Bigroot Geranium Geranium macrorrhizum

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
big-root cranesbill


The plant with the common name Bigroot Geranium has a notable appearance characterized by lush, lobed leaves which are softly hairy and often have a hint of aroma when brushed or crushed. Its foliage tends to be a rich green, sometimes with a touch of autumnal coloration in certain conditions. This perennial plant is loved for its clusters of attractive flowers. These blooms are usually a delicate pink to purplish tone, consisting of five rounded petals that give a cheerful and welcoming display. The flowers stand above the foliage, creating a floating effect that can be quite enchanting in the garden setting. The overall impression of Bigroot Geranium is of a robust, reliable plant that offers both attractive foliage and blooms that can complement many garden designs.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Bigroot Geranium, Rock Crane's-bill, Bulgarian Geranium.

    • Common names

      Geranium macrorrhizum L.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Bigroot geranium is generally considered non-toxic to humans. There are no well-documented cases of poisoning from ingesting this plant. Therefore, accidental ingestion is unlikely to cause any significant harm or symptoms of toxic exposure.

    • To pets

      Bigroot geranium is not known to be toxic to pets. It is generally considered safe, and there are no common reports of pets being poisoned by this plant. If a pet ingests part of the plant, it's unlikely to result in any serious symptoms or consequences due to toxicity.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1' 6" (45 cm)

    • Spread

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Southeastern Europe


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Low Maintenance: Geranium macrorrhizum, commonly known as Bigroot Geranium, is known for being hardy and requiring minimal care once established, making it ideal for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Ground Cover: Its dense growth habit makes it an excellent choice for ground cover, helping to suppress weeds and stabilize soil.
    • Drought Resistant: Once established, it is quite drought-tolerant, which is beneficial for xeriscaping or gardens in dry climates.
    • Pest and Disease Resistant: Bigroot Geranium is resistant to many pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
    • Tolerates Variety of Soils: It can grow in a range of soil types, from clay to sandy soils, as long as there is good drainage.
    • Attractive Foliage: The leaves of Bigroot Geranium are deeply lobed, providing textural interest in the garden through the growing season.
    • Seasonal Interest: It produces small pink to purple flowers that offer aesthetic appeal and seasonal color to garden spaces.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies, supporting biodiversity.
    • Deer Resistant: Bigroot Geranium is not a preferred food source for deer, making it a good choice for gardens in areas with deer pressure.
    • Easy Propagation: The plant can easily be propagated by division, which can be done to multiply your plants or share with others.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antimicrobial: Geranium macrorrhizum has been used traditionally for its ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and fungi.
    • Anti-inflammatory: The plant contains compounds that may reduce inflammation, making it potentially useful for treating conditions associated with inflammation.
    • Astringent: Geranium macrorrhizum has astringent properties, which can help to tighten and tone skin or mucous membranes and reduce secretions.
    • Diuretic: Traditionally, it has been used to promote urination which may support the body in eliminating excess water and toxins.
    • Hemostatic: It may help in stopping bleeding, both internally and externally, which could be beneficial in first aid situations.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Geranium macrorrhizum, commonly known as Cranesbill, can be used as a natural dye. The roots and leaves may produce different shades of brown, gray, and blue when used in traditional fabric dyeing processes.
    • Cranesbill is often incorporated into companion planting schemes due to its aromatic foliage, which can deter certain pests from more vulnerable crops or garden plants.
    • The plant is sometimes used in potpourris for its fragrant leaves, contributing a subtle, pleasant scent to a mixture of dried herbs and flowers.
    • Cranesbill's dense foliage serves as excellent ground cover to prevent soil erosion in steep or vulnerable garden areas.
    • The dried leaves of Cranesbill have been used traditionally to stuff small sachets that are then placed in drawers or closets to impart their scent and deter moths.
    • Gardeners use Cranesbill to attract beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, due to its long flowering period and nectar-rich blooms.
    • The plant can be used in floral arrangements as a filler due to its attractive foliage, which provides a lush, green background for other blossoms.
    • Cranesbill can be used as a living mulch, suppressing weeds while retaining soil moisture during hot summer months.
    • The plant's robust nature makes it suitable for use in areas with poor soil, as Cranesbill can thrive and spread without requiring fertile ground.
    • In landscape design, Cranesbill is used for creating a transition between manicured garden spaces and wild or naturalized garden sections.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Bigroot Geranium is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Bigroot Geranium is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Health: Often found in traditional medicine, the Geranium macrorrhizum, commonly known as Bigroot Geranium, symbolizes good health and is used to promote various healing properties.
    • Friendship: As a garden plant that often is shared among friends, Bigroot Geranium is also a symbol of friendship and positive relationships.
    • Fertility: The Bigroot Geranium, with its robust growth and abundant nature, might be seen as a symbol of fertility and abundance.
    • Protection: Due to its aromatic and pungent leaves that are sometimes used to repel insects, this plant can symbolize protection and the warding off of negative influences.
    • Harmony: Bigroot Geranium is often associated with harmony and balance, as it can bring a peaceful presence to a garden or household.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Bigroot Geranium should be watered deeply once every week, ensuring that the soil is thoroughly moistened. During periods of extreme heat or drought, increase watering frequency to twice a week. A general guideline is to provide about 1 gallon of water per plant for each watering session. However, always check the soil moisture level before watering; the top inch of soil should be dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as the Bigroot Geranium prefers well-drained soil and can be prone to root rot with excess moisture.

  • sunLight

    Bigroot Geranium thrives in partial to full sunlight. It is best to place the plant in a spot where it can receive at least four hours of direct sun per day, but it also tolerates light shade, especially in hot, dry regions. The ideal location provides morning sunlight and afternoon shade to protect it from the intense heat of the day.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Bigroot Geranium performs well in a wide range of temperatures, but ideal growth occurs between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants are cold-hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure the health of the plant, avoid exposing it to temperatures higher than 85 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Bigroot Geranium in early spring to remove dead or damaged foliage and to shape the plant. Pruning can also be done after the first flowering to encourage a second bloom. A general cleanup is beneficial in late fall to prepare the plant for winter. Cutting back the plant by one-third after flowering maintains a compact growth habit and encourages healthy, vibrant foliage.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Bigroot Geranium thrives in well-draining soil with a pH of 5.8 to 7.2. A mix containing equal parts garden soil, peat moss, and perlite or coarse sand is ideal to ensure good drainage and aeration. Regular organic matter amendments can enhance soil fertility for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Bigroot Geranium requires repotting every two to three years to refresh the soil and accommodate root growth. It is best to repot in early spring before new growth starts, ensuring minimal stress to the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Bigroot Geranium prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable and can tolerate lower humidity typical of indoor environments. No specific humidity level is required for this hardy plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Bigroot Geranium in bright indirect light indoors and ensure good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Bigroot Geranium in partial shade to full sun with good drainage.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Geranium macrorrhizum, commonly known as bigroot geranium, starts its life as a seed, which germinates in spring when temperatures and soil conditions are favorable. Upon germination, the seedling emerges and develops a rosette of leaves at the soil surface while establishing a strong root system. As the plant matures, it forms a mound of lobed, aromatic leaves on long stalks and begins to spread through rhizomes, allowing for vegetative propagation and formation of clonal colonies. In late spring to early summer, the bigroot geranium produces clusters of small, five-petaled, pink to magenta flowers that are attractive to pollinators. After pollination, the flowers form beak-like seed capsules that, when ripe, can propel seeds some distance from the parent plant to promote dispersal. Through winter, the plant may die back, especially in cooler climates, only to regrow from its perennial rootstock the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagation for Geranium macrorrhizum, commonly known as the bigroot geranium, is division. This process is typically done in the spring or early fall. To propagate by division, carefully dig up an established plant and use a sharp shovel or knife to separate it into smaller sections, ensuring that each section has a part of the root system. These divisions can then be replanted immediately in well-prepared soil, spaced about 12 to 24 inches (approximately 30 to 60 centimeters) apart to allow room for growth. Water the new divisions thoroughly after planting to help establish them. This method is straightforward and usually yields healthy new plants that will start to grow vigorously during the next growing season.