Geranium maderense

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Geranium maderense

Postby Jarew » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:08 pm

I have a baby maderense in a pot on the porch where it is protected from the cold of our winter. Its growing nicely. I put a small plant in the garden last year and the cold killed it. I know this species get rather large and ideally I would like to plant it in my garden, however anywhere in my garden that receives good sun, wont get a lot of protection from frost (we dont get much frost, but it can happen).
My question for those with experience growing this plant is....will it be more hardy to cold once it's a bigger more established plant? If I plant it in the garden in spring will it be hardy enough by the following winter to survive, or would you recommend planting it in a large pot that can be relocated in winter. Do Geranium maderense do well in pots? Any tips most appreciated. Thanks :)
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Re: Geranium maderense

Postby greg.l » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:09 am

I have grown G palmatum, a similar plant. They make a fantastic display, one of the best plants I have grown, great foliage and flowers. They grow so quickly you should leave it in a pot until warmer weather comes, then plant it out in a prominent place. They suffer from root rot, which is why I can't grow them anymore, so they need good drainage. You could try planting in a large pot, that should work. Palmatum grows very easily from seed, they produce copious seed so collect some for next year. I would treat it as an annual and grow new plants each year, it is worth the effort.
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Re: Geranium maderense

Postby Systema_Naturae » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:57 pm

I have this plant growing in my garden, and have had for many years. It's a monocarpic plant, meaning that once it flowers and sets seed it dies. It is also biennial, taking two years to flower. Greg.l is right that they propagate easily from seed. The position in which I grow them is littered with seedlings after the parent plant dies, so I just pull out all the seedlings bar a few. I usually only end up with one plant though because they grow quite large - you need at least 1m of space to grow it.

My experience with this plant at first was one of frustration. I lost four of them in succession, all in different spots in the garden. On my avowed final attempt it was finally happy with its new spot and took off with gusto. The position seems to suit the species very well and I've heard from other successful growers of this plant that finding the perfect spot for them is often tricky, but once you do you'll have them growing there for as long as you want. Mine gets sun from early morning to around 2pm and is close to a western wall, which provides it frost protection. A bright, sunny spot is ideal. I haven't found it to be too fussy with soil type so long as it drains well.

I'm afraid it wont get more resistant to frost damage in its second year. Perhaps the best solution is to build it some kind of frost protection for winter?

It also will not survive in a pot in all likelihood unless it's a pretty large pot, something like a wine barrel might do it. Also, don't cut the dead leaves off or the plant is likely to topple over in its second year. The dead foliage acts as a brace for the main stem of the plant, helping it to stay upright.

Geranium palmatum as greg mentioned is a very similar looking plant - if you can't get maderense to grow then perhaps G. palmatum will?

All the best.
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Re: Geranium maderense

Postby Jarew » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:31 pm

Thank-you for sharing your experience :D

My little plant is still growing well, although I have noticed that the aphids seem to love it, so I've had to spray it with a natural bug deterrent.

After reading your posts I will not plant it out into my established garden. Recently we have retained some new areas of garden and more planting space is becoming available. I am determined to find a protected spot with good morning sun for this plant. I will construct some frost protection next winter if need be. I really hope it establishes itself as G maderence is such a beauty when grown. Fingers crossed.

I will also try some G palmatum as after reading about these they may well be more successful in my garden.
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Re: Geranium maderense

Postby Systema_Naturae » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:49 pm

If you think you've found the perfect spot for it, Jarew, and it turns out not to like the spot and turns up its toes my only advice is not to despair!

Finding the spot it does like can be tricky but once you do find that space then they're a doddle to keep going. Think of it as the gardener's version of the golfer's "sweet spot" - often aimed for but often missed, though all part and parcel of enjoying the game, as it were!

Geranium maderense is such a beauty that I think it's worth the heartache of losing a few in the trial-and-error stage.

Best of luck!
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Re: Geranium maderense

Postby greg.l » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:19 am

I recently got seed of madarense and canariense. from chilterns seeds, will be sowing them in a week or so.
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Re: Geranium maderense

Postby Jarew » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:04 pm

I look forward to hearing how your seeds grow Greg.

Mine is growing quickly, now in a bigger pot still on the porch, and loving the morning and early afternoon sun the last few days have provided it with.
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