Keeping Pelargonium 'Lord Bute' happy over winter.
Pelargonium 'Lord Bute' is a fabulous plant - and one of our most popular lines at Columbia Road. However it is a demanding customer when it comes to winter conditions.
Over recent winters we have lost large numbers of plants due to botrytis and stem rot. Plants that were vigorous, well rooted and seemingly happy by late autumn seem to really dislike the chill and damp of winter, often seeming to sicken within hours.
The last winter has been really pretty easy on plants in the heated house. No extreme cold and generally pretty dry - none of the endless wet of the winter before. However despite this we have lost a couple of hundred two litre plants - which is very frustrating and costly.
So one of our experiments this winter has been keeping the young plants on heated beds in the propagation units. So far they are looking good - so I'm hopeful we will still have a good crop for Columbia Road. I'm already getting requests!