The Q&A Archives: Cranesbill Leaves Turning Brown

Question: Last year I purchased a Cranesbill and selected a shady location for planting. Early this spring, the foliage was beautiful. Once it began to flower (it has only produced three), the leaves have begun to turn brown as if the plant is dying back. Is this normal or do I have another problem?

Answer: Cranesbill can be either Erodium or geranium. Both should bloom profusely over a long summer season, providing the cultural requirements are met.

Erodium thrives in full sun or partial shade in porous, well-draining soil. It needs regular, deep watering, so provide a soaking once each week during the growing season.

Geranium grows in full sun or partial afternoon shade and needs constant moisture. Water before soil begins to dry out.

If you've been watering correctly (depending upon which plant you have), I'd suspect another problem - perhaps soil that retains too much moisture over too long a time, not enough sunshine, or not enough nutrients in the soil. Try mulching over the soil with organic matter which will release nutrients as it decomposes. It might also help to inspect your plants for evidence of insect or disease problems. Hope your cranesbill perks up soon!

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