Winter Care For Geraniums.
I live in Northern France.I have a number of geraniums against the walls of our house planted in holes in the paved surround.Is it worth trying to keep them over winter and,if so,how do I protect them against the frost that invariably finishes them off?Am I too late to take cuttings? I’d appreciate your advice..
Many hybrids are marginally hardy.Even in the north of England I have discarded plants on the compost heap which have survived the winter and sprouted in the following Spring.As it is difficult to predict the Winter temperatures I would be tempted to experiment with the several options which are available to you.
Although it is very late it might still be worth taking some
cuttings just below a node about 75mm long. Removing all
excess foliage and placing them in a free draining compost
around the edge of a plant pot, placing this,in turn,on a
well lit window sill or equivalent.
Lift the plant, cut everything back to about 50 – 100mm from
the base, preferably cutting just above a node.Place in a “just moist” compost in a dark frost free place.You will need to check for fungal disease,and to ensure that the plants have not completely dehydrated,on a regular basis through the Winter months.In the Spring you can bring them
into the warmth and recommence watering to produce growth from which cuttings can be taken later.
Try wrapping the plants in a couple of layers of fleece and leaving them in situ. Cut back as growth starts in the Spring.
Ideally,Pelargoniums should be raised every year from cuttings, best taken in August, and kept inside for the Winter.Commercial growers use Spring cuttings,but for those of us without the ideal controlled environment,best results will be obtained from the more traditional approach.
A word of warning – the main reason that plants are raised on an annual basis is not just because they are not fully Winter hardy,but because any plants that are grown beyond their first season quickly become woody and very unsightly.Generally speaking to keep old plants is not considerd to be worthwhile.For More information: