How to Grow Erodium Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Alfilaria, Heron’s Bill, Filaree, and Storksbill

Erodium can be either hardy or half hardy perennials.

They are low growing ranging from a bout 7 to 45 cm in height; this makes them ideal for use in both rock gardens and for use in borders.

They flower in the early months of summer with pink, yellow or white cup shaped flowers.

Erodium have dissected leaves, this gives them an appearance similar to Geraniums.

Some common names for members of the Erodium genus include Heron's Bill, Alfilaria, Filaree, Storksbill and Pin Clover.

Erodium cicutarium
Erodium cicutarium - Common Stork's-bill by anemoneprojectors.

Erodium Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Alfilaria, Filaree, Storksbill, Heron’s Bill, Pin Clover.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Half hardy perennial. Annual.
Height: 3 to 36 inches (8 to 90 cm).
Native: Mediterranean, Western Asia.

Growing Region: Zones 6 to 10.
Flowers: Early to mid summer.
Flower Details: White, pink, lavender. yellow. Cup-shaped. Veined. Hairy sepals.
Foliage: Herbaceous. Dissected. Lobed. Green. Blue or silver tint. Hairy.

Sow Outside: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Autumn from fresh seed. Germination time: two to three weeks. Temperature: 55°F (13°C). Spacing: Small 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm); Large 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm). Transplant nursery bought plants into the garden from the last frost.
Sow Inside: No
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or light shade. Sandy, gritty soil. Supply gravel to help improve drainage. Autumn mulch in cold areas. Some species do not like overhead water. Propagate: by taking summer cuttings, or can be divided in the spring.

Miscellaneous: Erodium can be weedy and invasive in some areas. Closely related to Geranium species such as Geranium sanguineum, and to the Pelargonium plant genus.

How to Grow Heron's Bill (Erodium)

It is best to grow Heron's bill outside from the off. The seed should be sown in the autumn at a depth of about 3 mm. Erodium species such as Heron's bill like to grow in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden, and prefer a gritty or sandy soil.

The distance that Erodium plants should be from one another depends on the species; space smaller ones about 15 cm apart and large ones about 35 to 45 cm apart.

Caring for Erodium Plants in the Garden

If you require more Erodium plants then you can take cuttings in the summer; however Erodium may need controlling as opposed to propagating.

As they do not like overhead water, it is probably best to grow Erodium under a rock overhang in the rock garden.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Erodium plants. Updated September 2020.