The Geranium Cinereum is a low maintenance, evergreen perennial plant. It is also known as the Ballerina Cranesbill because the seed pod of the plant resembles a crane's beak. Native to the Pyrenees mountains, this type of geranium is known for its dramatically colored flowers that can last from early spring to mid summer. This plant grows at a moderate pace and needs a full or partial sun environment.
Blooming in the summer, this plant is identified by its pink flowers with purple accents in the veins. The leaves of the plant are a muted green with lace details. The average height of this geranium is 6 inches (15.24cm), and the plant will typically spread approximately 6 to 12 inches (15.24 to 30.48cm) across the ground in low cover.
One of the most popular features of the Geranium Cinereum is its deer resistance. It is a popular choice for ground cover in garden beds and rock gardens and will provide a colorful environment unlikely to be targeted by hungry deer. Furthermore, as a perennial plant, it will return year after year to give a garden color and coverage. Many gardeners also like to use these plants in large pots or between rocks and flagstones in natural garden paths. When paired with taller geranium species, dramatic color beds can be created.
When planting, the seeds should be sown in the spring. The ideal location is an area with exposure to at least partial sunlight, preferably full sun. The soil must also be able to drain efficiently to promote good growth. Ideally, the soil should be quite dry or slightly moist, although frequent watering is required during the first growing cycle. These plants are drought hardy and can tolerate low winter temperatures.
Once planted, the Geranium Cinereum requires very little maintenance. It will need watering only if rainfall has been absent for many days and should not need to be cut back more than once or twice a year. Clipping the plant will improve regrowth in the following cycle and may be necessary after a harsh winter. This geranium will self-seed to spread across the rockery or flower bed, but should not take over the landscape.
The bright flowers of this subspecies attract many different insects, including bees and butterflies. This generally makes the plant an ideal choice for a butterfly garden. The Geranium Cinereum has also received the Award of Garden Merit for its beauty.