Hedgerow cranesbill – info, planting, care and tips

Hedgerow cranesbill (Geranium endressii)
Hedgerow cranesbill (Geranium endressii)

The hedgerow cranesbill presents its delicate pink flowers in summer. This is how planting and caring for this ground-cover plant is successful.

Profile of hedgerow cranesbill:

Scientific name: Geranium endressii

Plant family: geranium family (Geraniaceae)

Other names: Endres cranesbill, French crane’s-bill

Sowing time: spring

Planting time: spring

Flowering period: June to September

Location: sunny to partially shady

Soil quality: sandy to loamy, lime-tolerant, nutrient rich, humus rich

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: flowerbeds, groundcover, overgrowing, area greening, borders, cottage garden, flower garden, natural garden, forest garden

Winter hardiness: hardy, USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 5 (-26 °C / -15 °F)

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of hedgerow cranesbill

Plant order, origin and occurrence of hedgerow cranesbill

The hedgerow cranesbill (Geranium endressii) is originally from the western half of the Pyrenees. The pretty perennial from the geranium family (Geraniaceae) is mainly found in France, hence why it is also called French crane’s-bill. Geranium endressii is also often sold under the botanical name Geranium x oxonianum – although this is a cross between the species and Geranium versicolor.

Characteristics of hedgerow cranesbill

Plant

Geranium endressii spreads with elongated rhizomes on or just below the surface of the earth. With its low lying stems the ground cover plant reaches a height between 25 and 50 centimeters (10 and 20 in).

Leaves

The basal leaves of the hedgerow cranesbill are partially evergreen and divided into five pointed sections almost to the base.

Blossoms

From June to September, the hedgerow cranesbill opens its funnel-shaped flowers, which are often visited by bees and other insects. They shine in pink or salmon pink and often have a silvery sheen. The veining in the upper part of the petals is somewhat darker and net-like. With increasing age the flowers of Geranium endressii darken even further. A pruning after the first bloom usually causes a second blooming.

Fruit

After flowering, hedgerow cranesbill forms schizocarp fruits. Excessive self-seeding can be prevented by pruning, if desired.

Hedgerow cranesbill – cultivation and care

Location

If you are looking for a suitable location for the hedgerow cranesbill, you have the choice: It thrives in both sunny and partially shady places.

Soil

Important for hedgerow cranesbill is a moderately dry to fresh soil, which should be as permeable and nutrient-rich as possible.

Planting

Like most other cranesbill species, the Endres cranesbill is best planted in spring. Note that Geranium endressii can grow to a width of between 30 and 40 centimeters (12 to 16 in). Per square meter (10 sq ft) you can plan about eleven plants.

Care / Watering / Fertilization / Pruning

The care measures for the hedgerow cranesbill are relatively straightforward. Freshly planted specimens should be well watered on warm, sunny days. In spring, a dose of compost is recommended for fertilizing. If you cut back the ground cover completely after flowering, it will also grow fresh and compact.

Dividing

A division of the long-lived perennials is not absolutely necessary, but is possible without any problems. The best time for this is spring.

Propagation

The propagation of the hedgerow cranesbill usually succeeds even hobby gardeners without problems. The plant is best propagated using cuttings from rhizomes. For this purpose, the rhizome pieces are cut diagonally and put into a small pot with growing soil. One can also propagate it by sowing. For this simply collect some seeds and sow them in spring.

Diseases and pests

In general, the hedgerow cranesbill is considered extremely robust. It is avoided by snails, but occasionally rust fungi or powdery mildew can occur.

Wintering

Due to the flat lying rhizomes the species is only limited hardy. Especially in case of bald frost it is advisable to provide it with winter and sun protection.

Use in the garden

As an undemanding ground cover, the hedgerow cranesbill is wonderfully suited for larger open spaces, the edge of a wood and larger borders. It can be combined well with many drought tolerant wild shrubs, such as common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis) or Carthusian pink.

Varieties

From Geranium endressii there are some interesting varieties that can be used in many ways. These are mostly crosses with Geranium versicolor. The selections are often also assigned to Geranium x oxonianum.

  • Beholder’s Eye’: bright pink to magenta pink flowers, 45 (18 in) centimeters high
  • Betty Catchpole’: dark pink flowers with weak veins, 40 (16 in) centimeters high
  • Castle Drogo’: salmon pink flowers, about 45 (18 in) centimeters high
  • Wargrave Pink’: intense salmon pink, delicate, 30 centimeters (12 in) high

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