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By Gattina

Bologna, Italy It

My father used to overwinter pelargonium plants by wrapping the bare rooted plants in newspaper and storing them on top of the spare room wardrobe, not having anywhere else to keep them while still in pots. Has anyone else managed this successfully? If so, what's the secret? Mine all die.



I remember my mother did something very similar and I think she took cuttings from the almost dried out plant in the spring?
I take cuttings in the autumn and hope at least one survives in the green house without getting mildew. I am tempted to try cuttings indoors and over winter on a windowsill this year.

18 Sep, 2011


You might be having no success because you've got heating in your rooms - my grandfather used to do this and store them in the back bedroom on the wardrobe, but they were absolutely unheated rooms then.
I'm just wondering why you need to do it - does the part of Italy you live in get very cold in winter? Pelargoniums will withstand up to 10 degrees of frost, but what kills them is damp - they rot in Britain in our cold, damp winter weather. If you can keep them in pots, reduce the topgrowth by a third and put them somewhere sheltered and out of the wet, then they may survive outside.

18 Sep, 2011


Emilia Romagna is in northern Italy, near Bologna, Bamboo. If I am remembering the travel programs correctly, she probably gets a shorter, but sharper, winter than you normally get in London. All the sharper if she lives in a mountainous region.

18 Sep, 2011


Thank you all for your replies.
I doubt it will be a shorter winter, Tugbrethil - the snow usually arrives mid November and has been known to last until the beginning of May. Very nearly 6 months. The temperatures can be very low indeed. The big advantage is that it is rarely as damp here as the UK. We can't afford to heat the whole house as power (no coal in Italy) - gas or electricity or oil is vastly more expensive out here, so half our rooms, despite our 18" thick stone walls, are round about freezing point for months. Maybe I'll try again with the bare rooted pelargoniums indoors. Light is quite a problem - the houses here have very small windows. They most certainly would not survive outside.
P.S. we don't have windowsills, either!

18 Sep, 2011

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