Tuberous begonnias and Geraniums

paddykevin(6)September 20, 2006

Greatings from Orchard Park, NY. I would like to carry over my tuberous begoinias as well as my geraniums. I understand that the way to do this is to put them in a cold basement, but mine is heated. Any ideas on what I can do? Would a refrigerator work?

Thanks,

Kevin

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hammerl(z5-6 Amherst NY)

Kevin,

I've successfully overwintered several geraniums in my unheated attached garage, including two this past year that look just great (2 out of 2, not bad!). My sister has overwintered many geraniums and wax begonias this way. We put them at the far end of the garage, backing up against the house, water sparingly and not often. (we pull the cars in, which probably provides some extra heat and blocks off some cold)We're in Amherst, incidentally. They look a little sorry at first, but once they start getting water regularly in the spring, coupled with milder temperatures, they quickly get going and end up nice and bushy. Sometimes we lose one or two. I also overwinter my asparagus fern in the garage, same way, and it's now had its third summer and looks fabulous. I just cut it back a bit when it's dormant and let the new stuff grow in the spring.

I think a refrigerator is way too dark and probably a touch too cool and not really the right humidity, but I'm not sure. I've never put plants in a fridge, just seeds.

I actually never had luck with the basement (my windows aren't very big so I don't think they got enough light, and it's not super-cool in the winter because it' part heated), although my grandfather always used to overwinter his in his unheated basement in Buffalo. But that's the difference between a late 19th century basement in Buffalo with an oil furnace and a 1960s poured concrete one in the suburbs that has heat on one half and a forced air furnace sitting in it.

Some less hardy plants I drag indoors -- gardenia, tropical hibiscus, streptocarpus -- but the geraniums tend to do just fine going a bit dormant out in the garage so I put them there and mostly ignore them all winter.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2006 at 1:02PM
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Carol_from_ny

I drag my geraniums in just before the first frost pots and all and put them on my enclosed back porch. They spend the winter there. I water sparingly. Come spring as soon as the last frost has happened they go back outside.I've done this for three years now and the geraniums look great.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 5:03PM
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