Grow­ing Geums

Landscape (UK) - - In The Garden -

Geums are ever­green, or semi-ever­green hardy peren­ni­als. They come in a wide range of colours and shapes, some suit­ing full sun and oth­ers cop­ing in shade. How­ever, these are peren­ni­als that need reg­u­lar care.

They form clumps which need di­vid­ing reg­u­larly, after flow­er­ing. This pre­vents them from be­com­ing woody and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing. If planted amidst ram­pant self-seed­ers, such as for­get-me-nots, a cleared cir­cle round the base of the geum plant pre­vents it from be­ing sti­fled. Some spread more than oth­ers. G. ri­vale cul­ti­vars spread, whereas G. chiloense stay in neat, tight clumps. They grow in acidic or limey mois­ture-re­ten­tive soil that is an­nu­ally mulched with com­post. The amount of sun or shade is taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. G. ri­vale cul­ti­vars thrive in shade and moist soil, G. chiloense are sun lovers, while G. coc­cineum en­joy par­tial shade, scorch­ing in full sun. There is no clear ev­i­dence that dead-head­ing pro­longs the flow­er­ing sea­son. At­trac­tive seed­heads can be left on the plant but will cross-pol­li­nate.

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