I Love Geranium sanguineum

Jun 7, 2019 | Love This!

Name: Geranium sanguineum aka bloody cranesbill geranium

Type of Plant: A low growing (1.5 feet tall and wide) perennial for full sun to part shade.

Why I Love/Hate this plant: I love the plant because it gently self-seeds in the garden, is fairly weed smothering, and is covered with pink flowers in June. The species plant has bright pink flowers and there are other varieties that are light pink.

This is an adaptable plant that the deer and rabbits leave alone. It makes a good under-planting for shrubs and a nice front-of-the-border plant for a perennial garden.

A Word to the Wise: There are two ways to handle this plant after it stops flowering. The first is to leave it as is, but know that the seeds that result will sow and grow here and there. The second way to handle it is to chop it down to the ground after the blooms fade, and it will respond with new foliage and even a few new flowers.

The only geranium I planted in this area is the one on the top left-hand corner. Yet this plant has gently spread along the entire front of the shed and below. All this with, of course, my permission.

I love the way this plant self-seeds here and there but it doesn’t form a heavy carpet of plants.


  1. Barohn

    This geranium is a total thug! in my garden here in Aotearoa… I have dug out the initial plantings and placed them down in the back garden, waiting for a friend to come and take them away… but as you say, they spread their seeds and I still have a few young striplings in the front garden that I have left… for now!

    • CL Fornari

      The truth is that one person’s treasured plant is another’s thug…since all gardening is regional, what gently self seeds for me might be overly enthusiastic for you. That and the amount of space available also makes a difference. Those with ground to cover might love this plant while those with limited space will find that it’s too much. Enjoy!

  2. Andrew Davenport

    I live in Northumberland where it is the county wild flower. I love this plant too and would love it to self seed in my garden more! Unquestionably a very beautiful wild flower and very garden worthy plant. Andrew Davenport (Gardener’s Cottage Plants)

  3. Ruth Frazer

    It works well on a sloped area because it is thick which crowds out weeds . It’s an area where hard to get to for care . Better than the ivy I had there because it stays compact.


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