I grew a few guem plants from seeds this year and put them in the ground in spring. The plants are very bushy with lots of leave but none of them produce one single flower! What did I do wrong?
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your question about Geum plants blooming. There are at least 50 species of Geum, also commonly called Avens. For example, Geum triflorum is a native North American prairie plant and Geum canadense are found in woodlands. There are also a host of hybrid cultivars. Without knowing the specific plant you have grown from seed, we can suggest a few things to consider about the lack of blooms.
Geum seeds benefit from vernalization, which means exposing them to cold temperatures before germination. Your seeds germinated but one Nursery industry publication notes that overwintered, vernalized Geum plants are easier to force to bloom in the spring and produce more blooms in the case of one species Greenhouse Product News – Geum coccineum ‘Cooky’. The Ontario Seed Company also notes that their Geum hybrid ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ should be started in mid-to-late February for same year flowering or sown outdoors in May for blooms the following year OSC . All this is to say that your plants may flower next season.
In general, Geum plants benefit from at least 6 hours of sun daily but don’t do well in overly dry, hot conditions. They need sufficiently moist but not soggy soil (except for Geum rivale, which grows in wetlands). Over-fertilizing, especially with too much nitrogen, can increase green leafy growth at the expense of blooms. An application of compost or organic fertilizer in spring is all that should be needed for your plants. Once your plants do flower, deadheading spent blooms can encourage more blossoms as will dividing plant clumps every few years.
The Chicago Botanical Garden published a study comparing the success of a variety of Geum species, which you may find interesting for further reading. Chicago Botanical Garden – Geum
Best of luck with your Geum blooms next season!