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Begonias and Pelargoniums (geraniums)

Grub2Grub2 Posts: 9

Early in the spring I bought several trays of plugs of begonias (normal and trailing) and geraniums.

After filling all my baskets and troughs I had quite a lot left over which have spent the summer in small (3") pots where they havent grown very much mainly due to lack of attention. They have suffered from either too much water or too little, most are about 3" tall now and look OK.

Will I  be able to overwinter these in the greenhouse, should I pot them on and will these types of begonias develop tubers that I can use year on year.




  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    The answer is a bit of a cost dilemma, to keep them in the greenhouse over winter it will need to be kept above freezing. Two years ago my parents calculated that it cost £80 to heat their greenhouse over winter, that is an awful lot of bedding that can be bought in spring.

    Last year I stored my pelargoniums in the garage, I dried them and wrapped them in newspaper and then resusictated them the following spring (this was a tip I read on a forum last year), this has been quite successful.

    The begonias I have read will make tubers but I have yet to succeed on this one.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    If you have a cool windowsill indoors you can overwinter them there instead. The begonias will form tubers in a couple of years providing they are the right type.

  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    I agree with Kate,pelargoniums are one of the most easiest plants to overwinter.  I haven't tried the newspaper tip - but I shall try that this year to save on space. That's if I can find room in our garage. We would never get a car in there !

    I have trailing begonias which are still flowering and they were bought as tubers so I'm hoping to keep those as well .Thanks for the newspaper tip , Kate,

  • Very interesting about peiargoniums. Thankyou Kate

    So when should I  dig them up? Then how dry them? Then wrap in newspaper and store. Also when and how resusictate? Sorry for so many questions

  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    Mine are in pots - I usually bring them in no later than September but I was wondering about the newspaper . Do you dry the roots out first ? Our garage can get a bit damp in winter so would that cause problems. ?

  • graigrai Posts: 75

    how do you know if they are the tuber type? I bought some beautiful begonias in pots this year and just assumed I could over-winter them

    if they're not tubers I wont bother - but how do you tell?

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    I pulled up the pelargoniums in October last year, I cleaned them very thoroughly so that there was no soil left on the roots. I them brought them indoors and dried them off for a week. I then wrapped each one in a couple of sheets of newspaper and put them on a wooden slatted shelf in the garage. The bigger ones fared much better than the smaller ones. The poster who recommended this method said that he kept them in a draw in the house. My garage is very dry.

    grai I would assume that it is a size/money question, if the plant was a substantial size then it is probably a tuber, You will need to bring it in when the first frost beckons so at that point I would tip it up and look at the roots/tuber.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,637

    I brought some pelargoniums through last winter by planting them up in window boxes which I then kept on the landing window sills.  I shan't be bothering this winter as i plan on changing the colour schem next year and can buy very good plants in 3" pots from a local nursery for a decent price.

    I shall, however, be using those window boxes for tender fuchsias as it's simpler than trying to get them through in my greenhouse which is insumated but not heated over winter.   With any luck, they'll carry right on flowering most of the winter and I can take cuttings to bulk them up.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • tableytabley Posts: 1

    Each year I dig up my fushias, begonias and pelargoniums and place them in troughs, still in their soil,, on the floor in the greenhouse. The greenhouse is not heated so I protect them from frost by covering them with fleece or bubble wrap (both are equally as effective). I then replant them after the frost has gone - up to now (fingers crossed) all have survived the winter!

  • kate1123kate1123 Posts: 2,815

    @tabley it is not normally my view to disagree with other posters but your advice is poor. Most of the posters on this forum will have anecdotal advice about  a plant that does not behave as it should  but to suggest to a new gardener that pelargoniums will be fine in an unheated greenhouse is wrong.

    You have not allowed for the difference in location or garden situation. Devon has a different climate to the rest of the country but you have not made that clear in your post. Would you give a money back guarantee with your advice?

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