Growing Geum

Latin Name Pronunciation: gee'-um     

One of the best perennial plants for sunny borders, Geum is a relative of the Strawberry. Its bright and showy, cup-shaped flowers appear in late spring on wiry, branching stems. The rosettes of wrinkled leaves make an attractive ground cover when not in bloom. Put smaller varieties in the rock garden and give larger ones front-row positions in borders.

Light/Watering: Full sun is preferred for best flowering; needs afternoon shade in hot, humid climates. Needs regular moisture. Water thoroughly after planting, and keep a close eye over the following week. Provide shade if the plant wilts but the soil is moist. After the first week, give a new plant a good soaking once a week during summer when rainfall is less than 1 inch per week.

Fertilizer/Soil and pH: Average, well drained soil; avoid wet soil in winter. We recommend against fertilizing at planting time and during the first growing season in your garden. Plants need time to settle in before being pushed to grow. Most established plants grow best if fertilized with a light hand. We fertilize perennials just once—in early spring—with a light but even coverage of a balanced, granular fertilizer (such 10-10-10 or an organic fertilizer). If a concentrated, water-soluble fertilizer is used, please follow the manufacturers' recommendations carefully.

Continuing Care: Generally easy to grow, but may be short-lived where soil and climate conditions are not met. Remove spent flower stems promptly to extend bloom period. Divide in spring or fall to rejuvenate overgrown plants.