Fias pelargoniums - Nursing

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Well I am not an expert but...

this is the way I nurse my pelargonium's

My plants don't get the best conceivable environment. This due to me living in an apartment, and without garden I am not able to decide the best point of the compass for them in summertime. During winter storage the plants needs about 8-10 degrees Celsius and much light, that I can't provide for either. Instead I only use my apartment window sills (which of course is a lot warmer). I turn down the radiators a bit, but not too much because then I will freeze.

Winter storage - in apartments   -   I don't cut down or re-plant my pelargonium's in the autumn. I do this in the end of February - beginning in Mars when I see them sprout. The cuttings are planted and I retrieve several new fresh plants. At the same time the mother-plants get new fresh soil. Pelargonium's like it tight around their roots and small pots are used.

Due to the radiator heat the plants needs a lot of x-tra lights and very careful irrigation. I have come to one conclusion... old pelargonium varieties are easier than others to store in this environment. Birds egg and egg shell, stellar and tulip pelargonium's is the ones I have had most trouble with (even the older varieties). A good tip is to put the pots on coffee-cup dishes. This means easier control of the water supply of each of the plants. The amount of water shall be reduced gradually during winter season. Too much water means rotted plants from the base.

The x-tra lights I use consist of a 50 centimeter fluorescent lamp meant for aquarium's. Below this I put the ones I care for the most. The other ones stand below ordinary window lights.

The hardest time to survive the plants is the end of December to middle of February. If the plants rot, try to cut a fresh sprout a bit from the rotted part as possible and plant in new soil. Don't water if the new soil is damp only if it's dry. Then I put a plastic bag around the pot and make a knot. Make a little hole in the bag for air circulation. If you are lucky the sprout starts growing and you have saved your plant!

Summer storing   -   My balcony is in south direction and quite windy. I try to give my pelargonium's some shadow and also protect them from to much wind. Some of the plants I lend out to my relatives and friends with gardens. This also give me an excuse to visit them often
Many means that pelargonium's enjoys full sunlight, but that demands the plants to be tempered some time before summer storing outside. I think our summer up north is to short, so I prefer half shadow, sheltered and warmth for my plants.

Take a peek at my pelargonium's...