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Herbaceous Perennial

Geranium malviflorum
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

mallow-flowered cranesbill

G. malviflorum is a tuberous-rooted perennial to 30cm tall, with rounded leaves deeply divided into 7 lobes, appearing in autumn and dying away in summer; mallow-like light or deep purple flowers with dark-veined petals, open in spring

Synonyms
Geranium atlanticum Hook. f.
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green
Summer Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Geraniaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Geranium can be annuals, biennials and perennials, herbaceous or evergreen, with rounded, usually palmately lobed or divided leaves, and lax inflorescences of rounded, 5-petalled flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Spain & N Africa

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How to grow

Cultivation

Best in full sun and with good drainage, but tolerates nutrient-poor soils and can be used in much the same way as spring bulbs, using annuals or neighbouring plants to occupy the space in summer

Propagation

Divide the tubers shortly after the foliage has been lost, but before autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Rock garden
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Gravel garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Dies away back to ground level in summer

Pests

Generally robust and trouble-free, but can occasionally suffer from slugs, snails, aphids, vine weevil and geranium saw fly

Diseases

Problem-free generally, but rust and a virus may occasionally occur

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