Winterizing and saving geraniums over the winter. How to overwinter zonal and other types of geraniums. Pelargonium x hortorum winter storage and care.
Pictures of geraniums.
Growing geraniums in containers will make overwintering them super easy. As an added bonus, potted geraniums enjoy the root restriction and tend to bloom more abundantly in response to it.
In mid autumn, shift your potted Pelargoniums into a frost free room with plenty of light.
Zonal, Ivy and scented geraniums are best suited to overwintering indoors.
When winterizing geraniums dig the plants up in the fall before the first frost. If a light frost occurs before you accomplish this task, dig the plants up anyway. They will probably survive.
Shake the soil off the roots and cut the shoots back to about 4 inches. Make your cuts just above outward facing nodes.
You can use the tips of the branches you've just removed for propagating new geraniums plants.
Set the prepared plants into trays or pots filled with potting soil. They can be crowded as you will be planting them back into the ground in the spring.
Trim the roots if you need to in order to fit them into the pots.
Water the pots thoroughly right after you set the plants in. Then, only water them when the soil is nearly dry.
Too much water invites root rot in all types of geraniums.
If you are overwintering geraniums that have been growing in pots all season, they will probably continue to grow and even bloom as long as they get enough light and warmth.
Don't think this means you will have to keep the heat on in your home while you are at work. Plants growing indoors over the winter are healthier when kept between 45 and 70 degrees F.
Geraniums winter care is simple. They don't need much food or water at this time. Keep them nearly dry and feed them once a month at half strength.
Our grandmothers used to dig the plants up, shake the soil off the roots and hang their garden geraniums from their basement rafters.
If you have an unheated basement, you can try this. A heated basement will be too warm for geraniums winter storage.
Take the plants down every once in a while and drop them into a bucket of water for an hour or so to keep them from completely drying out. Then drain them and hang them back up.
If you don't have a bright room for geraniums winter storage, you can let the plants go dormant and store them in a frost free basement or garage.
Cut them back hard first and check the soil in the pots every few weeks. You don't want to let the soil become powder dry.
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