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Re: Colorful Miniature Pelargoniums

Hi Claire,

We have not had sun for at least a week.  But, we will get some when we get a break between storms.  I agree they are the most cheerful plants.  If you are looking for cultivars that do well in winter, Faye Brawner's Geraniums, The Complete Encyclopedia, has her thoughts on such plants interspersed.  A very good book.  And, it was the publisher who insisted on the title word "Geraniums."

I have grown indoors under lights when I lived on the northern California coast in Eureka.  I had racks with four foot shop light fixtures with one cool white and one kitchen/bath warm bulb in each.  Two fixtures per shelf.  My plants bloomed their heads off.  The lights were on timers.  I will be starting cuttings in a week or so and they will be grown here inside under lights.

ECPep@AOL.COM wrote:
In a message dated 1/3/05 12:51:04 PM Eastern Standard Time,
sandy_connerley@SBCGLOBAL.NET writes:

> dampness. However, in summer an evaporative cooler on a thermostat for the
> greenhouse with shade cloth is a must and the plants are just not happy
> during that season.


Can't order here until April as the plants freeze in transit. Some people
claim success but I shall wait. The miniatures must vary quite a lot in vigor
and free blooming qualities. I do know that here and the other list, culture
has been discussed and going over it again may be a bore to some but winter
culture may be a good topic. Something new or some new members may be here.

We have mostly grey skies in the short day months. Really grey skies, we are
probably all Vitamin D deficient. Sometimes it is so depressing a day in the
greenhouse is like a vacation. Because I thought the minis would fit better,
I collected a bunch of them over a few years. Then finding they do not bloom
well, I added a few strips of light (in addition to the glass) to replicate
what I thought natural conditions. Four books on the subject. The lights,
adjusted several times for day length, have not made much of a difference. Yes,
need new to try new cv's.

For the full size plants, I have been ruthlessly pruning them and placing
them an inch from the light to see what would happen. Most continue to grow just
as they would in winter at any other location. Large soft leaves up over and
around the lights. The tri-colored leaf plants are the most winter
successful. They make pretty good looking foliage plants and do not seem to grow into
monster size.

The main difference is clear skies in the western states, continual cloude
cover in the East even if the temps are the same. We are not in optimum
pelargonium land but here and there one sees a plant doing well, blooming well and
providing a good show in the winter months. After many years of observing, I
really do not know why it is that some do well, others languish. Just to be a
bit more positive, I still have my alltime fave, 'White Splash'. White Splash
is in a huge pot containing around a dozen rooted cuttings and right now
blooming with dozens of blooms. I think this cultivar is sterile and that is why
it blooms continuously, never sets seed. This is golden goose of northern
pelargonium cv's.

Happy New Year to all gardeners and do please advise on northern latitude

Sandy, regarding your summer conditions. We have had non-stop rain the last
two summers. Our plants have been put outdoors in half perlite and still
there was leafspot and some rot. Finally all were kept under a roof overhang and
did much better though I did not want the pots in that place. I use all clay
now, high perlite content and watch them carefully daily all year around.
Nothing as cheerful as a "geranium" on a winter day.

claire peplowski
upstate ny (with rain, ice, dark grey skies, frozen ponds, cats holed up for
the duration)

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