Knotted Crane's-bill Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
knotted cranesbill 'Swish Purple'


Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', commonly known as the knotted cranesbill, showcases an attractive aesthetic that adds a splash of vibrant color to any garden setting. The plant bears lush green foliage that serves as a lush backdrop for its standout feature – the flowers. These blooms are a captivating purple hue, which can range from a soft lavender to a deeper, more intense purple, depending on various factors. The petals of each flower are rounded and slightly ruffled, radiating from a central point and creating a delicate, yet eye-catching display. The leaves of the knotted cranesbill are equally ornamental, with a deeply lobed and slightly serrated margin, giving them a textured and intricate appearance. The leaves can also have a sheen to them, reflecting sunlight and providing a glossy underpinning to the colorful flowers above. The contrast between the verdant leaves and the purple blossoms is striking and can add depth and variety to a garden's palette. This variety of geranium is appreciated for its long blooming period, during which it produces an abundance of flowers, continuously adding beauty and color to its surroundings. The knotted cranesbill's overall appearance is charming and can be used effectively in mixed borders or as underplanting beneath taller garden specimens, where its decorative leaves and alluring blooms create a lush, filled-in look. Its appearance exudes a cottage-garden feel and ensures that it is a favorite among gardeners looking to add a traditional and romantic touch to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Knotted Crane's-bill, Shining Crane's-bill, Purple Crane's-bill.

    • Common names

      Geranium nodosum

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Cranesbill, which is the common name for Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', is generally considered non-toxic to humans. In the majority of cases, accidental ingestion of parts of this plant should not cause serious harm. However, as with any non-food plant, individual reactions can vary, and it is always best to avoid ingestion. If you suspect someone has eaten a large quantity of the plant and is having adverse reactions, it is wise to consult medical professionals.

    • To pets

      Cranesbill, the common name for Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', is typically regarded as non-toxic to pets as well, including cats and dogs. While it may cause mild gastrointestinal upset if ingested in significant quantities, it is not known to cause severe poisoning in pets. Signs of distress after ingestion could include vomiting or diarrhea, and if these symptoms persist, it is advisable to seek veterinary assistance.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attractive Foliage – Offers rich green leaves that are a beautiful backdrop in any garden setting.
    • Flowering – Produces vibrant purple flowers that can add color and visual interest to the garden.
    • Low Maintenance – It is relatively easy to care for, requiring minimal upkeep once established.
    • Drought Tolerant – Once established, it can withstand periods of dry weather, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Shade Tolerant – Can grow in partial shade, making it versatile for planting in various garden spots.
    • Ground Cover – Spreads to form a dense mat that can help suppress weeds and protect soil.
    • Pollinator Friendly – Attracts bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity.
    • Long Blooming Period – Has a lengthy flowering season, providing long-lasting garden interest.
    • Perennial Growth – Comes back year after year, offering lasting value and reducing the need for replanting.
    • Deer Resistant – Its foliage is typically not favored by deer, reducing the risk of grazing damage.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', commonly known as knotted cranesbill, can be used in natural dye production, with its petals providing shades of blue and purple.
    • In arts and crafts, the petals of the knotted cranesbill can be pressed and incorporated into paper making for decorative purposes.
    • Knotted cranesbill can serve as a living mulch, providing ground cover that suppresses weeds and retains soil moisture.
    • The flowers of the plant can be used for ornamental decoration in culinary presentations to add a splash of color.
    • In photography, knotted cranesbill offers a vibrant backdrop or focal point for garden and nature-themed shoots.
    • Knotted cranesbill can be used as a natural pest repellent in the garden due to its scent, which some pests may find displeasing.
    • Educational projects can utilize the plant to demonstrate the life cycle of perennials and the growth habits of shade-loving flora.
    • For container gardening, the cascading foliage and flowers of knotted cranesbill enhance the aesthetic of mixed plant arrangements.
    • This plant can serve as a habitat and food source for beneficial insects, including pollinators like bees and butterflies.
    • Knotted cranesbill can play a role in sensory gardens with its soft texture and colorful appearance, catering to tactile and visual stimulation.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Geranium is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Geranium is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Friendship - The geranium is often associated with friendship due to its friendly appearance and the way it brightens up a garden, making it an ideal gift to signify a deep bond.
    • Health and Longevity - Traditionally, geraniums have been used in folk medicine which symbolizes the plant's connection with health and longevity.
    • Good Luck - Some cultures believe geraniums can bring good fortune when planted at the entrance of a home, symbolizing prosperity and positive energy.
    • Peace - The geranium's vibrant but soft presence is often interpreted as a symbol of peace and tranquil energy.

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

    The Knotweed Cranesbill, or Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', should be watered deeply once a week to ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During the growing season or hot weather, you may need to water twice a week, ensuring you apply about one gallon per plant for each watering. During the winter months, reduce watering frequency as the plant requires less moisture. Always check the top inch of the soil for dryness before watering to avoid overwatering.

  • sunLight

    Knotweed Cranesbill thrives best under partial shade but can also tolerate full sun, as long as it is not exposed to the harsh midday heat. The ideal spot for this plant is where it can receive morning light and be protected from the strong afternoon sun, which could cause leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Knotweed Cranesbill prefers a temperate climate with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 75°F. It can tolerate minimum temperatures of around 32°F but may be damaged by frost. It’s best to grow this plant in a location where extremes of cold or heat are avoided to ensure healthy growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    Knotweed Cranesbill should be pruned to remove faded flowers and dead leaves, which encourages the plant to produce new growth and more blooms. It can be pruned lightly throughout the growing season to maintain shape and vigor. The best time to do a more extensive prune is late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', also known simply as geranium, should be well-draining with ample organic matter, such as peat, compost, or leaf mold, to retain moisture yet allow excess water to escape. It prefers a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 5.8 and 7.2. A mixture containing equal parts garden soil, peat or coconut coir, and perlite or sand would be suitable for this geranium.

  • plantRepotting

    Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple' should be repotted every two to three years to refresh the soil and to accommodate root growth. The best time to repot these geraniums is in the spring, just before the active growing season begins. Ensure the new pot has ample drainage holes to prevent waterlogging which can cause root rot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple' grows best in average room humidity levels. It is not particularly demanding in this aspect and can adapt to the humidity levels typically found in homes. However, it does appreciate a bit of extra humidity during dry winter months, so a light misting or placing the pot on a pebble tray with water can be beneficial.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Use well-drain soil, bright indirect light, and room humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, keep soil moist, protect from frost.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', commonly known as the knotted cranesbill, initiates its life cycle through seed germination, which requires a period of moist, well-drained soil and moderate temperatures. Upon sprouting, the seedling undergoes vegetative growth, developing a rosette of foliage and a robust root system. Following vegetative growth, the plant enters its flowering stage during spring to summer, showcasing its distinctive purple blooms that attract pollinators and allow for cross-fertilization. Once pollinated, the flowers produce seed capsules that, when mature, explosively disperse seeds, perpetuating the plant’s life cycle. In autumn, the above-ground part of the plant retreats as it enters a dormancy period, conserving energy in its roots through the colder months. With the return of favorable conditions in spring, the plant breaks dormancy, resuming growth and preparing for another flowering phase.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Geranium nodosum 'Swish Purple', commonly known as the knotted crane's-bill, is propagated most effectively through division, which is ideally done in spring or early fall. To propagate by division, carefully dig up the entire plant, ensuring you keep a good amount of roots with each section. Gently tease the roots apart and separate the plant into smaller sections, each with at least one shoot and a healthy root system. Replant the divisions immediately into well-preparing soil, maintaining the same depth at which the original plant was growing. Water the newly planted divisions thoroughly to help establish them. This method allows for quicker establishment and flowering than starting new plants from seed.