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Avens, Geum

Geum

The perennials from the genus Geum, commonly called avens, enrich your garden with delicate, cup-shaped flowers in an impressive variety of colours. The representatives of this genus reach heights from between 20 and 80 centimetres. They are smaller, herbaceous perennials that are best planting in the first row of flower beds. Whether simple-flowered or romantically filled, especially in a group, these plants are enchanting with their high luminosity and they are perfect for wild and rock gardens, near the edge of shrubs or at the edge of ponds.

The flowers appear from late spring until midsummer. Thanks to intensive breeding work they shine in numerous, warm colours: from sun-yellow to a strong orange, blood-red to a beautiful pink or apricot. Even bees and butterflies are very fond of the flowers!

The Perennial with Magical Charisma

Take a look at our large Lubera® range! Geum is a wonderful rose companion and it works well with many other perennials, for example with the steppe sage, lady's mantle, geraniums, colourful yarrows or ground-covering barrenwort. Orange-coloured varieties are very ideal for combining with red-leaved coral bells (Heuchera), which makes for a great colour spectacle. Some varieties are also highly recommended as a permanent planting for pots.

This plant does generally not want to be too dry and is fortunately unattractive to snails even on fresher soils. Most varieties develop superbly in a sunny spot or in the light shade. The wintergreen leaf rosettes are a feast for the eyes all year round. You can take advantage of this feature by using this plant as a permanent border display. Due to the long flower stems it is also an excellent cut flower.

Our favourites include the following:

• Geum 'Mai Tai' with semi-double flowers with a noble apricot-pink hue, underlined by the dark red stems.

• The large-flowered avens selection Geum montana 'Diana' has golden yellow flowers; it is quite tolerant to drought and has a compact habit. In addition, in the autumn, it often flowers a second time. 'Diana' is also suitable as a container plant!

• The red avens variety Geum coccineum 'Koi' is ideal for sunny balconies and terraces but also sets great accents as a foreground plant in beds or in meadow-like plantings.

   
 
Geum coccineum 'Koi'

Avens 'Koi': a compact avens with bright orange flowers

From £4.40 *

No image available Geum rivale

Water avens

From £3.60 *

   
 
Geum

Characteristics

This is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae). The genus includes about 50 different species that occur worldwide.

• The popular garden avens Geum chiloense is native to Chile.

• The red Geum coccineum has its natural sites in the mountains of the southern Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor.

• Geum rivale, commonly known as water avens, can be found near streams, in forests and on roadsides and it was already used in the Middle Ages as a medicinal plant.

• The alpine avens Geum montanum is found in the European mountains and it is particularly robust.

• There are still many hybrids that have been created by accidental or professional crossbreeding and thus provide a large assortment for gardens.

The foliage is deciduous to evergreen, depending on the type and the conditions at the site. It grows directly from the rhizome and spreads flat/rosette-like, which gives the impression that the flowers float above the leaves. Species such as chiloense and coccineum have decorative, reddish pedicels.

If you buy this plant, you can choose from different flower shapes. These range from simple or semi-double, cup-shaped flowers to nodding calyxes. Also, the seeds that look like fluffy "pompoms" can be very decorative.

Location and Soil

It generally likes to thrive in the sun and partial shade, with species-specific differences. Varieties from Chile prefer a sunny location. The water avens and the red types do well even in partial shade.

Most representatives get along very well with normal garden soil. Very light, nutrient-poor sandy soils are rather unfavourable for the longevity of the perennials and should be improved before planting. Water avens basically like damp locations, i.e. it does especially well at the edge of a pond. The varieties of montanum prove to be quite tolerant to drought.

Planting

This perennial can be planted throughout the growing season – the best planting time is in the late summer. If you have a rather lean soil, you should prepare some compost before planting. The optimal planting distance is 25 to 35 centimetres.

Cultivating

The flowering is richer if you cut off the blooms regularly. Furthermore, when the plant is cut back after flowering, re-emergence of the leaves is encouraged so that the overall appearance of the planting remains attractive. If you have created a natural garden, the sowing of plants is often desired. The rivale type can make beautiful stocks over time. Otherwise, you should remove the inflorescences in a timely manner. Thus, the different cultivars in the garden remain permanently varietal, as there are no crossings.

If the centre of the plant develops a bare spot over time, it is recommended to divide the plant. In general, it makes sense to rejuvenate or divide the plant every three to five years. To do so, dig up the perennials after flowering. The young, non-woody rhizome pieces should now be carefully divided. One should keep in mind that soil fatigue is often detectable in the area of ​​perennial rose plants, which can also have a negative effect on the growth. Thus, you should change the location if possible. Alternatively, you can replace the soil at the old location to about 30 centimetres deep.

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