How to keep geraniums over the winter

Geraniums please us with their blooms from early summer into fall.  Come late fall, geraniums start looking straggly.  Sometimes, we have a tendency to just pull up and toss the germaniums since we know as annuals, they cannot survive a cold winter outdoors.  There are some pre-frost options that gardeners have shared to keep geraniums over the winter for use again next season. 

Option A—Hanging root

1.      Dig up the geranium and shake the dirt from the roots.  Prune back half of the top.  If the plant is wet, place on newspaper for one to two days to dry.
2.      Place the root, upside-down, in a paper bag and fold down the top.
3.      Hang the rolled bag in a cool place, like an unheated basement.
4.      Mid-February, remove the geranium root from the bag and plant it in a pot. 
5.      Keep in the house, watering as needed, and then plant outside after there is no danger of frost.

Option B—Potted and placed in a sunny location in the house

1.      Dig up the geranium and put it into a pot.  Prune back half of the top. 
2.      Place the pot near a window or on a window sill in a cool location.
3.      Periodically water the plant.  It should be completely dry, something you can tell by lifting the pot to see how heavy or light it is. 
4.      The plant will get scraggly looking, but that’s okay.  Prune new growth monthly.
5.      Mid-February, bring the plant into a warm, sunny area of the house and water regularly, like any house plant.  Apply liquid fertilizer.  Once the danger of frost has past, you can plant the geranium outdoors.

Option C—Potted and placed in cool, dark location

1.      Same as Option B, Step 1.
2.      Place the pot in a dark, a cool location where temperatures are above freezing but below 50 degrees F. 
3.      Same as Option B, Step 3.
4.      Same as Option B, Step 5.


Let us know which option you have tried—or give us a new option! barbara@viewsfromthegarden.com

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