Help Overwintering Geraniums - rotting??

Hi All,

I'm new here but love looking through all the fantastic threads on here. I'm looking for some advice about overwintering Geraniums. I've heard people say that it's not worth overwintering them and that they should be treated as an annual, but I really loved the colour of my Geraniums last year and so wanted to see if I could keep them in the greenhouse and get another year out of them.

I didn't water them for a week or so prior to placing them in the greenhouse, then cut them back and pulled off all the foliage. Then just left them in the greenhouse to go dormant. They had been in there a good 2 months or so andI hadn't touched them at all (hadn't watered them as I assumed if they were dormant they wouldn't need it), but when I checked on them last week, there was a fine white powdery dust all over them. I was wondering if it was powdery mildew. I read online to spray them with a fine mist of diluted milk to prevent the spread of the mildew. So I did this. But when I checked on them this afternoon, all the stems are turning brown and seemingly rotting. I'm so disappointed.

Does anyone have a way to resolve this? Is there anyway I can revive these plants or are they goners? What's the best way to store them over-winter? Would it be best to up-root them, shake off any excess soil and let them dry out (out of compost) in the garage?

Any advice would be much appreciated,

Cate image 

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Posts

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,242

    Pelargoniums  (non hardy geraniums) need to be kept on the dry side in winter but not bone dry. They need to be kept frost free. They don't go dormant like hardy geraniums. If they get too cold and wet they will rot off. They would be best on an indoor windowsill to overwinter if you have no heating in your greenhouse.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • i have same dilema. have mine in outhouse which is frost free. my pelargoniums are too big for indoors, guess we have nothing to lose by leaving them!!

  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    The idea is to overwinter cuttings and not the full size plant

  • Agree with fidget - they're best cut back and kept inside a sheltered porch or somewhere bright but where it won't freeze.

    I leave mine in the garden (no sun in Winter, so can go down to -5 some days) but I cover them lightly with white carrier bags and chuck all the fallen leaves around the base. They are right next to a brick wall, planted in open soil, not pots. They overwinter fine. I tend to leave all the leaves on, as I find that as soon as they are cut, the water-filled stems will freeze very easily.

    It may be too cold where you aren to do this though.

  • if its a help, I keep some of mine in the garage up against a window, flanked on 3 sides with white polystyrene plant trays to reflect the light back onto them.

    Just come back from the garage, all still looks well. I only keep mine moist, small amount of water once a month now until spring

  • CatieCatie Posts: 45

    What a wonderful site! I wasn't expecting so many great replies!

    I think I'm going to bring them inside into the conservatory. I was planning on doing this anyway but last year all my seedlings got damping off in my conservatory and so I was worried my Geraniums might suffer similar fungal problems this year. Still, I suppose watering sparingly might prevent this.

    Going to bring them indoors and see if any of them can be salvage. Thankyou for your great replies,

    Cate 

  • have taken cuttings of them all. like my penstemon cuttings they have a stem fungi

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,677
    Catie wrote (see)

    What a wonderful site! I wasn't expecting so many great replies!

    I think I'm going to bring them inside into the conservatory. I was planning on doing this anyway but last year all my seedlings got damping off in my conservatory and so I was worried my Geraniums might suffer similar fungal problems this year. Still, I suppose watering sparingly might prevent this.

    Going to bring them indoors and see if any of them can be salvage. Thankyou for your great replies,

    Cate 

    They'll hardly need watering at all image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    Welcome Catie.image

    I don't remove the leaves from the geraniums, just give them a bit of a haircut. The ones I really need to keep go on the shelf, not the ground in the slightly heated greenhouse.

  • CatieCatie Posts: 45
    Thankyou all.

    Unfortunately I've already cut back them all to just their stems. Have brought them indoors. Some into our unheated porch and some into our central heated conservatory. Both get lots of light.



    Yes, I intend on giving them very little water - thankyou for the tip image



    Will keep everyone informed, I'm hoping to see some sins of life and some little leaves spouting. Just to reassure me that they're still alive! Fingers crossed!



    Thanks all,

    Cate
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