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non hardy geraniums - cuttings ,advice please ?

(12 Posts)
gingeroots Mon 26-Sep-16 09:27:03

I've googled this a bit and it's supposed to be easy so I thought I'd give it a try .
Is this the right time ? Too late ,too early ?
I'm in SE London .
My main concern is where to keep the cuttings - I'd have to leave them outside . I could put them against a side wall of the house ,we have a bit down the side where a bit juts out so forms an angle which might shelter them .
Or maybe they'd be better tucked into shrubby bit in the garden ?
I'm particularly fond of ivy leaf geranium and varigeated leaved ones . Do they have special requirements re cuttings ?

Any advice or tips gratefully received .

JT05 Mon 26-Sep-16 10:31:48

I have had mixed results with geranium cuttings. You could do them now, they may take. I found that they sometimes went mouldy! ( in a cold greenhouse)
Definitely don't leave them outside. Have you room in the garden for a small cold frame? Can you put them on a windowsill in the kitchen or spare room?
Having said all that, I had a tub of mature geraniums that I left outside in a sheltered place and they came through the winter fine.

gingeroots Mon 26-Sep-16 10:51:16

Thanks JTO5 ,that's helpful as I was a bit fooled by thinking that it might be ok to leave them outside by the fact that I've also had geraniums survive and continue flowering over winter . But they're quite old .

We're very short of inside windowsills ,spare room where I could put near a window gets very warm .

Could probably improvise a cold frame though not sure how I'd make sure it was ventilated . I guess just prop open whatever I find (lots of skips round here ) to use as a clear lid ?

Mmm ...

shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 11:45:13

Because they are non-hardy a cold frame may not be enough to get them through. For a lot of pelargoniums, a hard frost means a defunct geranium. You could be lucky if they are somewhere a bit sheltered and you are in a place that doesn't get harsh winters, but it is a bit of a risk if it suddenly starts snowing.

I use IFFT for winter weather. If the temperature is set to fall below 5 C, my phone texts me to let me know and I am reminded to take precautions! I am trying to think of ways I can use these alerts more 'smartly' to help me in the garden. smile

You need a place that will stay above 0, but not be too warm - 5-10 degrees is ideal. A porch, or a cold frame with a little heater in it somewhere really sheltered might work. Keep em relatively dry or you can get fungal issues.

gingeroots Mon 26-Sep-16 12:10:33

Thanks ,that's very helpful . Am beginning to re- think my plans about cuttings .

shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 12:16:08

It's one of those really tricky things - I don't have anywhere either, because I try not to heat my greenhouse overwinter, which is one of the reasons I don't grow pelargoniums very much. To be honest, if you're somewhere reasonably mild and you keep them pretty sheltered, sunny and dry, you will probably be OK most of the time these days- it's just those rare times when the temperature does drop a bit lower that you need to watch out for. It is worth a shot, anyway!

I spend most of the early/mid spring ferrying seedlings from the house to the greenhouse. smile

gingeroots Mon 26-Sep-16 12:21:05

Um...rather than taking cuttings what do you think about me trying to overwinter the existing plants ???

shovetheholly Mon 26-Sep-16 12:24:05

I think I might be tempted to do both! But like I said, I am no princess of pelargoniums - I don't really know enough about them. grin My guess is that the plants are likely to be just a bit sturdier, but it might be good to have a backup.

I like your plan of creating a cold frame from skipped stuff anyway, though! You could have it in your sunniest and most sheltered spot and buy one of the tiny propagator heaters that cost just pence to run, and have it on a timer overnight?? I think I might need to consider something like this soon.

80sWaistcoat Mon 26-Sep-16 12:25:03

I'd do both - take cuttings and try and overwinter. In a sheltered bit of the garden should be fine - mine are in the lee of the wall and I'm in the north west. I wouldn't hide them in shrubbery at mine as they'd get slugged! You haven't got anything to lose by trying.

80sWaistcoat Mon 26-Sep-16 12:25:45

Meant to add - I think it's best to try and stop them getting too damp or overwatered by rain - keeping them as dry as possible should help.

gingeroots Mon 26-Sep-16 13:00:10

Right ,I'm going for both .

Not sure about a heater - would have to be solar or parafin or something . Will google later .

franincisco Sat 01-Oct-16 14:13:31

Last year I took cuttings, overwintered (put them in a cardboard box) and left some in pots in a sheltered place. The cardboard box ones rotted within weeks (I didn't dust with fungicidal powder) and the cutting were brilliant; I kept them inside on a windowsill and they became really strong. The ones I had cut back (and left outside) flowered really well in the summer but were quite leggy.

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