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Reassurance please on overwintering scented-leaf pelargoniums...

I've not grown them before this year, but bought a couple in May in 3" pots, which got potted on into 6" pots midsummer.

With autumn on the way I became very conscious of my limited overwintering area (3" windowsills facing north or east, or 4" sill facing south) so all the lower leaves were removed leaving just the top-most growth (on shortest petioles) and watering reduced, slugs and woodlice rehomed and pots balanced on southfacing sill.

Lady Plymouth is behaving reasonable well here, still growing but more slowly than in summer and I think she'll be fine.
But Big Apple refuses to quit, still putting out fresh growth and although they are small leaves they're on long stems so the width of the topgrowth is 10" (on a 4" windowsill). It's pressing against the window and although double-glazed it seems not to like it, as many petioles are blackening and withering from about 1" below the leaf base, whether or not I turn the plant.

Q.1) Is Big Apple behaving normally?
Q.2) What else can I do to persuade it to go dormant?
Q.3) Would I be better off chucking it out and buying a replacement next spring?

I have walked past it a couple of times muttering 'pot-pourri' but it's not taking the hint...



Sorry, just realised how much I waffled on. Thanks for reading!

12 Dec, 2013


they need to be cooler if you can but frost free. the behaviour is typical as they get condensation when they touch the glass.

12 Dec, 2013


Thanks for that. They are in the supposed coolest room, the bathroom, but are in full sun and fugginess. The place I originally tried them was cooler, on the living room floor in deep shade. The leaves went a lot paler and I got concerned.

12 Dec, 2013


I'm no good at getting these plants to over winter - lack of somewhere suitable to keep them.
What I have succeeded in though is cutting stems and keeping them in water on a bright windowsill (no direct sun) and as it's in the kitchen it's not the warmest room in the house unless dinner is getting cooked.
I change the water weekly and nip out any flower buds that appear.
They do all root but then some of them die!
I don't have a massive success rate - first year 1 plant from 8 stems cut and last year 2 plants from 7.
I've got 8 on the go just now and all still looking healthy enough. It's my opinion that even if I get 1 plant - it's been a success ;)

12 Dec, 2013


My Mum had one for years and just kept it on the windowsill without much TLC to speak of. If the stems are too long just cut them back - they will rapidly grow again next year. In fact if you don't cut them back they might well get rather leggy when they start growing again.They are unlikely to go dormant in the house but they don't need a total rest anyway..
This is a bad time to take cuttings - better to do it in August when there is time for them to establish. Keeping them in water might not be the best option - try potting them up as soon as they are rooted. Geraniums will root in dryish compost anyway, as long as there's some protection to stom too much moisture loss from the leaves - eg a plastic bag with a bit of ventilation abd mot touching any of the leaves.

12 Dec, 2013


I like the idea of overwintering as cuttings, especially as that would fit on a much narrower windowsill! Now I feel a bit of an idiot for not thinking of that before, but I suppose I was so carried away with the 'I've got new plants' excitement...
There are plenty of shoots on Big Apple, so I could maybe strike some in seed compost and try some in water too, and still have a go at keeping the mother plant alive.
Thanks guys!

13 Dec, 2013

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