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Erodiums Main | Borders & Bedding (7) Rock Gardens & Containers (29) Shade (3)
Erodiums
Many erodiums thrive in rock gardens or in containers with fast-draining soil, and remain more compact and floriferous with full sun. Although they will grow reasonably well in mildly acidic soil, amending the soil with dolomite, concrete chips or oyster grit or flour makes a great difference in plant size and health. Rock Garden and Container erodiums like a tall container such as a chimney flue, or a drainage pipe. There are some erodiums that will grow in well-drained perennial borders, with at least morning sun, and a few erodiums that prefer shade in all but the mildest summers. In our climate, erodiums close their flowers during the early afternoon, reopening them in the late afternoon. All are hardy in Zone 8/9.

Information is requested about erodiums that are successful in colder areas. Customers have reported that crown rot is a problem in cold, wet winters. A layer of gravel around the crown may help to avoid water splash of cold wet soil.

Shade (3 plants)
There are a number of different forms of Erodium reichardii that are suitable for light shade. They need good drainage and should generally not be planted outside in Zones 8 and below. They grow on north facing slopes in the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean. You might think of putting them between stepping stones, in small shallow containers, as an accompaniment to bonsai specimens or in the shade sections of the rock garden.
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Geranium phaeum 'Margaret Wilson'

Photo by Donn C. Reiners

This charming geranium for light shade comes originally from the UK where it was first introduced in 1989. It has pale green and very light creamy-yellow veined and splashed leaves and mid lavender flowers with a white eye. It forms a low mound about 12 x 18" when mature. It is very useful under shrubs and trees in the garden where it produced little splashes of artificial sunshine. It is cold hardy from USDA Zone 4-5 up to Zone 9.

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