Bursting with flowers, hardy geraniums also enjoy a lush foliage which adds valuable texture in the garden. Incredibly tough, pest and disease resistant, they give a lot and require very little. Most hardy geraniums are ridiculously easy to grow. All they require is a moderately fertile, well-drained soil. A few species are even reliably drought tolerant in normal summer conditions.
Some hardy geraniums are evergreen or semi-evergreen and make excellent groundcovers - so don't cut back their foliage in the fall!
Don't confuse them with the lovely bedding plants called 'geraniums', which belong to the genus Pelargonium and are much more tender (very few are hardy). Hardy geraniums or cranesbills are perennial plants that belong to the genus Geranium and thrive in temperate climates with cool summers and cool summer nights. As would be expected, hardy geraniums are much tougher plants. Most are hardy to USDA zone 5 (-20°F or -29°C) and some are even more cold tolerant, such as Geranium pratense, which can withstand extremely low temperatures (up to -50°F or -45°C).
To beautify your landscape, there is a broad array of colors and textures to choose from. If you are looking for a beautiful, evergreen or semi-evergreen, hardy geranium that will sail through the challenges of the seasons, you may want to consider these top performing varieties. As you will note, some of them have received the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society!