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DESCRIPTION: This mat forming geranium makes a great groundcover and rock garden plant; lilac-blue saucer shaped double blooms with rosy glow around a white center; deadhead spent flowers for reblooming later in the season

BOTANICAL NAME: Geranium himalayense ‘Birch’s Double’
OTHER NAMES: Birch Double Geranium, Lilac Cranesbill
SUN EXPOSURE: Full sun to partial shade
FOLIAGE COLOUR: Dark green turning red in fall
COLD HARDINESS: Zone 3 ( Should survive up to -39.9° Celsius )
WATER NEEDS: Drought tolerant
OTHER FEATURES: Attracts Butterflies, Border, Deer Resistant, Rabbit Resistant

Ornamental Features

Birch’s Double Cranesbill has masses of beautiful lilac purple flowers with blue overtones and white eyes at the ends of the stems from late spring to mid summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its deeply cut lobed palmate leaves are green in colour. The foliage often turns crimson in fall.

Landscape Attributes

Birch’s Double Cranesbill is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season’s flowers. Deer don’t particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Birch’s Double Cranesbill is recommended for the following landscape applications:

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Birch’s Double Cranesbill will grow to be about 14 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 20 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Birch’s Double Cranesbill is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a ‘filler’ in the ‘spiller-thriller-filler’ container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden. Be aware that in our climate, most plants cannot be expected to survive the winter if left in containers outdoors, and this plant is no exception.