Spindly Ivy Geraniums

crazy_gardnerFebruary 19, 2006

Hi! I am new to the computer and these fabulous gardening sights. What is the correct way to over winter a Ivy Geranium?? I get great cuttings from my regular geraniums but my Ivy Geraniums are spindly and weak at this time of year. Should I skip the cutting idea and just give the plants a hair cut? Is there a special technique for getting cutting from an Ivy Geranium?? Thanks! I appreciate the help!

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caroldiane(5)

Crazy, you are in a zone 3 area so I'm guessing that the geraniums have been kept going from when you removed them from their garden planting. Now you wish to take cuttings from them......and they are not good candidates in their present state. Probably not....since the taking of cuttings would have been better taken when first removed from the garden.

Cuttings should be taken from healthy speciments...never from sickly plants.
chances are the plant is in poor health from being given so little winter sunlight. Unless you provided added artificial light, your mother plant may not be healthy enough to provide cuttings at this time.

The plant itself can come back....if it has not gone down hill too far.
Remove it from what soil it is in now...old soil goes into the compost....or the garbage....not re-used in that form.

Cut the plant back...by 50%...depending on the size of the plant....generally cut it back to about 4" to 6". Inspect the roots, tear them apart so they can be spread out into the new potting soil. Remove all old soil from the roots and remove any and all damaged or weak stems, remove all old leaves.

The pot should have something in its bottom to keep the soil up away from the drainage holes. Then fresh potting soil goes in, make a hole in the center, put the cut-back plant in, firm it up, water it to the point of draining.
Now give it the best sun you can....west or south....east.
North will not do.

No more watering until new leaves develop, then begin fertilizer about every 3rd or 4th watering at half-rate.
Water always to the point of drainage and always dump the excess water.

In about 6 weeks, you should have very good leaf production....and each day more and more.
Don't be disappointed if flower buds don't show up until ...maybe you put it outside in late May...when temepratures rebound...flowers will resume though...just have patience.

Ivy geraniums are no different than zonals, they will come back year after year.

Maybe next fall, you may decide to forgo the keeping the plant going through winter...and instead choose to give your geranium the cool treatment...cool temps in a dark, dry environment where they are left alone to sleep the winter away.....then come back the next spring.
You lose maybe some flowering in the fall...but ..now I'm guessing....that only gave you until January to have the bloom...if it lasted that long.

The hardest thing for this approach is to get up the nerve to remove the bloom before putting it in storage.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 7:35PM
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crazy_gardner

Thanks caroldiane for the advice..I will give the plant a haircut!! Never though to repot it I was just going to fertilize and hope for the best. The plant is strong enought that I won't kill it. I am a "frugal gardner so I will experiment with the part of the plant I cut off I am pretty lucky with cutting!! Also I may have better luck taking my cuttings in the fall. And I will also try putting some of both types of geraniums to sleep for the winter and see how I make out.. Thanks again Crazy!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 11:56PM
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