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Lorraine

Question:

With winter coming on do I toss the geraniums? They are lovely but I have no indoor space.

by Lorraine on 26 Sep 2012
Elaine Jarvis

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Answer:

Hello Lorraine,

All the collaborators with www.jardinjarvis.com belong to a cultural that loathes waste so don’t toss without first considering a few basic gestures.

Though Geraniums (Pelargonium) are treated as an annual they are perennials and as such will re-flower next season.

Obviously the best solution would be to bring in from the cold as they will grow indoors but in a cool dry atmosphere.

In fact, there are different ways you can keep your plants until the spring so that they will thrive and flower once again. As Geraniums can only endure light frosts in the winter; if left outside and a hard freeze comes along, they will die so the solution, if you have a bit of space, is to cut back heavily and bring them inside; it is called over wintering and you can keep you plants from one year to the next..
If you want to experiment with ways to keep your geranium plants going until the weather warms up I also suggest taking cuttings. These small cuttings can be regrouped in one single pot which should be kept away from direct light; (moisten the soil lightly to begin with but don’t water). Potting up in the warmer weather is simple and efficient. An extra tip would be to tag for the colour as grouped colours have more ‘landscaping’ impact and colour tagging will avoid a spotty effect.

If you live in a city like Paris or Brussels then maintaining them on the terrace or balcony is an option providing a they have a protective covering or ‘toile d’hivernage’ (This is easy to purchase in most garden centres).

If you really can’t take the hassle and bin them, then when replacement time comes around I recommend www.tijardin.com an excellent online nursery which has quality seasonal balcony and terrace plants. For urban gardeners they are a boon as they have a plant package with bags of soil as well as nutrient pellets.

Roll on the Spring but in the meantime ‘cut and protect’!

Best regards

Elaine

by Elaine Jarvis on 23 Dec 2012

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