Geraniums Over Winter

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wrote:

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Perhaps I assumed too much about you.
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wrote:

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Which part of the advice do you disagree with?
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If you'd like to get picky, we can do that. I'm referring to the typical geraniums which are sold everywhere in the spring, already flowering. I have gardened for 20 years in Rochester NY (zone 5 or 6, depending on luck, technique, and microclimates). On one side of my house, I've dug up cannas in the fall, missed one or two, and found that they'd survived horrendous winters. Right next to them, geraniums have died, and this was with a 6" layer of mulch.
For 10 years before that, I gardened in Long Island, which is more like her climate. About half the geraniums made it through the winter.
So, if she has a plant she loves, would you recommend she take a chance and leave it outside? You might want to consult this before continuing: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/hzm-ne1.html
She's "interestingly close" to a colder zone. In a weird winter, that could spell trouble.
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Geraniums survive outside just fine in my zone 6a garden. But I don't think you're talking about geraniums.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann, you are so right.....
I have perennial geraniums too, right here in z5a, and they do right nicely, all 6+ cultivars. Some of them even threaten to become "lawn weeds".
It was of course " assumed" that the OP was speaking of Pelargoniums. "Assume" on usenet and generally one gets called out briskly.
Thanks for being gentle.
Sue Western Maine
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Of course it was assumed. She didn't specify otherwise, which made it fairly safe to assume she meant pelargoniums, which is what's in every discount store, garden center and supermarket in the country in spring. If she knew enough to WANT one of the many other geraniums, she'd probably also own some books, and she wouldn't have asked the question to begin with.
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could be hardy outdoors in Pennsylvania - which is ridiculous unless you've got them protected somehow by a very warm microclimate. They'll turn to mush at the first frost. Geraniums, on the other hand, are perfectly hardy.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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If you read *all* the messages from me, you will see that I clearly told her not to risk it with the plants, unless she was prepared for sad results. When I asked her about her location, it was because some zone maps indicate reality: A plume of nastiness which exists through central NY and Pennsylvania, although not all the way to PA's southernmost border. If that's where she lives, she might get lucky with her plants 9 out of 10 years. But in an odd year, uh oh.....
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I have the whole thread, with all of it's chills and thrills, right here, read every message - and your advice was poorly worded at best. I think 'Lee Smith' was having some subtle fun with the discrepancy.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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expounded:

Oh well. Gardening is 75% intuition, 15% wishful thinking/dreaming (like fishing), and 10% science. It's good the OP left with a feeling of "Huh?"
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Incredible thread on what I thought was a simple question. :) BTW The geraniums were purchased from a library fund raising organization, been buying a few every year for several years. Never tried to save any before, just left them and pulled them up in the Spring. They were dried out, and did appear to have any life. That said, they were on a porch with a roof over so if I didn't water them, they dried out. We moved (about 3 miles) this summer and I brought the potted plants with me. No longer under roof, and now got to thinking about being a more proactive gardener at the new house. Possibly saving 2005 geraniums and adding some in 2006 in a different color when the library has its fund-raising sale. All 6 plants are now in the house and I'm trying to decide which approach suggested, ie cutting back now or not, etc. to do. Meanwhile, I have a new problem of sorts: all of a sudden we have what looks like 100s of very tiny bugs on the window sill in the morning. It's not too hard to get rid of them, but the next morning there seems to be a new bunch -- not quite as many a the day before. They sometimes fly but mostly just crawl around and initially I used a bug spray on the sill but have found just a damp paper towel works almost as well. Thanks again.
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2005 geraniums??? That a lot. Marilyn.....where are you going to put them all? :-)
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!! OK. I think you understood, but just in case, here's a clarification: 6 geranium plants purchased in 2005. Also should have written "did not appear to have any life" (not was omitted by mistake).

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Yeah...I understood. I'm just keeping you on your toes. However, I did plant 300 impatiens one year. I expected a higher failure rate from the seeds. It didn't happen, and I didn't have the heart to get rid of any. I planted every one of them outdoors.
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If its any help to you Marilyn, or Doug, the pelargoniums that I cut back when this thread started have ALL sprouted new growth. The biggest surprise of all was in a pot that I was ready to toss on the compost heap. I had beheaded all the plants ( a mixed planting) weeks ago, left the pot in the sunporch until I was ready to "fall clean". When I picked it up for the trip out the door, I found a Martha Washington pelargonium quite happily growing herself out again, also. Needless to say, she is not going to the compost heap.
OTOH, Sister, who saved the "Glitter" pelargoniums for me a couple years ago, rooted her cuttings in August and has blooming size plants for Thanksgiving.
Sue Western Maine
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I just take my geraniums (pelargoniums) into the unheated garage for the winter and leave them near a window. They look dead by March but I pop them back outside and water them and they do just fine. I've got some that have lasted eight years this way in our Zone 7 winters.
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