Saving Favorite Some Geraniums

I like to save my potted geraniums from one year to the next. Many of them are the scented varieties. Normally I cut the tops back to about three or four inches and bring them into a cool, sunny spot to over-winter.

This year we don’t have the room to keep all of those pots. So, this time around I decided to try the method my late father-in-law Virgil used to keep his geraniums all winter.

His method is pretty easy. He used to just take them out of the pots and knock off a lot of the potting soil. Then he cut back the tops to about four inches long. He put his plants into paper bags and put them in a cool spot. They seemed to over-winter just fine. He had a cellar where the temperature was cool and the humidity stayed high. They never had a chance to dry out.

Most of us don’t have old-fashioned cellars like that any more, instead we have basements. Modern basements are usually too dry for this method to work without a little help. I plan to check my geraniums every couple of weeks and soak them in a bucket of water if they look like they are shriveling.

Geraniums have a will to live. Many long-time gardeners have their own favorite way to keep geraniums. What works for one gardener may not work for the next because of different storage conditions. Which is why I’m still keeping a few geraniums in their pots as usual.

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.