Sunday, January 15, 2012

Can geraniums be wintered over in a basement?

my friend would like to dig up her geraniums and keep them in my basement over the winter to use next year. can this be done without special lighting? what kind of care would they need, etc.?
Can geraniums be wintered over in a basement?
According to several gardening sites there are 2 ways to overwinter geraniums . 1- prune them back and keep them alive indoors, by a sunny window . 2- shake the excess dirt off the roots and hang them up in a basement. The old time basements were the moist root cellar type. Most modern basements are very dry, so the sites recommend dunking the dormant geraniums in water for a couple of hours, a few times during the winter. Keep them in the dark. If you don't want to dunk them, spritz them with water. A friend here in Minnesota says shake off the dirt, put them in a paper bag, and spritz them with water once in a while. Plant them in May. If they are too spindly you can cut them into 4 inch pieces and put them in water to root in February. You can save a lot of $ doing this and get a head start , and save your favorite styles too! I'm going to try the paper bag method this winter.
Reply:Yes, you can either pot them up and put them in a sunny window, and water lightly letting them dry out between waterings and only every so often. They will not need as much water in the winter as in the summer and out of doors.

Reply:I have kept potted geraniums in a bright window all winter.

They were big, and I thought it was worth the effort vs the expense of buying new ones in the spring. It wasn't.

I had some smaller ones that I removed from the soil, shook off the planting medium, tied them up with old panythose

(like a noose) and hung them upside down under my basement stairs--very little light. I was able to replant

them in the spring, and got a second season out of them.

As far as I know this only works with geraniums. And

I would have dug up those same geraniums and done it again if the frost hadn't gotten them first.
Reply:Hello! YES! I have done this as well as a former neighbor of mine too! Her Geraniums were the largest ones I'd ever seen! Awesome! She taught me that the tricks are to keep them in a fairly dark location of the basement ... with a little light from window ... and only water them once a month or so ... if totally dried out! By not being in the light, they sort of hibernate so drink less. Good luck!

Marilyn KCM
Reply:Geraniums used to be indoor house plants. Put them in a sunny window and keep watered. In the spring they can be cut back to start over.
Reply:Yes, if you use a grow light during the daytime.

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