Hardy Geranium, Himalayan Geranium, Lilac Cranesbill 'Johnson's Blue'


Family: Geraniaceae (jer-ay-nee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Geranium (jer-AY-nee-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Johnson's Blue
Synonym:Geranium himalayense x pratense
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Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Seward, Alaska

Little Rock, Arkansas

Clovis, California

Mission Viejo, California

Littleton, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado

Lake Alfred, Florida

Boise, Idaho

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Des Plaines, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Brownsburg, Indiana

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Inwood, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Nichols, Iowa

Dracut, Massachusetts

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Norton, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Uxbridge, Massachusetts

Wayland, Massachusetts

Redford, Michigan

Andover, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)

Laurel, Mississippi

Fenton, Missouri

Bellevue, Nebraska

Bayville, New Jersey

Jamesburg, New Jersey

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Buffalo, New York

Deposit, New York

Jefferson, New York

Pennellville, New York

Wallkill, New York

Water Mill, New York

Belfield, North Dakota

Medora, North Dakota

Bucyrus, Ohio

Cincinnati, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Coshocton, Ohio

Hamilton, Ohio

Enid, Oklahoma

Bend, Oregon

Dallas, Oregon

Lake Oswego, Oregon

Albion, Pennsylvania

Chalfont, Pennsylvania

Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Christiana, Tennessee

Crossville, Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

Mansfield, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Essex Junction, Vermont

Hinesburg, Vermont

Newport, Vermont

Lexington, Virginia

Lincoln, Virginia

Radford, Virginia

Ames Lake, Washington

Bellevue, Washington

Cascade-fairwood, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

Birchwood, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Casper, Wyoming

Cody, Wyoming

Kinnear, Wyoming

Riverton, Wyoming

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 1, 2016, hamptons from Watermill, NY wrote:

I bought mine years ago from NYBG. While the foliage comes back every year, this plant has a problem blooming. Some years it doesn't bloom at all. Other years it blooms, but only for about 2 weeks in late spring. I've tried moving it, deadheading, shearing, not deadheading, not shearing -- doesn't matter. If it blooms, it only blooms once for a short period with no rebloom. It's been a disappointment


On Jun 1, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I was always disappointed by the relative brevity of this cultivar's season of bloom, especially since the descriptions generally speak of months of bloom and not the few weeks I've seen. But now 'Rozanne' has superseded 'Johnson's Blue' as my workhorse "blue" geranium. Seems I'm not alone.

'Johnson's Blue' has always bloomed blue-violet for me, and never pink or magenta.

This cultivar originated the 1950's in England from seed of G. pratense, and is believed to be a hybrid with G. himalayense. It is intolerant of the hot humid summers of the southeastern states, and blooms best and longest in cool-summer climates like Great Britain and the Pacific Northwest.

This spreads underground by rhizomes, though not aggressively.

In the Ch... read more


On Mar 22, 2013, klgaffney from Howell, NJ (Zone 6b) wrote:

Beautiful blooms, and the sprawling habit made it a charming companion to a patch of 'ragged jack' kale. The heat of late summer did beat it up some; it didn't occur to me to cut it back and see if it would recover in the fall. I'll try that this year.


On Feb 29, 2012, Wildernessgirl from Mountain Village, CO wrote:

I live in a ski town where quite often it doesn't stop snowing until May and starts again in October. I bought three of these that were already mature and planted in area that is part shade and very damp. I love these plants! They bloomed from May until October. They did die back in late August but a week or two later started a r growth and were even more beautiful. Require very little care other than watering. They came back even fuller and taller with more blooms the second year. They are growing in area where very few flowers would grow. The sweet woodruff growing next to it is a full shade plant.


On Aug 10, 2011, anelson from Birchwood, WI (Zone 3b) wrote:

This plant has beautiful blue blooms. It's true that it does have a bit of a trailing/flopping manner, but that only applies to the stems on which the flowers are borne - those stems do not have many leaves so they can just nestle into the plants around them and the little blue flowers can peek out from behind other foliage. Once they have finished blooming and are trimmed back, the foliage makes a tidy mound about 12-15" high.


On Jan 17, 2009, pgt from Chalfont, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Love, love, love this plant! I planted a few of these from bare-root 2 years ago. The plants blooms from May through the end of June, and are just gorgeous. They are so light and airy, and the flowers are a lovely blue-purple. When they are done blooming, I cut the plants down to the ground, and fresh dark green beautiful foliage emerges quickly for the rest of the summer, and then turns red for the fall. I think that this plant gives a garden a 'cottagy feel'. Highly recommend it.


On Jun 2, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Older cultivar that are still sold, at least one source said it had the bad habit of toppling over during flowering.


On Mar 7, 2007, Bellisgirl from Spokane, WA wrote:

This will be my third year growing this plant. I adore it! Mine got about two feet high! I think that is because it is in almost full shade, in an area that stays perpetually moist. It is also has good drainage in sandy soil on a slight slope. I love its true-blue flowers!


On Jun 26, 2006, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

This Cranesbill does very well in our shady and somewhat cool soil. It starts blooming in July and continues to bloom through November.

Ours has needed very little additional care, once they were moved from containers into the yard.


On Apr 16, 2006, doss from Stanford, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This geranium is sensitive to zone so it doesn't grow well above zone 8. It has few flowers and is rangy here. I try to stretch my zones sometimes but this didn't work in my zone 9 garden.


On Apr 15, 2006, tacm from Mansfield, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

DFW zone 8b - Blooms beautifully in spring a vivid magenta color. withstands dry conditions and freezing temps well.
a perfect 'in betweener' spilling out from larger plants.


On Sep 10, 2005, AuntieFran413 from Marysville, WA wrote:

We inherited this unknown entity when we bought this house in September 2004. What a joy it's been! It was just covered with beautiful blossoms for months! Yes, it tends to sprawl, but I much prefer a casual garden to a formal one so that may be why I love this plant so much!


On Mar 6, 2005, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

I am growing mine in a rather dry area where it is doing pretty well. The plant is leggy but planted among other plants, it can be an asset. The flowers are very pretty popping out unexpectely here and there.


On Dec 30, 2004, JefeQuicktech from Moorhead, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

'Johnson's Blue' is a very mannerly, yet, rugged plant that does well in our zone without any special protection. It graces the middle of a paver stone deck nestled comfortably next to a Feather Reed Grass 'Karl Foerster' (Calamagrostis acutiflora). They seem to really like each other.


On Jun 1, 2004, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Johnson's Blue is probably one of the easiest cranesbills to grow. I have found when I place a grow ring above it, it is much better behaved in spring. You can delay flowering in spring by pinching back, but I love the "blowsey" look with the grow ring. When the flowers start to fade, I shear it back, almost to the ground. It regrows much better behaved foliage, and sometimes will rebloom, but not as abundantly as the first bloom. I live in 5a/4b and have this plant on the east side of my home with fairly moist soil (courtesy of a close downspout). It has made babies a few times; since it's alongside a flagstone/pea gravel path, I have kept some, and dug & passed on the others.


On May 31, 2004, Magazinewriter from Bloomfield Hills, MI wrote:

It has been extremely rainy here in Michigan. The Johnson's Blue Geraniums I planted earlier this spring just started to bloom when they got flattened by a torrential rainstorm. They look as if they will continue to bloom a lot -- but it is an awfully messy looking plant.


On May 31, 2004, uofagirl from Orrville, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I agree w/ Vidamc. Mine is leggy and huge. Heavy rains have made the center very bare, but its still a prolific bloomer.


On May 24, 2004, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

Really like this plant, makes a clump about 14" high and stays nice looking all summer.


On May 18, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I bought this plant unmarked in an end of season sale last Fall here in Cincinnati (Zone6).
Half dried out, root-bound and ragged I think it went for a dollar.
I planted it in a ten inch pot and promptly forgot about it.
It was left in the open unprotected, by me, all winter.
It had a minimal leaf cover and whatever snowfall we had.
Temps dipped to 0 several times.

Come early Spring I got a flush of growth from a, I thought, bare dead pot.

Now it 15" tall and wide, in full bloom, and gorgeous.

It will be well protected this Fall for sure!!


On Mar 21, 2004, vidamc from Fenton, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant actually grows about 30" tall with a spread of approx 36" in my garden. It gets sheared (way too many blooms to deadhead) in the hottest part of summer then reblooms. I would actually prefer it to grow more compact, does anyone know if this can be cut back in the spring (like I do with garden mums) to create a tighter growing plant?


On Mar 19, 2003, Sunshine12 wrote:

They like moist, well- drained soil; organic soils promote spread. Give plenty of water during hot spells to keep the blooms coming. Shear after blooming to rejuvenate and they will rebloom. One neat feature of 'Rozanne' is that the foliage turns reddish-brown in Fall. Divide in Spring when clumps show signs of crowding (approximately every 4 years).


On Oct 21, 2002, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Vigorous grower, but in our Nor. Ca. dry summers, it dies back. Revives when watered again, however. To keep it evergreen, needs a weekly watering, so not suitable in xeriscaping except in moister, clay-based beds.


On Mar 9, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Vigorous, clump forming perennial flowers starting in spring to early summer; may go dorman in hottest weather. Cup-shaped flowers are a vivid blue and tinged pink at the center. Plant in well-drained soil. Provide afternoon shade, especially in the south.