ideal conditions for geranium maculatum?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

Hello -- I'm hoping someone here can help me. I've got a few of both g. maculatum "Elizabeth Ann" and "Espresso." A few of them are second year plants, which were lovely, robust, and bloomed well in the spring, but haven't fared well at all in the mid/late summer heat and sun, which they've gotten plenty of. I got some new ones this season too and put them in bright shade after they'd bloomed -- they're smallish but looking fresher now than the more exposed plants, though I'm wondering if they'll bloom there in the spring with so little direct sun. I see that the Geraniaceae website has them listed as shade plants, which was news to me (I'm a g. newbie). Can anyone tell me what, in theory, the ideal conditions are for them??? I feel like I need to do some relocating. Thanks very much!

Lilburn, GA


They like shade and humid soil.

good luck!

Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

Full shade or part shade? I've been finding on most of my hardies that they need a little sun.

My Jolly Bee didn't like the heat at all and I ended up having to cut it all the way back after three weeks of heat stress. Last year it was a blooming machine in full sun, but we didn't have any extended time last summer when it got overly hot. I don't intend to move it. I don't consider three weeks of temps over 90 to a 100 normal weather for us.

Lilburn, GA

I think it depends on the intensity of the sun. Here in GA it would have to grow in full shade. In colder climates it would tolerate part shade.

Thye did OK for me in England in partial shade. (But the majority of days there are cloudy).

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

It does seem that the leaf color on the plants in shade isn't as bronzey as it should be, and I worry they won't flower there. I'm in the city, the garden's small and closed in by tall trees, tall fences and houses, and my light conditions shift dramatically during the course of the summer -- we're most open to the west, so the sun we do get is fierce, when we get it. But the g. maculatums that were getting blasted with afternoon sun a month ago are now in mostly shade, as they will be come spring, till the sun's high enough to blast them again. It's frustrating. I've ordered more geraniums for fall because I love them, but I probably don't have the right place for any of them. The ones I've tried so far that seem to adapt stress-free to the constant changes are the g. sanguineums. I keep hoping I'll find the right plants for the right places and if I stick with them till they get established, we'll all be happy....

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

by the way, beaker_ch -- how did you escape extended heat last year in MN? in Chicago, we had one of the hottest and longest summers ever, as I recall. I was pregnant, but I don't think it was just hot flashes... The geraniums (and I) barely survived.

Lilburn, GA


I would keep them in pots until I found the right place for them. They will do well in big pots.

You can also divide them (if big enough) and do some root cuttings.

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

I have had Elizabeth Ann growing for several years now. She is in partial shade, and blooms wonderfully each spring, though she never seems to increase in size. The only sun she gets is mid to late afternoon right now, in the spring and fall, it's primarily only late afternoon sun. My cantagbrigiense (sp?) Biokovo and Karmina, both do really well right nearby and spread like crazy. The phaeums I have seem to do best in total shade.

Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

It was beautiful last summer. I don't think we had more than three or four days when it hit 90, maybe 5, but they weren't back to back and it wasn't cold and rainy like it was the year before. We did have one heck of a storm in August through. Lotz of us without power for several days. My garden was beautiful, unlike now.

I do remember hearing how hot it was south of us and counting my blessings. We also had a much better winter than you folks south of us. We had adequate snow and I was able to keep a snow cover on all my gardens until towards the end. But after that, there wasn't a whole lot of temoperature swings. Once spring actually started, is when things got unpredictable up here. Had a lot of plants hit with mildews and fungal problems. Roses hit hard.Seems like all I was doing was cutting plants back and applying fungacides this spring. This summer was the pits.

Last year was the almost perfect growing year. We all deserve those every once in awhile.

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