Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to keep geraniums indoors over winter?

I have 24 pots of them and I would like to keep then for next year what do I have to do?
How to keep geraniums indoors over winter?


There are several ways on wintering geraniums; the most common is by digging them up before the first frost and transplanting them into specially prepared containers.

Garden soil is a little too dense for potting, and shouldn't be used for container plants. Instead, invest in a bag of sterile potting soil for your wintering geraniums. This soil is looser and less compact, and will drain much easier which will prevent the roots from rotting.

Before digging up the geraniums, cut back to one half of their original size, and inspect for signs of disease or bugs. If they look healthy, remove them from the ground, knock off excess dirt from the roots, and then transplant them into the potting mix. Give the plants a good watering and then place them in a cool location with lots of direct sunlight.

I use my mud room, but enclosed porches and garages will also work as long as the temperatures don't drop below 45 degrees. Keep an eye on the soil, and water only when it begins to dry out. During the winter, pinch back any new growth developing on the shoots. Pinching new growth concentrates growth in the roots, prevents spindly stems, and results in a fuller plant when the geranium is ready to go back into the ground the following spring.

Taking cuttings is another way of wintering geraniums, and a great way to increase the amount of geraniums you already have. To take a cutting, remove a 4 to 6 inch section of stem from the tip of the geranium which should include several leaves and a node. Remove the leaves from the lower end of the cutting, and dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone.

Place the cuttings in well draining put filled with wet sand, and cover with a plastic bag to create a "greenhouse." Place the cuttings in a window where it will receive indirect light. New roots should develop within 5-6 weeks, and the plants can then be transplanted into a pot filled with potting soil.

A simpler way of rooting cuttings is by placing them in a glass of water. This method sometimes work with geraniums, and sometimes doesn't, but is easy way to propagate a tip cutting when there isn't time to do the proper way.

Another easy way of wintering geraniums is through dormant storage. Unlike many other annual plants, geraniums can go long periods of time without soil or water. To winter geraniums using this method, pull the plants from the ground, shake off the dirt, and toss them in a bag. Store them in a cool, dark location such as a fruit cellar, barn, or garden shed where temperatures are consistently between 45 and 50 degrees. A couple of times during the winter, remove the geraniums from the bag and soak the roots in water for two hours. Check for signs of drying out on the stem ~ if the stems are shriveled, the plants have probably died, and should be tossed in the compost.

In March, pot the geraniums into containers filled with potting soil, cut back the dead parts, and give the plants a good watering. Place the newly potted plants in a warm sunny window, and continue to water as needed. Don't get discouraged if you don't see any growth for a while! Geraniums that have been been wintered by the dormant storage method don't begin producing new buds for at least a month or so.

After all danger of frost has passed in the spring, your wintered over geraniums are ready to return to your garden where they can be enjoyed for yet another year.
Reply:We have one geranium that is now over 2ft. tall, we keep it in the house by a window. We water it once a week, and sometimes we put liquid miracle grow plant food in the water.

Perhaps that would be good for your geraniums also.
Reply:Geraniums need light, water and warmth to continue growing and producing flowers. They make excellent houseplants but can grow extremely quickly and will soon cover the whole windowsill.

I tend to keep mine in a greenhouse, (with no heat) over winter, (the lowest temperatures are just lower then freezing), with a few cuttings taken from the best plants to grow on indoors. The greenhouse plants will die back but as soon as spring comes and it warms up then they start sprouting leaves again. Last year was particularly mild so the plants didn't die back and I now have them over 3' high.

The greenhouse plants don't need watering very often either, normally once every month unless they have died back and then I stop altogether until the spring.

Good luck.
Reply:sunny windowsill
Reply:I dragged a few pots of geraniums down to my cellar one fall, and forgot them. I remembered once, maybe in January, to water them....and believe it or not come April they had "died out" BUT showed new growth!! I picked all the dead stuff off them, hauled them back outside, watered them well, and within weeks they were FABULOUS!!! So by all means, do whatever you want with them as long as you keep them from frost...but I sure would not clutter up my main living spaces with them!! Good luck!!
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