers. I've been experimenting with thing I can plant their. Nice to hear way2maykids2003 got them to grow beneath pines. I'd like some native flowers to grow beneath the limbed up Norway Spruce that frame the driveway...not much likes those spots.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Way2may, you wrote "never fails to disappoint me". I'm wondering if you didn't mean to write the opposite of this. The rest of your post seems to indicate the opposite-that you really like this plant!

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edlincoln(6A)

I don't suppose anyone has photos...preferably of them beneath pines?

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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

I have them planted in the dry shade under a very large 50+ year old silver maple. They have the morning sun totally blocked by the house, then bright shade (since the canopy is high up) until the hot late afternoon sun hits them from the west. Harsh conditions, but they perform really well. Here is a pic of them blooming from May 15th. They are in the center planted amongst wild columbine, ferns, hosta, and sweet woodruff. The geraniums are self seeding some in the mulch paths and I plan to transplant them into the beds to start replacing the hosta. I was grateful to find some natives that would grow well in that area, since it is tricky.

Also in case anyone notices...yes that is a raised bed tree ring around the maple. I know they are bad, but I didn't put it in and it is too full of roots to remove it.


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edlincoln(6A)

Nice. Makes me wonder if I should mix some into the fern gardens....but the ferns patch works and I'm not sure I want to mess it up with something aggressive.

Kind of opposite lighting conditions...these spots get more morning sun.
I'd really like to get wintergreen growing under one of the pines, because it is native, edible and evergreen, but it's expensive and never survived. Have tried trillium, and Wild Ginger...a few of those struggle on. Have tried ferns...have a patch of those elsewhere so I can keep trying with those easily. Recently tried violets.

The pine with more light I've got Lily of the Valley and Jacob's Ladder to grow under.

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way2maykids2003

Oh my! I don't know how I typed that! I, of course, meant to say that they never disappoint:-)) 3.00 is a good price for their bareroots-I love Prairiemoon and order from there myself. If you are looking for few more native plant ideas for under that spruce might I suggest as Pachysandra procumbens, Polygonatum biflorum, Anemone virginiana and Ozmorhizza claytonia. All are doing well for me under my White Pines. If you need any height I suggest Aralia racemosa and Campanulastrum Americana.

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molanic(Zone 5 IL)

Morning sun only is much gentler than afternoon only sun and you should have more options unless the area is really deeply shaded by the trees most of the day. I have read that wintergreen needs pretty acidic soil and will not survive long without it.

My wild ginger did well on the north side of the house with very little direct light until the neighbors took down trees that blocked the hot afternoon sun. Then it got all brown and crispy. I also have it under a shrub that gets sun only in the morning, and it has spread somewhat slowly.

I've heard blueberries grow well at the edge of pine forests because they both like acidic soil and the pine needles mulch the blueberries well. But if the wintergreen isn't surviving for you, maybe your soil is not acidic at all. If I had acidic soil I would plant blueberries all over the place.

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edlincoln(6A)

I understand the soil is quite acidic, actually. Holly and rhododendron do well, and Hydrangea are blue.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Yes Ed, that's a good indication of soil acidity.

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Campanula UK Z8

I have this geranium under viburnums, along with hellebore and our little UK woodlander, g.sylvaticum. Once established, it is a good doer but needs some generous watering for its first season. Much, much prettier than the ubiquitous maccrorhizum. A plant of modest charm.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

They grow very well in the pine forests here in the north. I see them blooming all over at the forest edges in the Spring.

A plus: A necessary food source for migrating Monarch butterflies. Should be in everyone's garden.


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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

Fairly common here in SE Pa. Grows and seed well in sunnier woodland sites, particularly the more moist ones. There are a few selected varieties out there based both on flower and leaf color, but I just have the commone run-of-the-mill ones which I don't cultivate but leave them wild as they come and/or go.

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edlincoln(6A)

Ironically the order just arrived today. Unfortunately, with my schedule I wont be able to plant it for a while. Unclear what to do with it.

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Campanula UK Z8

Pop them in a box and cover the roots with damp compost/soil and keep them cool- they are tough and will sit and wait till you have a chance to transplant.

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Wild Haired Mavens(Zone 10)

Although they're not native to me I grow a little pot filled with hosta, fern, and blue geranium in full shade. It started blooming a month ago and looks lovely in that dark corner.

I also grow them under blackberry with varegated Solomon's seal. Those only get winter sun so no flowers. But the leaves are evergreen here so its green in the winter when the berries and Solomon are gone.

These geranium would grow under your ferns as they don't get tall so I think a spot where you can enjoy them is best.

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edlincoln(6A)


Drum roll please...these are my Geranium maculatum. Or half of them, anyway. They arrived at a bad time...experimentally I put half in the fridge and half in a pot. These are the ones I put in a pot. I just plated then in the sunnier spot,


These are the ones I stored in the ridge. Obviously less to see now. I just planted them in the shadier spot. Which do you think will end up doing better?



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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

I planted some wild geranium at a friends house 40 miles south of Chicago.They are growing underneath several large oaks and shrubs.They have been there about 5 years and once the trees and shrubs leaf out they get very little sun for the rest of the year.They don;t get watered and there were long droughts here last year;but this spring they really are beautiful and thriving.I was also surprised at how well the virginia bluebells and wild ginger were thriving in very dry, deep shade.

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