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Need a dependable plant to add a splash of color to your spring landscape? New Hampshire Purple Geranium is the one to get the job done. This splendid Spirit will brighten your border year after year with a profusion of lively magenta-purple blooms. It’s a breeze to care for, too! As rugged and self-reliant as any self-respecting New Hampshirite, it requires few inputs from you to perform magnificently each year. It bounces back from the worst winters (it tolerates lows to -40ºF), emerging faithfully to greet late spring with intense purple-pink blossoms. A wicked-good plant!
Don’t confuse Hardy Geraniums with the bright red and orange Geraniums you buy as annuals every year. The latter, known botanically as Pelargoniums, are originally from South Africa and are cold-hardy in only the mildest regions of the country. Hardy Geraniums, on the other hand, come from Europe, Asia, and North America. New Hampshire Purple belongs to a Hardy Geranium species that is native to Europe. This species is often called Bloody Cranesbill. “Cranesbill” refers to the beaklike shape of the seed capsules, and “Bloody” is a macabre way to describe the beautiful red tones the leaves take on in fall!
New Hampshire Purple Geranium was selected for its long bloom time and vibrantly colored flowers. This is a wide-spreading form that serves as an excellent groundcover. It’s easy to trim if you’d rather keep it more compact.
How to Grow
For the greatest flower production and densest habit, you’ll want to site New Hampshire Purple Geranium in full sun. Part shade is your next best option, and some shade may be preferable in very hot climates. Give it average soil; overly rich conditions encourage floppy growth. Water regularly, but don’t worry if you miss a watering now and then. New Hampshire Purple can withstand short periods of drought. The foliage often looks good well into winter—you may not need to trim plants back until early spring. When the time comes, simply cut back old growth to make way for the new.
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