High Desert Plant Finder & Guide
Purple Ghost Cranesbill
Geranium pratense 'Purple Ghost'
Purple Ghost Cranesbill foliage
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 inches
Spacing: 15 inches
Hardiness Zone: 4
Other Names: Meadow Cranesbill
A mounding plant with fine textured gray-green foliage with a purple cast; continuous lavender blooms appear all season; deadhead spent flowers for reblooming later in the season; moist, well-drained woodland site a good location
Purple Ghost Cranesbill has masses of beautiful lavender flowers with deep purple veins at the ends of the stems from late spring to mid summer, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its attractive deeply cut lobed palmate leaves emerge deep purple in spring, turning grayish green in color with showy purple variegation. The foliage often turns burgundy in fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Purple Ghost Cranesbill is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Purple Ghost Cranesbill is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- Border Edging
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Purple Ghost Cranesbill will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 18 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 15 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Purple Ghost Cranesbill is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.
Please note: Our Plant Guide is all about plants that will work in the high desert. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a current list of plants in stock on hand at each location or at our farm. We purposely do not sell or ship plants via the internet. Plant questions and availability are best determined in-store.