Geraniums and Pelargoniums forum: Geranium macrorrhizum - maintenance

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Name: Matt Saba
Lower East Side, New York, New (Zone 7b)
Sabaladas
Aug 21, 2016 11:01 AM CST
Dear gardeners,

I have a bunch of hardy big-root geraniums (Geranium macrorrhizum "Bevan's Variety") growing in the beds around the young street trees on my block. They have come back from last year, and did very well in the spring, but are now looking shabby and brown around the edges after a few weeks of intense summer heat. I have been watering around once a week. I am wondering if it would help to prune them back or is this just going to aggravate. Also, should they be deadheaded to encourage more blossoms? They bloomed in the spring but have shown no new blooms since then.

We planted these because they are hardy and drought resistant and are supposedly able to stand up to the gritty streets of NYC's lower east side. I am wondering, more generally speaking, if their lackluster appearance is simply part of their seasonal life cycle or if they should be looking better and it is something we are doing wrong. Any tips or advice appreciated!!

Name: Debbie
Manitoba, Canada (Zone 3a)
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DebbieC
Aug 26, 2016 6:49 PM CST
Bevans variety is a pretty tough cranesbill and stands up pretty well to heat and drought. It's not necessary to prune them back generally, but if they are looking brown and shabby there's no harm in doing so. You can pluck out the worst leaves or give it a haircut. They will put out some sporadic rebloom, but I think they are generally an earlier bloomer. Deadheading will prevent a lot of self seeding.
Don't think you're doing anything wrong, just a reflection of a period of high heat causing some disfiguring to the foliage. Good luck!

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