Geum 'Fire Storm' originated as a greenhouse mutation of a cultivar known as Geum 'Fireball'. Like other Geum varieties, 'Fire Storm' is a clump-forming perennial with leaves that have scalloped edges. 'Fire Storm' is a shorter plant than 'Fireball', growing to only about 12 to 18 inches, with bright orange double flowers. This is a sterile plant that will not produce seeds. Geum is genus within the rose family, and the flowers of all varieties bear some resemblance to those of shrub roses.
This orange avens is an unusual plant that offers you bragging rights when showing it off to other gardeners. In addition to the brightly-colored blooms, Geum 'Fire Storm' also offers leaves of a delicate texture that contrast well with coarser-leaved plants.
As with many small, compact plants, this orange avens flower looks best massed together along a border or displayed in a rock garden. Avens is also a traditional cottage garden plant. 'Firestorm', along with other varieties of Geum, has advantages when it comes to wildlife: It attracts butterflies and other pollinators, but it is resistant to deer and nearly rabbit-proof.
|Botanical Name||Geum 'Firestorm'|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous perennial; evergreen in southern climates|
|Mature Size||12 to 18 inches tall with a similar spread|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun to part shade|
|Soil Type||Medium-moisture, well-drained|
|Soil pH||5.5 to 7; slightly acidic to neutral|
|Bloom Time||Spring to early summer; sometimes reblooms into fall|
|Hardiness Zones||5 to 9, USDA|
|Native Areas||This plant is a greenhouse mutation. Species of Geum are found in North and South America, Asia, New Zealand and Africa.|
How to Grow Geum 'Fire Storm'
Grow 'Fire Storm' in any medium-moisture, well-drained soil in a sunny or partially sunny location. Removing spent flowers will encourage additional blooms. (particularly south of USDA Zone 7). Some afternoon shade is best in hot climates, and in cold climates, wet, poor-draining soil can kill the plants. Where winter temperatures fall below zero degrees F., the plants should be mulched to protect them.
Every other year or so you can divide the plant to maintain its vigor or increase your supply of plants. Spring is the best time to perform division.
Geum 'Fire Storm' should be grown in full to partial sun. In hot climates, it will benefit from having some shade in the heat of the day; in cooler climates, full sun is fine.
'Fire Storm' will thrive in any soil that is moderately moist and fertile. Heavy clay soil may shorten the life of the plant.
Geum has typical needs for water—about 1 inch per week, by rainfall and/or irrigation.
Temperature and Humidity
Plants tend to struggle in the summer with the heat and humidity of the deep South. These plants prefer cool summers and don't do well beyond hardiness zone 7.
Avoid feeding for the first year of growth. After this, feed once a year in spring with a balanced granular fertilizer.
Propagating Geum 'Fire Storm'
In spring or fall, the clumps can be dug up, divided, and replanted. Division also will rejuvenate plants that have become overgrown.
Comparison with Other Geum Varieties
The various species within the Geum genus tend to have flowers that are somewhat ordinary. Most of the varieties used in gardens are cultivars, though there are exceptions.
- Geum coccineum is a species variety that is similar to 'Fire Storm' but with single orange flowers.
- G. quellyon is another species; this one boasts scarlet blooms.
- G. triflorum (also known as prairie smoke avens) is a species with pink flowers.
- G. rivale (water avens) is a species that has orange or yellow flowers with purplish sepals on the outside.
- G. monanum (alpine avens) is even more compact than 'Fire Storm', growing just 6 inches tall. This is a cold-hardy species (zones 3 to 9) with yellow flowers.
- 'Blazing Sunset': This Geum cultivar has very large red blossoms that make great cut flowers. It is suitable for zones 4 to 8.
- 'Red Wings': This cultivar has distinct red semidouble flowers that appear over 2-foot high mounds of foliage. It can be grown in zones 5 to 9.
- G. chiloense 'Lady Stratheden': This variety reaches 2 feet tall with hairy leaves and large semidouble buttery-yellow flowers that bloom for most of the summer. Grow it in zones 5 to 9.
- G. chiloense 'Mrs. J. Bradshaw': This variety has semidouble orange-scarlet flowers that bloom in May and June. It is suitable for zones 5 to 7.
- G. chiloense 'Flames of Passion' has light-red, semi-double blooms.
- G. 'Snowflake' offers white flowers.