Red avens – info, planting, care and tips

Red avens (Geum coccineum)
Red avens (Geum coccineum)

During its long flowering period in early summer, the red avens provides a splash of color in the garden and scores points with its ground-covering foliage. This is how to take care of the plant.

Profile of red avens:

Scientific name: Geum coccineum

Plant family: rose family (Rosaceae)

Other names: dwarf orange avens

Sowing time: –

Planting time: spring to autumn

Flowering period: May to July

Location: sunny to partially shady

Soil quality: sandy to loamy, nutrient rich, humus rich

These information are for temperate climate!

Use in: flowerbeds, ground cover, embankments, single position, group planting, area greening, borders, flower garden, natural garden

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

Bee and insect friendly: Yes

Plant characteristics and classification of red avens

Plant order, origin and occurrence of red avens

The red avens (Geum coccineum) is native to the mountains of the southern Balkan peninsula and Asia Minor. It appeared as a garden plant in the middle of the 19th century, after English botanists had already described it in 1806. Thanks to its uncomplicated species and a long flowering period in a rare shade of orange-red, the species from the rose family (Rosaceae) quickly found widespread use.

Characteristics of red avens


The clump-forming type grows bushy. The flower stems rise 30 to 50 centimeters (12 to 20 in) above the dense leaf rosettes.


On the leaves you can distinguish the red avens from other avens species. The roundish, kidney-shaped terminal leaves are strikingly large and pleasantly soft. Behind them, the two to four-pair side leaves almost disappear. The foliage lies close above the ground and remains green throughout the winter. You can take advantage of these properties and use dwarf orange avens as a border plant that looks tidy all year round. To do this, place the ground-covering plants at 25 centimeter (10 in) intervals.


The bowl-shaped flowers appear from May to July and are brick red.


The seed stands are called nuts. With their feathery styles they have a playful charm.

Red avens – cultivation and care

Location and soil

The place should be sunny to partially shady. Its occurrence in nature along watercourses, on wet meadows and in moist forests already suggests that the red avens prefers fresh to moist soil. However, it thrives in any normal garden soil and tolerates even short dry periods without any problems.


You can plant potted perennials all season long. A planting distance of 25 centimeter (10 in) is recommended.


Water regularly and let the soil dry in the meantime. If you cut out withered plant parts consistently, especially the varieties of the red avens will bloom a second time. Incidentally, freshly blossomed flower stems are ideal for meadow-like bouquets.


Red avens can be easily propagated by division from late summer to autumn.

Diseases and pests

The red avens is largely spared from plant diseases and pests. Not even snails eat the robust species.


Red avens is hardy down to -26 °C / -15 °F. Ther eis no need for special measures for the winter time.

Use in the garden

As so often in design, nature provides the best inspiration: In the case of the red avens, this is a meadow-like layout, often in combination with water. At the edge of the pond, the perennial looks pretty with Siberian iris (Iris sibirica). In a natural open-air planting, the uncomplicated perennial is associated with, for example, woodland sage, yarrow, lady’s mantle and bellflowers. As a low border plant it closes perennial beds beautifully. You can mix the red avens very well with other avens species and varieties. On the border of daylilies, for example, the colorful company of cultivated varieties (scarlet avens, white avens, bent avens e.g.) and water avens (Geum rivale) forms a flowering vanguard.


‘Borisii’ is a particularly pretty, richly flowering garden variety. It grows a little more thickset than the wild species. It can even be used as a leaf carpet for partially shady areas, where its orange-red flowers shine out. The 30 centimeter (12 in) high “Sea of Fire” also blooms strikingly orange-red. A little lower remains the excellent, semi-double, orange-red ‘Werner Arends’ with a height of 25 centimeters (10 in). All three varieties can be reassembled reliably. A new shade is offered by the delicately apricot-colored ‘Coppertone’.

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