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Posted by greyandamy SW PA (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 12, 11 at 11:29

I overwinted plants in the newspaper method in basement. They all survived, and I potted them up. they've been growing quickly. I've heard to "pinch" to encourage bushiness. But with some/many of the plants, there's like one leaf on a long stalk (many leaves on plant, just all on stalks that come from base. I tried to pinch this leaf off, wondering what would happen. Apparently nothing. No branching, no regrowth. Do you not pinch then?

With a few, there's some wood (the original plant) at the base, from which all growth has come. If I buried this base, later, in soil, would it root or rot? That would mean some of the healthy new green growth would be buried. I don't want to kill them. I don't know how to do photos, or I'd show you.

Thanks for any advice!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pinching?

When you say 'wood', do you mean actual wood such as a tree has wood. Geranium (pelargonium) has a woody look to the old stems but hardly is it thought of as 'wood'.
Instead of pinching....that is, by using thumb and forefinger to remove a bloom or a leaf, try cutting them back with a pair of pruners or scissors. Cut the plant back to about 4". Remove all leaves, any old bloom that is lingering, and any old broken stems. Look at the roots and remove any strands that appear broken or dead.

Into a clean pot that is given something to keep the soil away from the drainage holes, place fresh potting soil, place your geranium into. Firm it up, take to a sunny window...south, west or east will do fine. Water to drainage. Let the water stay in the saucer only for about 10 minutes, then dump that excess. Do not water again until new leaves form...about a week to ten days. Turn the plant 1/4 turn every other day...this ensures all parts receive equal sun.
When you water, do so always to drainage...dump the excess.

Then let it dry down between waterings. Use your finger, poke down to the first knuckle...and water only when it needs it.
Soon, about 4 weeks you should have a good amount of foliage. Don't worry about bloom...that'll come when the sunlight gets much better. Later with full foliage put it outside during daylight hours, back indoors during nighttime, back outside for longer periods each day as temperatures rebound.

That's all there is to it....soon your geranium will be as big and blooming great as it did last year.

About the newspaper method....I assume you are wrapping the plant in newspaper and placing it into a cool place.
As long as the light can be kept from the plant, there is no need to wrap. Store in a cool, dark, dry place from the time you bring a geranium indoors until you cut it back in March.
That's the beauty of geranium, they can come back year after year when cared for this way.
They must not be encouraged to grow by giving minimal light...that is why your plant has weak leaves and stems.
They must not be given warmth to initiate growth, nor water they cant use.
Cool, dark, and dry....dry as can be. When given water later in March, they respond and grow again.

RE: Pinching?

Thanks goren! Until last year I never tried the above mentioned newspaper method (exactly what you said in your post). Strange they all survived and thrived, when it got downright COLD where they were (but dark).. they are amazing things!!

I guess I brought them out of their newspapers too early (mid February, a bit later) but I thought they were lost. By now they are thriving, tons of foliage, in house with sunny window, with next to no care.


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