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Geranium maderense (Madeira Cranesbill)

A mighty dome of exotic foliage, covered in magenta flowers in summer. Everyone loves it but it’s not very hardy. Outside and in the ground in central London and built up areas near the sea but otherwise, bung it in a big pot and put it somewhere more or less frost free (it’ll take -3°c okay) for the worst of the winter. They grow satisfyingly fast even at fairly low temperatures and will quickly recover from minor damage.

Can reach 3ft x 3ft in a year given space so plenty of light and any reasonably well drained soil. If you have extravagant tendencies, you might consider planting it out in spring anyway. It’s worth it.

Tidy by removing the old lower leaves and if it dies, save the seed and grow your own. They’re self fertile so you only need one. I shouldn’t tell you that should I?

For information and ideas on winter protection go to 64. Wrapping for Winter in the Glossary of Terms

Propagated by us from seed.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Red

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Hardy in Atlantic Seaboard gardens, The Channel Islands, gardens in Central London (and other large cities) and conservatories.

This is only meant as a guide; there are some plants with red labels that would only survive in extremely favoured spots such as The Isles of Scilly or coastal south-west Ireland.

We're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.