The Award-Winning Geranium Rozanne

A Hardy, Repeat Blooming Blue Geranium

Geranium 'Rozanne'

Marie Iannotti

The fact that Geranium Rozanne requires minimal attention in the garden is only one of its many charms. Just as remarkable is the glorious violet-blue color that seems to blend with whatever is planted near it. It is particularly stunning next to yellow flowers, such as the soft yellows of coreopsis or intermingling with yellow roses.

About Geranium Rozanne

Geranium Rozanne has a sprawling habit, but it holds its many flowers high above the foliage. The stems have a rather chaotic way of growing (in the best sense) and find their way in and around neighboring plants.

Geranium Rozanne will bloom throughout the growing season. It may take a short break from flowering mid-season, to regain its strength, but it will quickly resume flowering and carry on through fall. Rozanne is not known to be bothered by insects or disease. Not surprisingly, it is high on the list of most dependable as well as most desirable flowering plants.

Geranium Rozanne as Perennial Plant of the Year

Each year the Perennial Plant Association (PPA), a trade group that works to educate gardeners on great performing perennial plants, selects their Perennial Plant of the Year. Although there is a marketing angle to this program, they tend to focus on little-known perennials that deserve a more prominent place in our gardens. In 2008, the honor went to Geranium Rozanne.

What Makes a Plant Worthy of Plant of the Year?

The PPA doesn't just pick a favorite plant or one that is currently trendy. Sometimes the Plant of the Year is an old, but underused workhorse; other times it is relatively new and unknown, but worth a little publicity to introduce it to a wider audience of gardeners.

The PPA has a standard set of judging criteria that the plant must meet, before being chosen their Plant of the Year. The plant must be:

Geranium Rozanne certainly meets those standards, which is not true of all geraniums. As lovely and useful as perennial geraniums are, not all of them are winners in the flower border. Some spread so quickly they are better used as groundcovers and others put on a brief show and then turn ugly unless cut back and cared for.

What Makes Geranium Rozanne a Standout?

The Geranium Rozanne get noticed was noticed because of its brilliant violet-blue blossoms and its repeat blooms throughout the summer, with minimal care. You won’t have a full flush of flowers all summer, but a shearing in mid-summer will help freshen up the spent foliage and encourage more blooms.

The blossoms are unusually large, too, averaging about 2 1/2 inches across. They have violet veining and small white centers, which set off the blue even more. Even the finely cut foliage is attractive and it turns wonderful shades of bronze-red in the fall.

Rozanne is a clump former, but it will start to spread. In especially rich soil, Rozanne can take off running. You can keep it in check by removing side-shoots as they develop or with periodic division.

Geranium Rozanne is a patented plant, which means that the gardener can't propagate and sell this plant without paying a royalty to the breeder. (U. S. Plant Patent PP12,175 issued October 30, 2001). You can, however, make divisions to use in your own garden. Geranium Rozanne rarely sets seed and, being a hybrid, won’t grow true to seed anyway.

As with other perennial geraniums, Rozanne is virtually pest free.

Ideal Geranium Rozanne Growing Conditions

Geranium Rozanne is an adaptable plant that can grow in a fairly wide range of environments. Ideal growing conditions include:

  • USDA zones 5–8
  • Size: 18–24 inches (H), 20–24 inches (W)
  • Exposure: Full sun to partial shade; good heat tolerance
  • Prefers well-drained soil, with lots of organic matter and it does not like to remain dry for prolonged periods

Design Suggestions

Geraniums make great edgers and are wonderful for use under leggy plants, like roses. A free-flowering clump former like Rozanne is especially nice at the base of an entry gate or on the corner of a garden border. Rozanne’s heat tolerance also makes it a good choice for rock gardens and containers or window boxes. The brilliant blue is all the more electric when paired with yellow flowers like coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, and goldenrod.