Sweetheart Stork's Bill
Erodium pelargoniflorum 'Sweetheart'
Sweetheart Stork's Bill in bloom
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 12 inches
Spacing: 18 inches
Hardiness Zone: 6b
This variety is very free flowering with a heavy bloom in spring and then again in the fall; may flower sporadically in summer but is usually dormant in summer heat; wonderful for borders, groundcover or containers
Sweetheart Stork's Bill has masses of beautiful clusters of white cup-shaped flowers with purple eyes and a red blotch at the ends of the stems from mid spring to mid fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. Its attractive fragrant heart-shaped leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Sweetheart Stork's Bill is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Sweetheart Stork's Bill is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Sweetheart Stork's Bill will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 18 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America.
Sweetheart Stork's Bill 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.