Our New Must-Have Plant: Geums
With lobed green foliage similar to coral bells and ruffled rose-like blooms, geums (or avens) are quickly gaining popularity among gardeners and cut flower farmers. After growing them, you’ll quickly learn why! Airy flowers bloom on wispy stems, creating a charming and relaxed look that perfectly fits cottage gardens. They start blooming in late spring, attracting flocks of pollinators (especially butterflies) as they continue to flower into summer. They can face downwards (like hellebores), outwards, or upwards, looking good from every angle. Flowers are long-lasting before fading into feathery, smoke-like seed heads, making them perfect for cut arrangments at any stage.
Beyond their swoon-worthy blooms, geums are hard-working perennials in the landscape. They’re rarely plagued with disease, resistant to deer and rabbits, tolerant of dry and poor soils, and are easy to maintain. All they require is a quick trim when flowers and foliage fade and they’ll reward you with flushes of new leafy growth and blooms.
We’re thrilled to add geums to our collection of plants, just in time for the fall planting season. Keep reading to meet our new varieties and learn how to make them feel at home in your garden.
How to Grow Geums
- Soil: Geums grow best in rich, well-draining soils. While they tolerate some drought, they do not tolerate wet soils. In winter, wet soils can be fatal. Ensure your plants have proper drainage!
- Light: Full sun (6+ hours direct sunlight each day) is preferred, but in hot climates, they do benefit from afternoon shade to escape the heat. Plants not receiving enough sun will grow slowly and have fewer blooms.
- Water: Average water needs – water regularly until established.
- Spacing: Based on the size of the variety you choose, we recommend spacing them anywhere between 12 and 24 inches apart. Air circulation is important, so don’t plant them too close together.
- Fertilizing: They don’t require much fertilizer but may benefit from a light sprinkling of a well-balanced granular fertilizer in early spring. This is important if you know your soils are deficient in nutrients.
- Winterizing: No special care is needed. Spent flowers and seed heads can be left standing for winter interest. Clean up spent foliage and flowers in early spring to welcome a flush of new growth.
- Maintenance & pruning: Geums will reward you for promptly removing spent flowers and foliage with new growth and repeat blooms. It’s not necessary, but keeping them well-groomed will give you the best look.
Pretticoats™ Peach Geum (Avens)
When you combine old-fashioned charm and modern-day breeding, you get incredible plants like Pretticoats™ Peach geum. Yellow and pink ruffled petals form charming peach flowers that bloom from April to September. With multiple flushes of reblooms, this geum will provide you with flowers all season long! Its compact habit makes it easy to grow in containers or the front of beds.
Tempo™ Rose Geum (Avens)
Rosy-pink flowers will have you blushing when you see Tempo™ Rose geum blooming in spring. This early-blooming variety is packed with flower power, producing an abundance of blooms from April through June. Its dark stems add extra appeal when used as cut flowers, adding contrast to arrangements. It’s the smallest geum we offer, reaching 8″ tall and 10″ wide, perfect for nestling into rock gardens.
Prairie Smoke Geum (Avens)
While some geums are grown for their flowers, the native Praire Smoke geum is actually admired for its achenes. Small, pink bell-shaped flowers bloom in the spring and fade into pink puffs of smoke. The feather-like seed heads last for weeks, adding unique color and texture to the landscape! It’s a new staff favorite, so we’re sure you’ll love it too.
Written by: Miranda Niemic, click here to read bio.
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