Choosing Plants For Hypertufa Planters

What are some of the plants that I have been choosing for hypertufa planters?

Well, there is not just ONE that I love, so I will try and make a series of suggestions . These are ones I prefer for well-drained hypertufa troughs, since that’s my addiction or obsession.

Erodium reichardii “Bishop’s Form” also called Baby Swiss Geranium or Alpine Geranium

Newly Planted in Giant Trough
Newly Planted in Giant Trough

I am totally in love with this little plant which looks like a tiny geranium. It is called Erodium reichardii “Bishop’s Form” Stork Bill. I think the term storksbill  is used just as the term cranesbill  is used for  its larger look-alike, the geranium whose spent flowers look like a crane’s bill. These do too!

I don’t know how you feel, but when I hear that “it is an excellent groundcover that blooms all season”, I am sold. Words to get my heart going pitter-patter.  I like for plants to bloom all year so that I have color continuously. The little darling two-toned blossoms have dark contrasting veins of a rosy pink in this variety, and are enchantingly tiny, about the size of a dime. What’s not to love?  The leaves are rounded and scalloped. This tiny beauty shines in early spring and continues through summer covered with small cupped blooms of rosy fuchsia-pink.

Since it likes sunny and well-drained sites, it is perfect for my hypertufa planters. I have my large trough that I planned to put something in that flowered, so to stumble upon this beauty that blooms all year….what more can I ask!  And it has bloomed all year in that trough and in the others I have it planted in.

Choosing Plants for Hypertufa - Erodium blooms all season


  • Height: 3-4 inches
  • Spread:  6-12 inches
  • Hardiness Zone:  3 to 7
  • Location: Sunny in well drained soil
  • Best for: troughs, fairy gardens, containers ( it can be overwhelmed by larger plants)

This plant was not hard to find here in Ohio. It was at the local garden centers at prices of $4 to $6 for a small coffee-cup-sized pot.

When I got it planted, and saw how cute it looked, I went back and got two more!  I have it in a trough  that I planted in April with semps and jovibarba and some coral reef and pork and beans. And I bought the others for my Giant Trough .

Do you have this plant? and if so, how do you like it? I hope to write about more of my plant finds. So come back for another visit, or subscribe!

Thanks for reading!

Update June 2015

This plant did not survive the winter in my Ohio garden zone 6. I have checked the information of the plant sticker and it says , as I have noted above, that is grows from zone 3-7. I have written a letter to the grower’s questioning this. This should not happen since I had it optimally planted and well drained. I am waiting to hear back from them.

But I love them so much, I went back and bought more. They are worth it even for one season.

Update April 2016 and 2017

I never ever heard back from the growers, but I have been buying the plants when I find them. I ADORE this little plant. This winter, I have kept it inside and it is blooming now. It is in an old aquarium and I will put it outside when it warms up. And I will snap up any I see for sale. I bought about 5 for our Community Rock Garden just outside Bellbrook and they just spread and bloomed all summer long.

Erodium wintered in aquarium as terrarium


No blooms just now. I should have taken the photo last week. Those are stones and small hypertufa pots planted with baby tears. I will see how it does this year outside. The only thing I worry about is the Erodium not having  a “resting period” of some sort. I just hope the fact that it bloomed only occasionally over the winter counts as its rest.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

One more side view of the aquarium ( 5 gallon small ). The erodium is not planted inside the little hypertufa, just baby tears and some pilea.  Look at that bud at almost center of photo…..isn’t it precious?

Budding Erodium - choosing plants for hypertufa planters

Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

10 thoughts on “Choosing Plants For Hypertufa Planters

  • June 8, 2016 at 8:35 pm
    Love that little plant. Tried to start one here in NW Ohio, but it didn't make it through the winter. Maybe Wes sprayed it with poison...which has been known to happen. Not on purpose, but I try to tell him the wind blows a little all the time, don't even get close. I'll try again. Reply
    • June 9, 2016 at 3:22 am
      It is a cutie. And mine didn't live through the winter outside either. The ID card says it's good for this zone, but it isn't for me. Wrote the supplier but never heard back. I kept one inside this winter and it bloomed inside too. I have it outside now. Reply
  • August 14, 2015 at 7:47 am
    Hi Kim, Thank you for all the great info on your website. I am learning so much. Now I live in Connecticut. Do the troughs need some kind of protection in the winter from all the snow, winds and freezing temps? Reply
    • August 16, 2015 at 8:55 am
      Hi, Denise. Here in Ohio, mine are out all year in snow and ice and rain and heat. If they are not sitting in frozen water, you shouldn't have a problem at all. Reply
  • June 20, 2015 at 12:26 am
    So mad at myself for not grabbing some of these today when I was at the greenhouse! Tomorrow is her last day open for the season so I might just run back outand get a few! I should have asked about their bloom time. I saw they were blooming and just assumed they wouldn't bloom much longer so I put them back. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and info here! I'm from Ohio too!☺(Millersburg , Holmes county) Reply
    • June 20, 2015 at 6:11 am
      You will love these. And I hope she still has some left! And thank you so much to my fellow Ohioan. Reply
    • June 16, 2014 at 9:15 am
      Couldn't agree more. I get so many hens and chicks, but I love them all. But I like them best if they grow into a strong mat! Reply
    • June 14, 2014 at 10:55 am
      Thanks, Jacki, for reading and commenting. It is such a cutie. So tiny and it spreads! My first planting is probably already at about 9inch around now, and it is just curling thru the chicks in its trough. Love it! Reply

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