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Overwintering pelargoniums-how often to water?

My pelargoniums are spending the winter in my dining room on the windowsill. The room is heated but never gets really hot. All the flowers have fallen off now and the compost is bone dry. Some people say don't water at all, other just a bit-but how often? Please help!



  • As you are keeping it growing then you should keep it watered. You only keep pelargoniums dry if you are overwintering it in the dark and cut off most of the foliage.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,399

    Hi Sue,  I would just give enough water (luke warm) to dampen the compost rather than a thorough wetting. Keep the water off the leaves/stems to keep the grey mould at bay. Wait until the compost goes dry again - test with your finger, and repeat as often as necessary. Have you cut them down at all?

    Also, if it gets very cold (and it is here in Bath today) a windowsill might not be warm enough for pelargoniums. It's such a tricky practice trying to keep them going over the winter so I've just shoved mine at the bottom of a small leanto greenhouse and crossed my fingers!

    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,863

    I'd agree with the little watering, but might add, just wait for the leaves to start to become a bit limp , then water sparingly. 

  • addictaddict Posts: 659

    I have a large pelargonium that I am overwintering too. Never got round to taking cuttings so its leggy,  woody and on a lean too!

    I have it stood on a low table in front of a window a couple of feet away from the glass so it doesn't get chilly. I took off all damaged, furled, curled, blotched leaves and in the process made about 6 caterpillars homeless lol. So now I am left with an ugly, woody but very healthy looking plant. I can see if a leaf yellows or wilts and can act accordingly. I let the compost dry out completely between watering.If the leaves start to wilt I water until it starts to appear in the saucer. That's enough to keep it going through the winter. You are far more likely to kill it by watering too much than not enough. 

    Hope that helps. Am itching to take cuttings but know if I do most will fail at this time of year. Must be better organised next year!

  • I have managed to keep my patio pelargoniums for years by overwintering in the bedrooms and in a cold GH. The ones in the bedrooms do best.....watered once a week they happily continue to flower and go back outside in April/ May.I spray them for creepy crawlies before they come in though because I don't fancy the extra houseguests that come in with them ! When they go back outside I re~pot or just re~new the compost.One plant will not be coming in is still in flower is crawling up my Leylandii and is 9 ft tall ! !

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,336

    I've got mine in an unheated potting shed on the potting bench. The window faces due south so they get a lot of sun. I cut them very hard back in September and they are now nice compact plants but with quite a lot of leaves and some flowers. I intend to keep mine really quite dry. This weekend the temp in the shed fell to -2C but the plants are ok.

    It's a new shed and it's all a bit of an experiment really. Last year the pelargoniums stayed out all winter in pots but in a very sheltered south facing position. I didn't water them at all - they just had whatever rain water reached the pots. The winter was very mild (only a few nights at or below freezing) and they all survived - I gave them a good feed & cut them really hard back in April - and they were the biggest, best flowering pelargoniums I've ever had.

    I'm hoping to sort of replicate these conditions in the shed image

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Thank you to everyone for so much helpful advice!

  • I over winter mine in my cold greenhouse, they come back every year, only bought them from Morrisons.


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