Pelargonium - overwintering

kwyet1(z6 CT)July 27, 2004

My mother used to leave her pelargoniums in their pots and put them into her basement, when the weather got cool, and basically just left them til spring. She would start watering them again, in the spring and 'voila' they would come back to life! Does anyone else do this??? I would like to try it...but am afraid of killing my geraniums. Any hints??


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You know I have heard of people doing this with other things, brugmansias mainly, but have never had the guts to try it. Like you say, I'm afraid of killing the plant. Would definitely be interested in what others know about this. Tresa

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 6:12AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Pelargoniums are very drought tolerant. They go dormant when they don't have sufficient water. In a cool place with little light they can go through a whole winter without water. Its one way to overwinter them.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 12:47PM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

I did this years ago with about 20 plants that I grew from seed. I potted them up and put them in my basement with almost no water. It did work but you can't let them get too dry for too long. I brought them up from the basement in Mid February and put them all on a window seat, watered them, and they all or most came back. Now I guess I don't have the energy to pot them all up and lug them in :)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2004 at 7:07AM
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I overwinter mine in their pots, but I put mine in a windowsill for the winter. I suppose I could place them in the basement where it's almost always dark, but I'd rather see them keep growing. They get long leaf stalks, but that's ok. Last winter they even bloomed toward the end of winter. Then when they go back out, they get bushier again. :o)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 11:23AM
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K you have such a place like your mother...a cool basement where the temperature is not allowed to go much above 55 or down below the freezing mark.
Geraniums must never be allowed to freeze...if you ever hope to bring them back......but..back they will come..better than ever.

No water, no light, no nothing should touch them after you remove them from their soil...container or bed.
Shake off any loose soil, take them to that cool part of your basement, hang them up...upside down...and leave them alone...never to be touched by anything.

In mid February, you bring them out, cut them back as you 1/3...1/2...remove all old leaves, inspect the roots for any damage.
Into fresh potting soil, water them and take them to a sunny window. They will soon put on new leaves...eventually new budding and new bloom.

The key is to not believe they must be given water....what for..they're not growing...or they must be given some light....again..what for...they're not growing.
They must be allowed to remain cool and dry.

I kid you not....this is the way to ensure your plants from this season come back next season, and the next, and the next and the.........

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 6:18PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

I overwinter geraniums in the basement in their pots, give them light watering once a month. About March I bring them up for more light and start watering, they are beutiful this year, (2nd yr) and are huge. Have so many I started from seed this year that I am going to try the dry hanging for some of them and see how that works.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 9:33PM
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