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Don't Throw Out Those Pelargoniums at the End of the Season!

By jvdubb
October 29, 2014

Storksbill geraniums (Pelargoniums) are a beloved staple in summer containers and landscaping. Every fall most of the summer's selections end up being tossed out, or composted, without a second thought. What you might not know is that Pelargoniums are simple to overwinter, and not as houseplants that require care!

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Oct 28, 2014 6:56 PM CST
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Bulbs Winter Sowing Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Charter ATP Member
Region: Canadian Enjoys or suffers cold winters Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
The nice thing about saving pelargoniums is that they will now grow naturally.
The dwarfing chemicals that nurseries use on the pelargoniums wear off by the second year.
I have my one bathroom full of pelargoniums. Also saving Thunbergia, coleus and hibiscus acetosella. I lose a few, but it makes the withdrawal from outdoor gardening less stressful.
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Oct 28, 2014 7:04 PM CST
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Very funny subject line! But serious info.
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Oct 29, 2014 6:10 AM CST
Name: Kyla Houbolt
Gastonia, NC (Zone 7b)
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Frogs and Toads Container Gardener Cat Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! The WITWIT Badge Winter Sowing
Uh, dwarfing chemicals? That's a new one to me. How big do they get, when the dwarfing chemicals wear off? (*imagines geranium tree*)
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Oct 29, 2014 2:43 PM CST
Name: Holly
South Central Pa
Region: Mid-Atlantic Charter ATP Member Greenhouse I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pennsylvania Tropicals
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Some of the chemicals we used to grow more compact plants, mostly annuals, did loose their effect after awhile. The treated plants usually reached their potential size. Two brand names come to mind: Be-nine and A-rest, not sure of spelling. The purpose was to produce a more compact plant and encourage early blooms. The result was an attractive six pack, market pack, or potted plant, with good marketability.
It also prevented a leggy crop if the weather was not cooperating.
I'm not sure if this is still widely used or not, there have been many improvements in growing technology and genetic modification since I worked in the field.
Life is Great! Holly
Please visit me and learn more about My Life on the Water a Personal Journey Thread in the MidAtlanticMusings Cubit.
http://cubits.org/MidAtlanticM...
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Oct 29, 2014 6:37 PM CST
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Bulbs Winter Sowing Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Charter ATP Member
Region: Canadian Enjoys or suffers cold winters Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
The tallest I have seen are in a solarium at a nursing home.
They are about 5 or 6 feet.
I cut mine back, but mine will grow to about 3 feet some years.
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Oct 30, 2014 4:17 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
The ones I see that are 5 or 6 feet tall are in empty lots. I wonder if we stunt ours with kindness. Confused
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Nov 1, 2014 9:07 AM CST
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Cat Lover Dog Lover Sempervivums
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Wow, I had no idea they could get that big!
What a fun project!
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Nov 1, 2014 2:01 PM CST
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level Roses Ponds Permaculture
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The chemicals are plant growth regulators. (PGR's)
My grandmother kept her plants in her big tall drafty windows year after year, always in the same place, never moved or even rotated. Those windows were probably 8' tall, and some of the plants were that tall too.
Her Christmas cactus were always spectacular because she went to bed so early, and there was only natural light in the house year round!
She was exceptionally frugal with her heat, too, so the plants lived with chilly nights. In the summer, they grew stronger because the breeze from open windows made for thicker stems. Her cane begonias were so tall and beautiful, and I am proud to say I still have some that were grown from cuttings from her plants. Lovey dubby
I kept begonias and geraniums in my classroom for years because my room had big drafty sunny windows.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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Nov 11, 2014 12:23 AM CST
Name: Ric Sanders
Dover, Pa. (Zone 6b)
And his children Are his flowers ..
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Just to add a note. We pulled all our geraniums and stored them inverted in paper bags in our sons dirt floor basement where we store our cannas. I'll try to revive some toward the end of March in the GH.
Ric of MAF @ DG
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Nov 11, 2014 5:26 AM CST
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Thumbs up
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Nov 11, 2014 5:33 AM CST
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Bulbs Winter Sowing Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Charter ATP Member
Region: Canadian Enjoys or suffers cold winters Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
I have wintered pelargoniums in brown paper bags in a cool garage.
Now I do not heat the garage, --- so must keep them over in the house.
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