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Too much of a good thing ?

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by ricky101, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. ricky101

    ricky101 Super Gardener

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    Hi all,

    Bit of an odd one, going in to my greenhouse and all my Fuchsias and Regal Pelargoniums are still in full flower with plenty of new buds trying to open.

    While it looks great, wonder if I really need to be slowing them down and letting them rest ?

    Even a tub of really tender fuchsias that had stopped a month ago and was brought in to the greenhouse is now sending out lots of fresh shoots, 6" long with leaves a couple of inches across.

    The greenhouse is a lean to against the south wall of the house, but earlier this year I put in a diy 4x2ft propagator for some orchids running a 15c.
    While the propagator is now insulated with bubble film, clearly some of the heat is getting into the main part of the unheated greenhouse which also has a good bit of insulation as its covered in 10mm twinwalled polycarbonate.

    Have been watering the plants, but not feeding them for the last month or so.

    What the best action, let them continue ? even feeding ? or reduce the water and try and force them into dormancy ?

    Can we have too much of a good thing ?
     
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      Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
    • BeeHappy

      BeeHappy Total Gardener

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      @ricky101 I have a similar thing happening- Im just leaving mine to go into a natural dormancy ....no feed ...just water ....the only thing i have done differently for this time of the year is I've used the new growth on my Fushias and Pelagonuims as more cuttings to overwinter we may be glad we did.... IF as it's been predicted we are all going to get a particularly harsh Winter this year- I know that they are seldom right in weather forecasts but maybe we need to be guided by the plants and Mother Nature :dunno:....and as a precaution take those extra cuttings :what:
      ....after all in the OLDen days if we wanted to know about the weather we just looked outta the window :heehee:
       
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      • ricky101

        ricky101 Super Gardener

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        Hi,

        Right, not just me then ...:smile: though not sure if you are in a milder area than me up in the Pennines .

        Like you I have taken plenty of fuchsia cuttings from these I bought last spring * using the perlite / water tray method, just about every one has taken ok :)

        Must confess, had not heard about the 'hard winter' forcast ..?

        * Fuchsia 'Five Star Giants Collection' | Van Meuwen
         
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        • Redwing

          Redwing Wild Gardener

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          I have a small collection of scented pelargoniums which I overwinter in a cold frame. Some are still producing a few flowers which isn’t surprising as until a few days ago it’s been fairly warm. Now that we’ve had a couple of frosty nights I expect growth to stop. From now on I will not water them until spring; OK maybe a tiny amount if there is a warmish spell. It is important to keep them dry. If wet they will rot and if it freezes it will kill the roots, which is more likely if the soil is wet. I’ve been following this regime for a few years and it seems to work. I may loose one or two but most survive. With some the foliage dies off but they sprout again from the base in spring. Others stay green and loose leaves in the normal way. The important thing is to keep them dry.
           
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          • KFF

            KFF Total Gardener

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            Hi Ricky , I haven"t got time for a full reply now...... but could you let us know what you call " really tender "" Fuchsias.

            There are three types pf Fuchsia, Hardy, Half --hardy and Tender.

            If you can find the names out I'll let you know later how best to treat them.
             
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            • ricky101

              ricky101 Super Gardener

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              Hi,

              I called them tender as they were the first of all the outdoor fuchsias to start dropping their leaves at the first sign of cold and shorter days in September.

              It was the 20 plant collection I mentioned above, some were in hanging baskets others in quiet large tubs.

              Fuchsia 'Five Star Giants Collection' | Van Meuwen
               
            • BeeHappy

              BeeHappy Total Gardener

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              OHHhhh no @ricky101 im in the Welsh version of the Pennines - so can fully understand and
              appreciate the challenges gardening in these areas bring :doh:thats why we are most bemused when we have to deal with this somewhat milder weather :scratch:- as i keep saying ":nonofinger: it's not normal" ....it must be like gardening down south :heehee:
               
            • BeeHappy

              BeeHappy Total Gardener

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              Fuchsia 'Five Star Giants Collection' | Van Meuwen[/QUOTE]
              Just checked your link out Ricky what super varieties know of Voodoo but the others are one ive not seen - Just BEEutiful ... :doh:NOW see what's happened, Im converting those plants now
              "want ...want ...want gimme.. gimme ..gimme" :snorky:
               
            • ricky101

              ricky101 Super Gardener

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              Hi,

              A lot of hills over your side, are you more North, South, West or central Wales.

              Looking to come over the north side soon as an old friend and his wife from Liverpool have just bought a cottage on Anglesey, was staggered to see photos of how big the garden was and pictures of how it was in early post war years with its various veg plots as well as the ornamental areas.

              That Fuchsia collection did well, but two of the weaker ones got crowded out a bit.
              They really do need some sheltered height to trail down properly and a big area of compost, not several plants in a typical 15" hanging basket.

              New year, am looking to get two or three wide troughs and hang them from the wall behind the patio area , letting them trail down the whole length.

              Pics below of the tub of the parents I brought in to the greenhouse that have totally resprouted, and the cuttings I took which have now rooted ok, plenty of cutting material still left to take .....

              Also a pic of how the others are still growing like mad, a Lady Boothby, 'climber' and Celia Smedly being grown as a standard.
               

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              • KFF

                KFF Total Gardener

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                Hi Ricky ,

                The hybrids you have got are all half hardy.

                There are two ways of overwintering these......

                1) Cut them back by about half and keep them growing in what is called " the green ".
                This means keeping them just ticking over at around 9 deg . Certainly no higher than this as there isn't enough daylight to keep them growing normally.

                This method is the same for cuttings as well.

                2) Gradually reduce watering until the leaves drop naturally. Once the leaves have droped prune them back to about 6" . Then you have two options.......

                a) Take them out of their pots and re- pot after cleaning off all old compost into smaller pots , keeping the compost just moist in a cool, bright airy place at around 1 to 3 deg.


                b) Take them out of their pots and after removing all old compost lay them flat in a cardboard box ( or similar ) cover them with damp compost and a layer of newspaper ( i tend to make envelopes out of the newspaper and put them inside those ) then repeat the prcess until the box is full. Store the box in a cool dark place such as a cellar ( must be above freezing though ).

                Whichever method you choose always check them every three or four weeks to make sure they haven't dried out..

                The most important thing to remember about overwinterong Fuchsias is that MORE are killed by dryness than freezing temperatures.
                 
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                • ricky101

                  ricky101 Super Gardener

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                  Hi KFF,

                  Thanks for that interesting info, partic the last point about dryness vs the cold

                  The only place I can keep them all is the greenhouse, but that will have a heater added to keep it all frost free via a good electronic stat at 4c.

                  The potential problem is that the daytime temps can get high, even with two auto vents and a bottom auto louvre.

                  Last winter its interesting that the older plants dropped their leaves etc, but cuttings from early autumn continued to grow, or in the green as you say.

                  Still learning ...! :) :old:
                   
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