How to grow geum

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How to grow geum
flower (Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Geums are spring- and summer-blooming perennials that grow with a base of leaves - sometimes a little hairy - and tall, thin flower stems up to 18 inches.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bypass Pruners
  • Compost Makers
  • Fertilizers
  • Hand Cultivators
  • Mulch
  • Plants
  • Seeds

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  1. 1

    Shop for geum in spring and summer in nurseries.

  2. 2

    Look for plants in 4-inch containers, sometimes one-gallon pots.

  3. 3

    Choose plants that have new leaves coming out of the middle of the foliage, and in spring look for emerging flower stems.

  4. 4

    Plant geum in a sunny to partly shaded place with well-drained soil.

  5. 5

    Plant geum with similar colours - combine shades of orange ("Starkers Magnificent"), red ("Mrs. Bradshaw) or yellow ("Lady Stratheden"), or plant contrasting pinks and purples.

  6. 6

    Place a light application of organic fertilizer in the planting hole.

  7. 7

    Set the plants in the holes, about 6 to 12 inches apart.

  8. 8

    Water weekly during the first summer.

  9. 9

    Mulch around the plants by putting a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost around but not on top of the plant. This well help retain moisture.

  10. 10

    Cut back the flower stems as far back as you can reach with by-pass pruners when the flowers are finished. You will get more blooms later in the summer. Trim back the old, tattered leaves in early spring with by-pass pruners or scissors.

Tips and warnings

  • "Lady Stratheden" is yellow and has double the petals, making it look like a little rose.
  • Choose a place in the garden with constantly damp or well-drained soil for water avens (Geum rivale).
  • Geum spreads by underground stems, sending up new clumps of leaves nearby. You can let the plant spread this way, or dig up the new plants with a trowel and replant elsewhere.
  • The flower stems of geum will weave through other plants instead of standing straight up. This creates new color combinations in your garden.
  • Geum grows in sun or part shade in zones 5 to 8 of the U.S.D.A. Plant Hardiness Zone Map. One species, water avens (Geum rivale) will grow in U.S.D.A. zones 3 to 8.

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