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You’ve got the trees, the shrubs, some flowering Spirits. How do you tie them all together? A nice, low, tidy groundcover. Biokovo Geranium is a neat little spreader that will cover bare soil with its handsome lobed leaves, unifying your landscape while it smothers any weeds that try to sprout in your piece of Eden. In addition, it will charm you in spring with a parade of pretty white flowers touched with the palest pink blush. In fall, you’ll get yet another bonus—red and orange autumn foliage! In mild climates, the leaves may persist all winter. Biokovo spreads at a moderate pace and is easy to control.
- Hardiness Zone: 5-8
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Biokovo Geranium has its origins in the Biokovo Mountains of Croatia. It was there that German nurseryman Dr. Hans Simon found it back when the area was known as Yugoslavia. He introduced it through his nursery in 1980. Biokovo is a naturally occurring hybrid between two species of Geraniums that are native to the area. One parent, the Bigroot Geranium, gives Biokovo’s leaves their herbal scent, which helps to repel deer and other critters. The other parent, the Dalmatian Geranium (no, it isn’t white with black spots), contributes an extra dose of drought tolerance to the offspring.
There are dozens of excellent hardy Geraniums you can buy to brighten your landscape. Biokovo is one of the best. How do we know? The Perennial Plant Association named it their Perennial Plant of the Year in 2015, an honor they have bestowed upon only one other Geranium (Rozanne). Biokovo took the prize for its multi-seasonal appeal, adaptability, resistance to pests and diseases, and ease of culture.
How to Grow
Biokovo Geranium does best in light shade in moist but well-drained soil, although it will put up with full sun if plenty of water is given, and it will cope with dry soil if grown in shade. Little maintenance is needed. The plant is easy to rein in if it strays too far—simply dig any unwanted clumps and compost them or move them to another part of the garden. A sterile hybrid, Biokovo will not reseed. In late winter, remove any dead or damaged leaves to make way for fresh new growth.
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