Foliage Follow Up – March 2015 – Geranium palmatum

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This month I have decided to focus on one particular plant for the foliage follow up as I keep showing the same old plants month in, month out.  My chosen plant is Geranium palmatum which I personally think is a wonderful foliage plant before the electric pink flowers appear.  Read any description of the plant and you will see it is frost hardy and short lived.  I have a number of these plants grown from seed several years ago and they have come through the last two winters unscathed although admittedly the winters have been mild.  I think the lowest temperature we have had is -4C.  However, we have had some real frosts which have left the Melianthus major leaves scorched but the most the Geranium palmatum has suffered is some of the older leaves going a blotchy red colour.

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I like the leaves as they have a nice ferny texture to them and quite different to other geraniums.  They are called palmatum I think due to the palm leaf shapes.  You will also see how fresh and glossy the leaves are even in March and they stay like this all year.  The only maintenance is to remove the older leaves as they fade.

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And look at this wonderful fresh new shoots forming in the middle.  As you can see Geranium palmatum grows from a central stem, like Geranium madrense, so cannot be divided like many other Geraniums.  I think the only way of propagating it is by seed and I plan to collect some seed this year as an insurance policy in case we have a hard winter this year.  But….2015_03150007what really fascinated me where the shiny red leaflets clustered around the leaf stems.  So vibrant and attractive and I don’t remember having spotted them before.  I only noticed them when I was cutting back dead leaves and weeding around the plant and became completely fascinated by them. They remind me of onion skins, the ones just under the dry outer skins, almost silk like. Its amazing what you discover when you really look at your plants.

For more Foliage Follow Up posts visit Pam over at Digging

 

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian Skeys says:

    It is amazing what colour and detail you can miss on garden plants. I think writing and taken photos for a blog encourages you to look closer at your plants.

  2. sueturner31 says:

    Wonderful… I bought palmatum last year from a N/T prop’ it is a large plant as yours is, but I have kept it in the G/H over winter. After reading your post I may be tempted to put it outside permanently. Madrence has been with me for years and seeds so have no problem with this but I wouldn’t like to lose palmatum. Sue

  3. Pauline says:

    Such beautiful foliage. I used to have it, but then forgot to save seed and lost the plant one cold winter, I must try again!

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    As Georgia OKeefe said a lot of people look at flowers but never see them. That is paraphrasing of course. Your foliage is quite pretty.

  5. Alison says:

    I love hardy Geraniums, but this is one I’m not familiar with. I’ve been surprised what things I notice when I’m down on my knees, weeding, or on my belly, trying to get a photo of something.

  6. Yes, those leaves do create an interesting texture, and a lovely shape, too!

  7. Anna says:

    As you say it has a ferny look about it Helen which is most attractive. It reminds me a bit of the smaller geranium robertianum which causes me much weeding

  8. One of my favourite plants and quite a lot more forgiving than G. maderense I find. G. palmatum has survived winters cold and mild, but does not like soggy soil. My oldest plant is now 9 years old, with a stem 2 ft long. It is not supposed to have lasted this long but seems happy enough. Its progeny appear everywhere, but don’t seem to share the same longevity. May yours live long and prosper!

  9. You have encouraged me to try to grow this from seed, this looks like great fun.

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    I tend to focus on just one or two interesting plants each month for Foliage Follow-Up too, although I did a few more than usual this time. Those red leaflets are pretty, adding something extra to an already attractive plant.

  11. Cathy says:

    What a lovely looking plant, not one I have come across either

  12. Chloris says:

    Gorgeous, I love this plant. I saw massive ones at Tresco Abbey Gardens. I love the way it lays its stalks on the soil so that they look like stilts. I have tried to grow it but the frost zapped it every time, so well done on keeping yours. I shall look forward to seeing it in bloom.

  13. Nara says:

    Ho una pianta di geranium palmatus, presa quest’anno a giugno, so che devo aspettare qualche anno per vederla in fiore: Abito in un paesino del centro Italia, dove qualche volte in inverno nevica e le temperature scendono sotto lo zero, mi consigliate di metterla al chiuso?

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