Avens, also called geum, brightens up the spring landscape with its red, orange, or yellow blossoms for several weeks in spring and early summer. Below the tall, airy flowers that resemble small roses, low-mounding dark green foliage blankets the soil.
Wispy stems and flowers resembling small, single roses make avens a charming plant to include in casual, color-packed gardens. Plant it alongside other cottage-garden picks, such as bellflower, daisy, heuchera, dame's rocket, delphinium, foxglove, dianthus, hollyhock, and hydrangea.
Avens' airy flowering stems also complement more solid textures found in rock gardens, where the quick-draining soil suits this plant's preferences. Several clumps of this spring-flowering perennial make a bold show of color, or take it back a notch by placing it in random spots.
Avens Care Must-Knows
Avens grows best in full sun to part shade in rich, well-drained soil. Soggy soil in winter can be fatal. Improve the drainage of a soggy site prior to planting, or plant this perennial in a raised-bed garden. Give it afternoon shade in climates with hot summer climates. The intense heat and humidity of the Deep South are problematic, so don't plant it south of Zone 7.
Plant nursery-grown avens or transplant existing ones in spring and water regularly through the first growing season to develop a strong root system. Divide plants in spring every two years to promote vigor. The divisions will grow and thrive better than a single, three-year-old clump. Snip spent flowers as often as possible to encourage reblooming, but consider leaving a few to develop into attractive fluffy seed heads.