There are many different varieties and cultivars of the geranium plant. The beautiful blooms, fragrant green foliage, and its low growing habit make the Big Root Geranium a favorite amongst gardeners.
Big Root Geranium is a low-maintenance, herbaceous, ground cover perennial. Its dark green leaves are scalloped and deeply lobed and measure between 4 and 8 inches in length. The aromatic foliage turns to deep reddish rust in the fall months. Purplish pink or white, 5 petaled 1-inch blooms appear in clusters from the early spring until late summer. The blooms also feature dark red sepals.
What is Big Root Geranium?
Its botanical name is Geranium macrorrhizum and is commonly known as "Bevan's variety." It belongs to the Geraniaceae family and the Cranesbill genus. Like all other cranesbill geraniums, the Big Root produces a seed pod that is reminiscent of the shape of a crane's beak.
Dr. Roger Bevan is the man that found this geranium growing in Yugoslavia and decided to name it. He proceeded to distribute it around Europe and people took a quick liking to the hardy plant. Because it can grow in a wide range of climates, this geranium is a gardener's dream.
The name "Big Root" alludes to the shape and size of the plant's large, rope-like rhizomes (mass of roots). Looking at the plant and its root system, you can see how it received its common name.
How to Grow Big Root Geraniums
We've put together a few tips to get you started. Don't forget to check out our main guide on how to grow geraniums as well.
Where does Big Root Geranium Grow best?
This geranium grows best outside as a ground cover plant, lining a walkway, and edging a garden. It can also be planted in a container. If grown in a container, make sure it gets enough water because it can tend to dry out quicker when planted there.
If you use it as a mass planting, it can create a beautiful focal point in the garden. Its mass of foliage and blooms will attract attention.
Growing to a height between .75 feet and 1 foot, this geranium serves as a great ground cover plant. It can reach a width of 1 to 2 feet and has a spreading habit of growth. This geranium spreads through rhizomes, creating an underground intertwining root system.
It grows at an average pace and reaches maturity at around 3 years of growth. Once it has been established, it's drought tolerant. It has a shallow, dense root system and is easy to divide so that you can plant more of it and spread its growth wider in your garden.
Growing Zones and Weather Conditions
Big Root Geranium grows best in the USDA plant hardiness zones 3-8. This range in hardiness shows that this particular plant can withstand a range of temperatures and climates.
This variety is heat and humidity resistant, making it a great choice for a southern gardener. On the other hand, it also performs well in colder climates, giving the plant much versatility in what it can handle. Depending on its growing region, it can nearly grow as an evergreen.
Type of Soil
The soil must be moist and well-draining in order for the geranium to perform at its best. Though it prefers rich soil, it can also grow in sand or clay. The hardiness of this plant really shows in the types of soil in which it can grow.
Light, Water, and Fertilization
To perform best, it needs full sun to partial shade. Though it can stand the sun, it's best to plant this geranium in a spot where the sunlight isn't too intense.
This geranium needs an average amount of water. Water it enough to keep the soil moist, but don't allow it to retain too much water. Once it has been established, it's drought tolerant.
Using a 10-10-10 fertilizer early in the spring will boost this geranium's health and increase its durability during its blooming months.
Growing Big Root Geranium Step by Step
- Decide if you're going to plant this geranium in a container or in a garden bed
- Since it can thrive in both sun and partial shade, pick your desired location
- Plant the seedling or seeds in moist, well-draining soil
- Water the plant an adequate amount; enough to keep it moist, but not too much to make the soil soggy
- Then, enjoy the blooms and foliage of your Big Root Geranium!
Big Root Geranium Inspiration
Attracting pollinators into your garden is very helpful to the health, wellness, and reproduction of your geraniums as well as the other plants in your garden. Creatures like bees and butterflies are attracted to this variety.
Read more: Do geraniums attract bees?
Appreciate the Detail
The Big Root Geranium displays intricate details on each of its blooms. The colors look stunning against the dark green, scalloped foliage.
Beautiful Colors Don't Stop in the Fall
Even though the blooms have faded by the time the fall comes, the geranium's leaves begin to turn into rusty red hues.
The dark red sepals of this plant look stunning against the color of the blooms. You can admire the intricacy of every part of this geranium.
Works Great in an Outdoor Pot
Growing this geranium in an outdoor pot will add some color to your patio. If you plant it in a pot or container, make sure you water it adequately since it can dry out quicker when contained.
Fore more inspiration: Growing Geranium in Hanging Baskets (Care Guide, PICTURES and more)
Deer and Rabbit Resistant
Since this geranium is deer and rabbit resistant, you can make sure that you're the one who gets to enjoy its springtime blooms. Being deer and rabbit resistant also helps protect the other plants in your garden. These creatures tend to dislike the aroma and soft fuzziness of this plant.
This variety of geranium has the ability to withstand shade and even thrive in it. This could make your gardening decisions easier because this plant can do well both in sunny areas and shaded areas.
Edge a Walkway
Since this geranium can spread quickly through its rhizomes, it works well as a walkway edge plant. It creates a full, colorful look in the garden.
Thrive in a Garden Full of Plant Life
The hardiness of this geranium allows it to grow in a garden full of other plant life. Its foliage and blooms complement those of other plants, like Hostas, very well.
A Purple Accent in Deep Green Foliage
The purple blooms and dark red sepal contrast beautifully with the lobed green foliage of the Big Root Geranium. These geraniums are easy to admire and appreciate.
Even Ants Think They're Sweet
Ants, harmless to the geranium, are attracted to the sweetness of this plant's blossoms.
Where to Buy Big Root Geranium
Big Root Geraniums create a great ground cover for your gardens or for lining walkways. Check out the following links to find a Big Root Geranium that will fit the vision you have for your garden at home.
Deep Magenta Big Root Geranium
This package comes with 1 live, well-rooted Big Root Geranium plant. The dark magenta blooms look extra prominent against the dark foliage.
'Bevan's' Variety of Big Root Geranium
This variety of Big Root Geranium exhibits magenta flowers with dark red sepals. In this shipment, you'll receive 1 pot, 3.5" x 4" deep, ready to plant.
'Album' Variety of Big Root Geranium
This packet of seeds contains the 'Album' variety of this geranium which produces white flowers with pinkish-red sepals.
Looking for more places to shop? Try this list of the top online stores for buying geranium seeds and plants.