Over wintering question

just1morehosta(5)September 22, 2009

Hi, I am planning on bringing in 4 geraniums to over winter them, i did read the other post,but my questiion was not answered there,I am planning on keeping them in my window all winter, with watering only once a month, come spring, how do i start cuttings from them?

Just snip,and plant, do i need to root them in something?

Thank you so much.


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This is how I do it:

The first thing is to make everything you use as clean as possible. Blackleg is a fungal infection that will attack Geranium cuttings. They become black right at the soil level and there is no cure, they must be discarded. Having things clean helps.

I cut about a 4 inch piece from the growing tip, cutting just below a leaf joint--all roots come from that leaf joint. I remove all but the top 3 or 4 leaves. I lay them out on newspaper on my spare room floor. A piece of masking tape nearby holds the color of each group of cuttings. I leave them there for about 5 days. They will be wilted and the cut end will shrivel and callus over the cut. The callusing helps prevent blackleg which will kill the cutting.

I prepare my pots. I use a well draining soilless mix like pro mix or one for cuttings and seeds. In a clean pail I mix it with water to which I have added a little damp off. You want it thoroughly wet but not sopping. Squeeze a handful-- some water should come out but not a lot. Fill the pots and dibble a hole in it.

Take your cutting and dip it in rooting hormone. I use stim-root NO. 1--for softwood cuttings. You don't need a lot just cover the end and leaf node or joint. Slip it into your hole and cover it in.

They will be droop and wilted looking at first-they may even lose some leaves, but they'll soo perk up and show new growth. Then you will know it's rooted. Keep them moist but not too wet.

If your plants get long shoots during the winter Cut them back and don't let it flower. You want it to make shoots for cuttings not have the good go into flowers. You can plant any cut off shoots too.

Good luck

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:46PM
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Hi Carol, didn't acknowledge your email yet because I sent a second packet off to you and am waiting to see if you get that safely.

I'm glad I didn't read all this before I got a sunroom full of the things, easiest to grow and root, too easy. Granted, they might be common enough, 3 kinds now, have kept them going for years.

I have yet to have damping off or whatever that is and water when I get around to it, do empty the saucer but they sure get dry sometimes, doesn't seem to bother them a bit. I either stick several cuttings in a glass of water in the east kitchen window will or once a cutting is potted up, wait for it to get thicker, then snap it off, poke a hole so the two will make a V, just stick it in the hole and firm, and it roots in the soil, makes for a fuller plant. I change the water in the glass if it starts getting cloudy, use no rooting hormone like I do for other stuff. The latter trick I learned from my daughter to watched somebody in a greenhouse.

My pink ones take longer to root, about 4 weeks, red ones root more quickly, don't know the name. I finally put some pink ones out of pots and in a window box and cut them way back, were they ever beautiful this summer outside, just brought them all in. Now and then I give them Osmocote timed release.

But the red ones, I had about 6 or 8 pots going, never got them outside so they were like the hanging gardens of Babylon. Actually, I could have kept them that way and put on a shepherd's hook outside. But I drastically cut them back, cut off a lot of the roots and old soil and just potted them in another window box (easier to care for than all those pots).

I don't know if the latest will work and I threw a tons of good cutting material away, could still probably rescue a couple, maybe I will as those were all I had left. This year I added a different red one, haven't tried to root any cuttings, am kind of disappointed in it. It had massive red blooms, but after they're done, I deadhead them, and they're slow to put out more.

If the red ones in the box do well, I may root some more and let them get leggy, hang and bloom in baskets, I mean they really trail nicely, and you can get a lot in one basket.

This fall I planted a Rozanne I just got, can't wait to see how it does, leave that outside, of course. If anybody got this far, it was kind of expensive and I was wondering if it does well if I can divide it without killing it. I think it is patented so I shouldn't try to root cuttings from it.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:56PM
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That older one red variety I just picked up at a supermarket, one plant, have made tons from it, given some away. Anyway, that one doesn't have as huge blooms as the new one but very pretty and is in almost constant bloom. I deadhead to keep them looking neater when they're outside. For the winter, I'm fed up by then and just keep them alive by watering when I get around to it. Some varieties may be fussier.

My sunroom is one horrid mess of dead leaves, and I need to clean it all up, have picked some up but it's got heavy stuff around I can't move w/o help. I don't really like growing plants inside.

My neighbors got married on some Caribbean island and brought me an orchid, don't know what the heck I'll do with that. It seems to have set seed pods, maybe will get around to asking on the orchid forum. Oh, and I also rescued a lucky bamboo that had rooted in water, potted it up, that thing needs repotting, is getting big. I'm lucky to have that sunroom facing south.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 12:17AM
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I have never had much luck growing geraniums outdoors in summer but when a neighbor was going to leave her's outside to freeze I couldn't let that happen (!) so I dug one up & planted it in a pot indoors. In a southfacing window with sheers it has done wonderfully & blooms so now I think I will add that plant to my houseful of plants I seem to inherit from those who want to discard their plants!

I find that the tips of a few geranuim leaves though have brown edges ... could it be from our City water (fluoride, etc.)? Or over-watering? I think I will begin to only use the rainwater I catch in rainbarrels from the roof gutters on my indoor plants now. Sometimes I wish my 'green thumb' others say I have would fade a bit as I seem to be the neighborhood 'plant shelter' for unwanted plants that I can't refuse if there is a bit of life in them !!!

I remember my Iowa grandmother would bring indoors the geraniums she had in the ground over summer & just hang them in the basement from their roots... ??? can that really overwinter geraniums so they will grow again outdoors next summer?

Thanks for the tips in probagating geranium cuttings!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 12:37PM
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