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.
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.
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….what 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