Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)


JBtheExplorer

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Wild Geranium is native to much of the eastern half of the United States.

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I can't begin to explain how great of a plant this is, though that's true for most of the species I grow. The size and shape are perfect for all kinds of gardeners. The flowers it produces are bright and attractive. The foliage is interesting. I consider it to be a "gateway plant" that can help gardeners begin the transition to native species.

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It can start blooming as early as April and blooms throughout the month of May and occasionally into June. Individual plants bloom for four to six weeks.


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It attracts bees like Mason bees and Bumble bees, as well as flies and occasionally butterflies.

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It can grow in full sun, full shade, or anything in between. It prefers moist or average soil, but can somewhat tolerate dry soil if planted in shade. I've had some plants go dormant in summer and some stick around all year, especially in moist soil.

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As its flowers fade, seed pods form. The pods can be removed to prevent reseeding, or left on to encourage it. It also slowly spreads via rhizomes, but can be easily controlled. Wild Geranium is often used as a woodland ground cover, but can be just as easily used as a single plant in your garden. Regardless of how you use it, it's worth being used if you're in its native range!

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alp

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How you made something so banal beautiful!

I like the one with the fly and all its pollen everywhere!
 
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the thing with natural wild things like that, you got to know your leaves, they can pop up anywhere. you'd be out pulling some weeds etc. got to be aware at all times to not pull them. Yes you can encourage a good clump in places. But they still roam to other places.
 
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JBtheExplorer

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the thing with natural wild things like that, you got to know your leaves, they can pop up anywhere. you'd be out pulling some weeds etc. got to be aware at all times to not pull them. Yes you can encourage a good clump in places. But they still roam to other places.

All plants that aren't sterilize hybrids can reproduce, and sterile hybrids should never be used, anyway. I've explained this before, but a huge myth about "wild" plants is that they spread like weeds. People think that native plants are weeds. Isn't that ridiculous? It couldn't be further from the truth, obviously. How much a plant spreads depends on the individual specie. Some plants spread a lot, some don't. Same thing is true for garden center cultivars. If worried about a specie spreading, a very simple step is to cut the seed pods or seed heads off and you're good to go! Or, as I said, leave them on to encourage reseeding, which is also a great choice.

I have both a "wild" garden (my native garden) and a "clean" garden (my pond's surrounding garden), both are filled with natives, both super easy to take care of. No watering, no fertilizer, no anything. The only difference is, I cut the seed heads off in my "clean" garden and have never found a plant growing where it wasn't supposed to be, including a small clump of Wild Geranium.
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The terms “weed” and “flower” are completely subjective. In Florida people pay big bucks and spend lots of time cultivating Confederate Jasmine. Up here in N.C. It is a curse. I bet I have over a thousand miles of the vines growing on my property. When I kayaked in the Everglades there were wild Orchids galore. Here in N.C. the Daffodils grow wild everywhere, even where they aren’t wanted. Black eyed Susans are a staple in the woods without anyone propagating them. I am following JB’s lead In letting the flowering weeds take over a large portion of my property. I will help them by sowing some seeds in the bare spots. I have come to appreciate the beauty nature has given us and enjoy it even more when I don’t have to primp and pamper it.
 
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we live on a wooded property, and encourage all sorts of wild species. the wild geranium is not one I worry about. as with my billions of May Apples that umbrella all over the woodland garden. I tell folks I am a rich women as May Apples sell for $3.00 each at some nurseries.

this video only shows a few May Apples. there are a ton more on my woodland slop garden. Yes I have lots of birds.
 

JBtheExplorer

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A weed in my eyes is only a plant growing in the the wrong / unwanted place

That's the common definition. That definition made sense to me for a long time, but as my mindset changed, so did my opinion of what should be called a weed. For me, a weed is simply a non-native specie, since native species were naturally covering all of our lands before we did a mass extermination of native flora. They "belong" here, so I can't define them as weeds, even if some spread more aggressively than others.
 
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JBtheExplorer

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I am following JB’s lead In letting the flowering weeds take over a large portion of my property. I will help them by sowing some seeds in the bare spots. I have come to appreciate the beauty nature has given us and enjoy it even more when I don’t have to primp and pamper it.

Have you looked into Prairie Moon Nursery's native seed mixes? They have some inexpensive ones that would likely be useful to you. The Shortgrass inexpensive mix certainly stands out in my eyes. I may consider using that in the future if I create a new garden.
 

alp

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A weed in my eyes is only a plant growing in the the wrong / unwanted place.....all flowers have their own beauty!:)

Yes, some dandelion flowers are absolutely beautiful and displayed all lovely details ..
 

alp

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they say that the dandelions are the first for the bees in the spring.

I would say hellebores or even winter jasmine! I have seen quite a few round my hellebores. Esther, hope you're going to show us your hellebores.
 
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Agree @alp , we've had them around our Helllebores........even had Butterflies flitting about this week. Just hope they all find somewhere snug for the temperature drop this weekend.
 

alp

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Perhaps in the States, the temperature is different from ours and dandelions come out earlier than ours.
 
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many people have dandelions, if they want them or not. so "they" say that the bees need them first in spring, to keep people from killing the dandelions before the bloom to help with the bee population. Sometime a general announcement to folks has to take note to others. Not all are gardeners, who have other things for the bees.
 
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