Perennial geraniums are not the ubiquitous red geraniums grown in flower pots and hanging baskets that we see throughout the summer. Perennial geraniums, also known as "hardy" or "crane's bill" geraniums, have blooms that protrude above their eye-catching foliage in shades of pink and blue. Perennial geraniums are not only grown for their showy flowers but for the variety of colour, shape and texture the leaves produce. Most perennial, or hardy, geraniums prefer filtered sunlight or shade to the bright light of the direct sun. You can propagate perennial geraniums in the spring before blooming or in the early fall, once its blooms have faded.
Dig up the perennial geranium in the spring before the plant has produced blooms. Dig 6 to 8 inches out from the crown of the root ball to avoid damaging the roots.
Lift the root ball from the hole and place it on newspapers or a plastic bag. Untangle the root ball as much as possible without breaking the roots.
Divide the root ball of the perennial geranium into two sections by pulling the roots apart with your hands. You may need to cut the root ball with a sharp knife if the roots are tightly entangled.
Place the root ball sections into a bucket of water until you are ready to plant them in the garden. Replant the original plant at the same depth as before. Water the plant in and tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets.
Dig a hole for the newly divided root sections of the perennial geranium. Mix compost into the lose soil and add some to the planting hole. Plant the geranium at the same depth as the original plant. Do not allow the crown of the root ball to be below the soil surface. Water the new plant well after planting.
If you find a fresh seed pod on the perennial geranium, loosely tie a small paper bag or cloth bag around the pod. The geranium seed pod is designed to throw the seeds away from the plant when they are ripe. The bag catches the seeds and you can winter sow them for more plants in the spring.
Do not allow the root ball of the geranium to dry out before planting or the plant will die.