Geranium maculatum

Geranium maculatum Wild Geranium


 Confirmed Request

Wild Geranium is one species that you just can't pass up.  Native to much of eastern North America, it never disappoints. It has lovely dissected leaves, beautiful pinkish-purple flowers, and it readily spreads, forming stunning patches that everything from bees to butterflies can't resist.  Mostly found in woodlands in the wild, it does just as well in full sun!  Interestingly, Wild Geranium has a unique way of spreading its seeds.  Each seed is packed into a pod and the pods are attached to a structure that resembles a crane's bill.  As the bill dries, it literally catapults the seeds away from the parent plant (see corresponding photo).  Each seed has a small tail-like structure attached to it that bends and moves in response to changes in humidity, which helps to drive the seed into the soil where it can safely germinate.  We highly recommend wild geranium!   In a garden setting it can be important to plant a few later season plants (maybe Asters or Gentians) with it because the leaves can show summer stress.

Dormant bare root plants ship each year during optimal transplanting season: Fall (October) or Spring (April/May).
Potted plants (trays of 38) ship when all plants are well-rooted and transit-ready, early May through June. Click here if you prefer to mix/match up to 6 species in a tray.

Geranium maculatum - Wild Geranium

Map Key

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

3 Questions asked on Geranium maculatum

Q Billy • June 15 Would it be a mistake to cold stratify wild geranium in July-August and then plant in September?
A Prairie Moon • June 18 We generally advise to NOT plant seed, especially pre-stratified in the summer months; the sun is strong and the temps are high and these conditions are not ideal for newly-germinating seedlings, especially if you cannot keep the site moist. Also, if the seed germinates closer to Sept or Oct, it may not put on enough growth or be strong enough to survive the hard frosts to come.
Q Lori • July 28 I've got Geranium maculatum planted in quite a few spots in my yard. I got them from Prairie Moon probably about 8 years ago. It looks great everywhere in the spring. After the flowers are done, I cut them back. Now (July), they look fine almost everywhere (they are a bit more sparse and have a some spots on them, but overall, still look decent). But there is one spot where they are extremely leggy and sparse. I'm trying to figure out why? Do they likely need to be divided...not enough nutrients...nearing the end of their life?
A Prairie Moon • July 29 Hi Lori. I don’t think that they would be nearing the end of their life. They may be done for the season though. Perhaps these leggy and sparse plants are in an infertile or drier soil compared to the other plants? Could it be too hot and dry? You could move them, or add some organic material as a thick top dressing and see if that helps. Maybe try dividing one end and see how they react before digging the whole thing.
Q Lynn • May 12 Are these deer resistant?
A Prairie Moon • May 13 Hi Lynn. We chose to not mark Wild Geranium deer resistant because, at least here in SE MN, we have observed populations of geranium flowers get nibbled off. The leaves don't seem to be of interest to the white-tail deer population, but in some years, they will eat the flowers. Every regions' deer population will vary a bit. I would give Geranium maculatum a try in your garden; they are one of the most versatile and hardy natives we sell. Good luck!

Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, download: Seed Starting Basics.


We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants


Trays of 38 plants and 3-packs leave our Midwest greenhouse based on species readiness (well-rooted for transit) and based on order date; Spring shipping is typically early-May through June, and Fall shipping is late-August through September. Plant cells are approximately 2” wide x 5” deep in the trays, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting instructions/care are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges:
SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
over $100.00: 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature will be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $7.50
over $50.00: 15% of the total plant cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature will be required)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season:

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within a day or two upon receipt.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 38 and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve).  We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May.  Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
C(60)     M
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial, Shade
Soil Moisture
Medium, Medium-Dry
12 inches
Bloom Time
April, May, June, July
Bloom Color
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Number