While it’s not surprising that Rozanne, with her great violet-blue saucer-shaped blooms, large leaves, and prolific ways, earned the unique accolade RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Plant of the Centenary, you may be surprised that you can’t find her seeds anywhere.
There are plenty of perennials (plants that flower year after year) that will grow from seed, so you may find yourself asking,
“Why can’t I grow Geranium Rozanne from a seed?”
The answer is found in her beginnings. On that fortuitous day back in 1989, when Donald and Rozanne Waterer first saw the fruit of their breeding efforts in the maverick hybrid perennial that would come to be known as Geranium Rozanne. It was a cross-fertilisation of perennial powers that resulted in such a robust version of this hardy Cranesbill Geranium.
The crossbreeding of hardy geranium varieties created what is called a sterile hybrid. Aside from sounding like a complicated scientific experiment, we can try to understand what that means using a more commonly understood example: the mule.
A mule is created when a male donkey and a female horse reproduce. Since the two have differing numbers of chromosomes, it is impossible for the resulting offspring, their baby mule, to ever be capable of reproducing on its own.
It works similarly in vegetation, and the resulting principle is roughly the same for Geranium Rozanne. Since Rozanne is a sterile hybrid, any seed she produces won’t create new Geranium Rozanne offspring.
While this might seem a nuisance that we can’t simply collect the seeds from Rozanne each year to propagate more of her elsewhere, it does have one distinct advantage: she stays put.
Some plants are terrible wanderers, dropping seed here and there in the garden, and showing up well out of the bounds of where you intended for your flowering lovelies to be. Rozanne can’t go anywhere you don’t want her to be, so she’ll stay put right where you plant her until of course, you decide she needs to go somewhere else.
All in all, while seeds may appeal to some as a less expensive way to start your flowering friends, the benefits of Rozanne’s resilient nature make it easy to look past her sterile nature and embrace her ready-made goodness in your garden.