|Thursday Tips & Techniques: Storing Geraniums for the Winter|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 22 September 2011|
Lots of people buy geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) to plant in their gardens during the summer or keep in pots on the patio. They’re colorful, smell great, and brighten up any house, window box, or garden. The downside of course is that being native to South Africa they do not survive freezing temperatures. Besides, if your geraniums look like this at the end of the summer, there’s no way you’ll want to toss them when winter rolls around. What’s a gardener to do then?
If you’ve kept your geraniums in pots then all you need to do is bring them indoors before the first frost and place them under grow lights in your basement or other cool location in the house. If you have a lot of geraniums and not much room, you’ll have to make some decisions about which ones to keep--the healthiest ones of course! Trim the larger leaves and if the plants are very large, you can prune them back to about 8 to 10 inches tall. Do not overwater during the winter; however, you can fertilize once a month.
If the geraniums are planted in the garden, there are a couple of options. The first is that you can pot them up after first trimming them up as described above. The second is to take 4-inch cuttings of the plants (just below the node) and let the plants themselves die back. After the cuttings root, they can then be planted in peat pots until fully rooted upon which time they can be repotted into 4 inch pots and kept in a cool room and watered weekly or so and fertilized once a month.
Photo source: www.milkandhoneyfarm.com