Even though I chose a blue-flowering perennial for last month’s plant pick, I could not resist putting this delicate, blue hardy geranium in the spotlight this month.
Long-Blooming and Low Maintenance
Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’ is a hardy geranium, also known as a Cranesbill Geranium. But Johnson’s Blue is not as self-seeding (my polite way of saying invasive) as some of the other hardy geraniums in my garden. It also blooms longer.
It has a mounding habit and blooms from late spring through summer, with the foliage aging into a shades of orange and red in the fall.
It’s native to China and is a long-time favorite of cottage gardeners. It’s a wonderful plant for an informal border and also does well in containers. And the two-inch blue flowers work with just about any garden’s color palette.
Delicate foliage adds to this plant’s interest, making it pretty as a cut flower and a filler in floral arrangements, although the blossoms don’t last very long.
It is happiest in full sun but can easily tolerate a little shade, as it does in my garden. But because of the part shade, this plant gets a little more gangly than it might if it were in full sun. So after the flowers finish blooming, I trim it back a little to give it a more compact shape. And after that, new growth usually shows up pretty quickly.
Johnson’s Blue should be planted in compost-rich soil and given consistent water until it is well established. But once established, it is moderately drought tolerant and also low maintenance. It has few pests and does well in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8.
And the bees love it.
- Planning a perennial garden but confused by all the choices out there? C. Colston Burrell’s book Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right From the Start provides expert guidance on choosing perennials that work well together by color, season, site conditions, and much more.
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