Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Geranium incanum

Common Name
Cranesbill Geranium
CA Native
Plant Type
Ground Cover
< 1' x 1.5'
Flower Color
Bloom Time
  • Spring
Bright Green
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Adverse Growth Factors
Special Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Not Particular
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Geranium incanum forms a dense carpet of finely cut, fernlike, delicate leaves and rosy lavender flowers that almost cover the plant in spring. It will continue to blossom sporatically throughout the summer. It will spread by underground runners and cover large areas if healthy.  It can be used as a ground cover in any type of terrain. It also looks good trailing over retaining walls or along garden paths. It can be invasive in a garden so trim off flowers after first flush to avoid seeding. It will die back in those areas of Marin with heavy frost but will return in the spring.

Plant slightly above soil grade in soil with good drainage. Plant in full sun for maximun flower development. Mulch to retain soil mositure. Cut down every other year to keep compact.

Master Gardener Comments

This is a great plant for those areas in your garden which you somehow seem to neglect as it will thrive on little water and no attention. I have it on a hillside with Ceanothus and Manzanitas. Beautiful in the spring.


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