We are busy taking more cuttings here today at Cramden Nursery. Our stock plant of Pelargonium sidoides was still in flower. Just love these rich purple flowers with their metal grey green foliage, which have a pepery scent to them.
Time to put your Pelargoniums to bed.
I hope you have had a wonderful display from all your Pelargoniums this summer?
As the days begin to draw in it is time to begin to think about putting the garden to bed for the winter and that includes your Pelargoniums. They are not frost hardy so will not survive our winters. Ideally they would like you to pack them up and send them off to the Med for the winter months.
However if Mediterranean residency is not a possibility then I can give you some good advice on how to overwinter your Pelargoniums here in England.
So, the most important point is that wherever you choose to keep your plants for the winter is that it is frost free and dry. So a cold greenhouse will not do, nor will a shed if we get a cold winter. Neither will stay frost free for long.
If you have a heated greenhouse or a conservatory that will be heated through the winter, these are ideal places for your Pelargoniums to be overwintered as green plants. Many will continue to flower well into the winter for you if they get enough winter sunshine and food.
If neither of these are an option for you then a garage attached to the house (to benefit from some of your residual central heating warmth) or a spare room will do nicely.
For this option you must prepare your plants for the winter. They need to be allowed to dry out in their pots and then with clean sharp secateurs cut them back hard.
Now, this is where you will need to be mentally strong, you will feel awful, after all summer feeding and watering your plants, I am now asking you to cut them right back.
Cut them back to about 3inches and then take off any leaves that are left, you should be left with just stumps.
They will look dreadful but by removing the aerial part of the plant you are removing the need to water them and all that material that would offer perfect conditions for botrytis (grey mould) to grow during the winter months.
These ‘stumps’ now need to be kept frost free and dry for the winter, so no watering, not even a little bit! You are putting them into hibernation for the winter. They do not need light so a garage will work or a spare room. The most important point is to keep them dry and frost free from here on.
Do not cover them in plastic to give them extra frost protection they will just sweat in there and the dampness will encourage grey mould which will just kill them off.
Fleece can be used to offer a little extra protection but it would be good to make sure it is removed occasionally to allow fresh air round your plants to ward off any possibilities of grey mould.
Now here is the tricky part:
You have to leave them alone till the end of the winter, no well meaning watering after New Year when we all get that ‘January itch’ to start doing things in/for our gardens. A well meaning watering at this point will just lead to a soggy mess of grey mould for you to find at the end of winter, leave well alone!
Now this is not a failsafe system, sometimes for reasons unknown plants do not survive but if you can get say 50% through the winter then it is well worth a go.
For a video with step by step instructions showing you how hard to cut your plants back find the You Tube channel “GeraniumTv” and look for the video “How to cut back Pelargoniums (Geraniums)”.
Scented Pelargoniums are a wonderful addition to the Pelargonium family. All the aroma comes from the leaves not the flowers.
On the leaves there are small sacks of oil and it is this oil that carries the scent. As you rub the leaves or brush against them these sacks of oil are ruptured releasing their scents into the air.
How about adding some scented leaf Pelargoniums to your pots to add another dimension to your planting scheme. There are a wonderful selection of scents to choose from. How about a zesty “Orange Fizz” or a fresh citrus scent of “Citronella”. The minty fresh scent of “Fern Mint” is a head clearer! Then there is “Big Apple”, “Creamy Nutmeg” and “Ardwick Cinnamon” for those foodies amongst you, although you cannot eat them they will make your taste buds water from their scents alone.
Mix in your scented leaf Pelargoniums with your flowering Pelargoniums, planting the scented leaf around the edge of the pot, so when you brush past them they release their scents for you. Place these pots either side of your front door so as you come home after work each day & brush past them they will welcome you home with their delicious aroma.
Scented Pelargoniums are delightfully tactile, children love testing out thier scents here on the nursery. They are defantly plants that you will want to share with your friends and family so make sure you plant them somewhere in the garden where you can get at them. Try them in pots on the patio where you sit out in the evening or perhaps in the play area for the children to discover and enjoy.
Try them in your hanging baskets alongside your Ivy Leaf Pelargoniums. “Attar of Roses” with her traditional rose scent is always popular and has a prostrate(sideways) growth habit so it goes outwards rather than upwards. Plant her at the edge of your basket where her scent can float down to you. “Lavender Lady” has a fantastic lavender scent to her leaves and delicate, single pink flowers borne on long flowering stalks, that will trail daintily over the sides of you baskets.
Had a productive morning sitting in the warm resetting our website shop. It is now ready to begin taking orders for rooted cuttings of:
Scented Pelargoniums, Unusual Pelargoniums, Ivy Leaf Pelargoniums and Zonal Pelargoniums.
They will be ready for dispatch in March 2016.
Check it out on : http://cramdennursery.co.uk/
Gosh so that is 2015 with only a month left in it!
Attar of roses, has a rose scented foliage and is part of our range of scented leaf Pelargoniums we grow at Cramden Nursery. It is one of the most popular varieties we grow and is often used on gardening programes or in gardening magazines when they are introducing the wonderful world of the Scented Pelargoniums.
Adding scents to your pots.
How about adding some Scented leaf Pelargoniums to your pots to add another dimension to your planting scheme. There are a wonderful selection of scents to choose from. How about a zesty orange scent of “Orange Fizz”, or a fresh citrus scent of “Citronella”. The traditional rose Geraniums scent of “Attar of Roses” is always very popular. Then there is “Big Apple”, “Creamy Nutmeg” and “Ardwick Cinnamon” for those foodies amongst you, although you can not eat them they will make your taste buds water from their scents alone.
This combination will look beautiful and smell divine. Place you scented mixed pots outside your front door so as you come in after work each day & brush past them they welcome you home with their delicious aroma.
Pretty Flowers of Orange Fizz, love this zesty orange scent.
Great to see Pelargoniums on TV last night, on BBC2s “The Great British Garden Revival”, Tom Hark Dyke did them proud. He looked as the miss naming of them as ‘Geraniums’, and the differences between them and true Hardy Geraniums ( aka Cranesbills). He planted a beautiful Victorian planter up with trailing Ivy leaf Pelargoniums, delicious scented leaf Pelargoniums and its centre piece was a showy Regal Pelargonium. The planter looked great, mixing the different types of Pelargoniums perfectly to create an attractive planter that smells good and will flower all summer long. He visited Calk Abbey in Derbyshire, where they have a beautiful walled garden and a green houses dedicated to the more unusual Pelargoniums. Defiantly. Calk Abbey is defiantly on my list of places to visit, I just love old wall gardens and their green houses.
If you missed the show then follow this link to enjoy the colour and history of the Pelargoniums. They are on in the 2nd half of the show after the Conifers.