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Overwintering geraniums

Hi all, 
I have a variety of geraniums, some were bought as young plants this year and some are a few years old (and quite big!) In previous years the geraniums were year-round houseplants as I didn’t have a garden, but this year we moved house and I am lucky enough to have a garden and two small greenhouses (plastic piping and plastic sheeting style). I’d like to try and keep as many of my geraniums for next year, particularly the older plants. I’ve done some research but am pretty confused as to what the best method is. 
I’m worried that if I keep them in my greenhouse it will be too cold. If I go the bare-root storage way, and store them in a cardboard box in my garage, would this work? I’ve found conflicting information on whether they need light and water during this time. I have too many to bring in the house over winter (I have already bought in my favourites) and also have a cat so have to be careful where I put them. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! 


  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Hi, and welcome to the forum.
    Just checking that you are asking about tender pelargoniums.

  • Hi Fire, 

    Sorry yes. I know they are actually pelargoniums, old habits die hard. They are a mixture of varieties and ages. 
  • Ive done a bit of reading and settled on bare root storage in the garage. They are still flowering though so I am still waiting. This is my first experiment I'll be interested too what others do. I have no greenhouse or concervatory to keep them alive 
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Others with have others ideas, but for several years I have just kept mine outside and wrapped them in horticultural fleece - as I don't have a greenhouse or inside window ledge space. I've also used a large plastic box with drainage holes, put in tender plants and wrapped the whole thing in fleece, including pellies. That worked well too.

    I have seen comments on this forum that suggest that small plastic greenhouses are not enough to protect tender plants from frost.
  • I suppose it depends where you are in the UK as well. The only ones to survive outside for me are the scented and unique pelargoniums. And only with a bit of shelter. Further south I have even seen a pelargonium hedge. It was brilliant!

    I’m quite fond of pelargoniums and I have a relatively large collection (over 50 varieties). I take cuttings of mine and overwinter on the windowsills. I haven’t tried the bare root method.
  • My grandmother used to take them out of their pots, wrap them in newspaper and store them under the bed in the unheated spare room. Most of them survived. Her favourites she kept going in pots on windowsills, just in case. 
    Good luck with yours ... let us know how they are in the spring 🤞 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks all for your advice. I live in Bristol so the weather is relatively mild and our garden is very sheltered. I think I’ll try bringing in as many as possible (the older plants particularly as I’m more emotionally attached to those) and try bare root storage for the younger plants. 
    Do you all prune yours down in winter? 
  • sarinkasarinka Posts: 270
    I cut mine back about four weeks ago and put them into pots on my bedroom windowsill, where they have merrily rebloomed.
  • I have in the main success by the bare root method, and I have been doing it for several years, some of the colours I have I particularly like and fit in with my planting scheme so I try to keep them. I have also managed to keep some outdoors, well cut back and in a sheltered space, cuttings have also done well. 

    I would try a mixture, allowing for space and see what works best for you. 

    Lovely plants and certainly earn their keep in my garden with constant flowers. 
    "To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,329
    It depends a lot on your climate. They are borderline hardy in some parts of the UK but every degree counts and can make a difference. They survive outside here (coastal North Wales) most winters and quite reliably in my unheated greenhouse. Better to try more methods in case there is a hard winter.
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