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Herbaceous Perennial

Geranium thunbergii
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

Japanese cranesbill

A vigorous semi-evergreen perennial, to around 30cm high, with trailing to ascending stems and light green, lobed leaves with bronze markings in the notches. Loose sprays of small pink , purple or white flowers, often with purple veining, are produced in late summer and sometimes into early autumn

Synonyms
Geranium yoshinoi misapplied
Geranium wilfordii misapplied
see moreGeranium nepalense subsp. thunbergii

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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
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Bronze
Summer White Pink Purple Green Bronze
Autumn White Pink Purple Green Bronze
Winter Green Bronze
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Geraniaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Trailing
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
Japan, Korea

How to grow

Cultivation

Thrives in sun in well-drained soil, but will tolerate a range of soils and positions, except waterlogging

Propagation

Propagate by seed, or by division, trailing stems will sometimes root at the nodes

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Coastal
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Underplanting of roses and shrubs
Pruning

Remove flowered stems and old leaves to encourage the production of fresh growth

Pests

May be susceptible to vine weevil larvae, geranium sawfly larvae, capsid bug, slugs and snails

Diseases

May be susceptible to downy mildews and virus diseases, and to powdery mildews in dry conditions

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