Alan Titchmarsh explains how using newspaper can keep geraniums alive through winter

Alan Titchmarsh gives advice in 2013 on keeping pelargoniums

Alan Titchmarsh is a gardening expert who often appears on Britons’ TV screens. The TV presenter and gardening guru often shares tips, hacks and advice for fellow gardeners. With many Britons stuck inside due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people have taken up gardening and caring for indoor plants.

Geraniums and pelargoniums are popular plants in the UK which most Britons have in their gardens.

If you’re looking to keep your plants going through the winter months, Alan revealed an unusual hack using newspaper in a video for Waitrose & Partners.

He said: “If you want to keep them through the winter you can.

“It’s a bit late for you to take cuttings but you can keep the mature plants.

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“You can either keep them in their pots..on a windowsill, though they take up a lot of room.

“The important thing is not to let them get too wet.

“If they’re wet in winter they’ll rot.”

Alan suggested using a Victorian method which ensures the plants remain dry.

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“The Victorians had a rather neat way of keeping these and some people still do it today,” he explained.

“They take off some of the leaves at the bottom, cut down the stems at the top with a pair of secateurs so they’re shortened, get rid of those and then with no soil around the roots at all they would wrap them [the roots] up, roll them in newspaper, and then they’d stick them under the bed.”

Alan received a small laugh from the audience when he showed them the technique.

However, he assured them that this is a proven method for keeping geraniums and pelargoniums alive through the winter.

He added: “Believe it or not though they bring them out in spring and there will be enough life in there inside with little buds coming.

“When you pot them up they start growing again and you can take cuttings.”

Alan said the alternative method is not quite so “cruel” but to still cut them down by around half with secateurs.

He then suggests to tip them out of their pots and put them in one pot to save on “space and room”.

“Again keep this compost very very much on the dry side.

“By taking off half that growth what you’re doing is just keeping them ticking over through the winter.”

The main thing to remember is to give them lots of bright light, keep them in low temperatures and hardly water them.

Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh airs today at 10am on ITV.

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