Gardening

Overwintering Geraniums

Geraniums are one of my favorite annual summer blooms and with winters cold days ahead, they’ll need to be taken care of.

I’ve been overwintering my geraniums for years with great success.  It’s a real money saver in the spring because I  don’t have to purchase new plants. Each year they get bigger and I take cuttings off the ‘mommies’ to produce more.

Here’s the simple how-to on overwintering geraniums.

A couple days before you want to dig up your geraniums, water them thoroughly.  Be sure to do this before you have a hard freeze.

1. Dig your geraniums out of the dirt. Carefully shake off as much of the dirt from the roots as you can.  A little bit is fine.

2. Strip all the leaves off and remove any blossoms heads, leaving a bare stem with roots.

3. Place the stems upside down, roots facing upward in a cardboard box.  The reason for placing them upside down is so the moisture remains in the stem, helping the plant through the winter months.  Store the box in a cool, dry, dark space such as a basement or insulated attic. Optimal temperature to store them at is 50 to 60 degrees.

4. Once a month check the root stock and remove any that are shriveled up, the stems should stay fairly firm. If you notice they’re shriveling, soak them in water for a few minutes and return them to the box.  If you notice signs of molding on the tips, carefully snip off bad spots, dispose and return root stock to the box.

Come early April it’s time to plant your root stock. Be sure to use a good potting mix, fertilize and watch your blossoms grow.

…of course you can put a few of them in pretty pots and bring them in the house to enjoy all winter long!DPP_0028
Happy day,
Jean

 

Jean Smith
Jean Smith is a mother of six, organic farmer and freelance writer dwelling with her family on their five acre farm in the Thumb of Michigan. She is a self professed master gardener with over 15 years experience who loves to write and teach about her passion for and knowledge in organic gardening. You can read more of Jean's writings at her blog, For Dragonflies And Me