Perennial Overview: Geum


Discover how to grow Geum with instructions on starting seed, transplanting, site selection, care and maintenance, water and fertilization requirements, pests and disease, and harvesting and storage.


Geum Stats at a Glance

Botanical Name: Geum quellyon

Common Name(s): Chilean avens

Height: 1-2 feet

Soil Conditions:  Well-drained, fertile soil

Sun: Full sun/partial shade

Soil pH: tolerates acidic, neutral, and alkaline soils

Planting Instructions

Can I Start Geum from Seed?

With the exception of Mrs. J Bradshaw, most geum varieties cannot be propagated from seed.


To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil. Press them lightly into the soil to ensure contact with growing medium. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 65-70°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.


Time to Germination: 21-28 days
Light/Darkness Requirements:
Optimal Temp. for Germination: 65-70°F


Propagated by division or separation. Divide yearly in early spring or late summer.


When Do I Plant Geum?

Geum perform best when planted in the spring or autumn while the weather is still cool.

Soil Temperature: 50°F


Where Do I Plant Geum?

Geum plants perform best in loamy, well-drained soil high in organic matter. Incorporating several inches of organic matter into the soil when preparing the bed will improve growth and development.

In hot climates, performs best when planted in the shade.

Soil Type: Well-drained
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Soil pH: tolerates acidic, neutral, and alkaline soils


How Far Apart Do I Plant Geum?

Set plants 15” apart.

Geum Plant Care and Maintenance

Once established, most perennials require very little routine care and maintenance.

How Often Should I Water Geum?

For many perennials, average rainfall is sufficient to keep the plants healthy.  Supplementation may be necessary in droughty conditions.

The key to watering Geum is to maintain a consistent moisture level.  This is especially important during flower and fruit development. The soil should be moist to a depth of 6”.  Allowing the soil to dry out between watering will result in a shallow root system.

Water the soil around the plant. Overhead watering will encourage disease.  Drip irrigation is best.

Mulch around the plant will help to lock in moisture.

Will not overwinter if subjected to wet, winter soil.


Should I Fertilize Geum?

Most perennials do not require a specific fertilization regiment.  Fertilizing decisions should be based on a soil test.  If a soil test cannot be obtained and you feel that your perennial bed would benefit from fertilization, keep it light.  Work in a small amount of a low nitrogen fertilizer, such as 5-10-5 around the plants in the early spring.

Fertilize the soil around the plant at least 6” from the plant base. Irrigate into the soil.


Additional Care Instructions

Deadhead spent flowers to discourage self-seeding and to encourage continual blooming.

Geum Diseases

The most common diseases associated with this plant include downy mildew, powdery mildew, and  viral disease.

Geum Pests

The most common pests associated with this plant include: very few pests.

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