How To Overwinter A Geranium

Geraniums are incredibly simple to store for the winter—just place them in a cardboard box or a paper bag and secure the top. The following advice will help them survive:

  • Maintain geraniums in a cool, dry area with a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees F.
  • Once a month or so, remove dried leaves from the bag or box and check for mold.
  • Check the stems quickly at the same time; they should be stiff. Throw away any dried-out, shriveled stems you uncover.
  • If you see that the plants are becoming really dry and crispy, give them a brief soak in water.
  • Plants with stems that appear to be blackened or mildewed should be disposed away.

Geraniums are typically kept in a sack upside down. Although the exact cause is unknown, one idea holds that it does so by pushing moisture into the stems. Whatever the cause, storing them in this manner is neither harmful nor necessarily harmful.

Can geraniums survive the cold in pots?

Geraniums can be overwintered inside in three different ways: as a houseplant, as a dormant bare root, or as cuttings. Your decision will be influenced by the amount of room you have indoors and the range of temperatures you can tolerate. Here is a closer examination of each method.

Overwintering geraniums as houseplants

If you want to keep the entire potted plant and have lots of room close to a window that gets bright, direct light, go with this option. A drafty west-facing window would be the ideal place for your potted geranium to spend the winter because geraniums prefer it chilly (55 to 65 F is optimum).

Wash the foliage well with your hose and repot the plant in new potting soil to prevent bringing unwanted pests from outside. You might also use insecticidal soap, which is sold in most garden centers and hardware stores as well as online. Avoid taking the plant indoors if it shows any signs of pests or illness. Only strong plants have a chance of successfully overwintering indoors.

During the winter, keep the soil wet but not damp. No more humidity is required. If the stems begin to sag, pinch them back to keep the plant compact throughout the winter. When springtime comes around, you may start fertilizing once more and transfer the plant back outside as soon as the temperature reliably rises above 50 F.

Overwintering geraniums as dormant bare root plants

This is the most typical way to overwinter geraniums, but it won’t work unless you have a dark, dry place that stays around 50 degrees throughout the winter.

First, dig up your geranium before it freezes and shake the dirt off the roots. To stop mold from forming, let the plant sit and dry for a few days before storage. Before moving onto the following phase, the roots must be completely dry.

The roots should be kept in a dark, dry place that doesn’t get colder than 45 degrees throughout the winter. Geranium roots should be kept at a temperature of 50 F. You can keep them by doing:

  • It has been customary for generations to hang the plants upside-down from the rafters;
  • placing them on a shelf after wrapping them in newspaper or a paper bag;
  • they were put in a cardboard box.

Step 3: Every month or so, look for mold, black leaves, or limp stems at the roots. Remove any plant or root components that are harmful. Most of the stems should endure the winter in good shape. Before re-storing them if they become too wilted, give them a good bath in water and let them air dry.

Step 4: Reviving your geraniums involves cleaning them up, pruning the stems back to healthy green growth, and replanting them in new potting soil about six weeks before your final frost date. Where the new roots will grow, bury the stems two nodes deep. When you notice fresh growth in one to two weeks, keep the plants somewhat dry; after that, keep the soil moist until the plants are big enough to replant outside.

Overwintering geraniums as cuttings

If your light windowsill area is limited or you are concerned that bringing in your entire potted plant would also attract unwanted bugs, this is a nice technique to try. Additionally, it’s a fantastic way to multiply your existing geraniums.

To trim plants, you’ll need:

  • a cutting edge.
  • Most hardware stores and garden centers sell rooting hormone, which is sold online.
  • Use little terracotta or plastic pots, or recycle a clear takeaway container for roasted chicken.
  • If you don’t eat chicken, use clear plastic bags to cover the pans.

When should my geraniums be overwintered?

  • Make sure you thoroughly inspect your geranium plants before bringing them inside for the winter. Look for symptoms of pests and illnesses like rust and remove any dead leaves or wilting blossoms. Only zonal pelargoniums are impacted by this, but it is becoming more widespread. It arrived in the nation for the first time in 1968, and it does best in the moist summer or fall months. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to spread to the plants quickly and is simple to treat, so merely plucking the afflicted leaves is an effective management. You might also consider using the fungicide Dithane 945 as a spray.
  • Placing your overwintering plants somewhere bright and sunny will help them retain their need for light throughout the winter. Your plants will receive 50% less light if they are placed more than three feet from a window!
  • Because your plants continue to thrive throughout the winter, keep the roots moist. While geraniums frequently survive droughts, they rarely flourish. Show plant growers take special care to keep the roots of their plants damp but never soggy during the winter.
  • Ventilate as frequently as you can to maintain a dry environment surrounding your plants. Your plants will turn into a moldy, rotting heap if you don’t allow the air to circulate. The greatest electric fan heaters are those that operate automatically since they circulate air while simultaneously raising air temperature.
  • Geraniums are fairly inexpensive to overwinter in the greenhouse because they only need to be kept frost-free. To keep temperatures above freezing, however, we do advise utilizing a heater. Set the thermostat on your heater to 5C, which is 41F. The plant will not survive if the stems become frosty! The winter months are a great time to store your delicate pelargoniums in porches, sunrooms, or conservatories.

We hope that we have provided you with enough of tips so that you can continue to enjoy your geraniums year after year. Visit our geraniums hub page, which is brimming with useful resources, for additional details on how to cultivate and take care of these well-liked plants. And do get in touch with us through our social media outlets to share your personal favorites; we’d love to hear from you.

For the winter, should geraniums be pruned back?

You should prune a perennial geranium after it has bloomed all season and starts to wither. This helps the plant store energy for the spring while simultaneously keeping it dormant for the winter. This could need to happen any time between August and late October, depending on your zone. Cut perennial geraniums down to 2 or 3 inches above the soil with a pair of trustworthy shears, ideally at nodes or new growth points. Take out any more flowers or foliage. You’ll have a collection of thick stems that is really ugly. But don’t panic, your blooms will return in full bloom the following spring.

Can I store my geraniums for the following season?

Amazingly, annual geraniums (Pelargonium hybrids) thrive and flower wonderfully from spring till frost with little effort. The next spring, these resilient tiny plants will take off and grow once more if you dig them out in the fall and store them in a cardboard box or paper bag for the winter. Learn how to preserve your geraniums over the winter so you can enjoy them year after year by watching our video and reading the article below.

I have geraniums, when should I bring them inside?

Bring geraniums indoors before the first frost to overwinter them. Drag the entire pot indoors where they should stay for a few weeks while you take care of other more urgent garden tasks if you are growing them in a tub or container and have limited time (as it generally is in the fall). If they were grown in beds, simply remove them with a little dirt, place them in a pot, and water them sparingly. They will survive for a few weeks until you can deal with them.

After winter storage, how should geraniums be maintained?

Iowa’s AMES

Beautiful plants like geraniums offer color and life to any landscape. They are not prepared to endure the hard winter weather, though. Geraniums can be brought indoors to overwinter and then replanted in the spring.

Horticulturists at ISU Extension and Outreach can assist with your inquiries regarding overwintering geraniums and how to keep them healthy during winter weather.

How can I overwinter geraniums indoors?

By obtaining cuttings, potting up individual plants, or preserving bare-root plants in a cool, dry place, geraniums can be overwintered indoors. Before the first fall frost, remove plants from the garden (or take cuttings).

How do you take geranium cuttings?

Take three- to four-inch stem cuttings from the terminal ends of the shoots using a sharp knife. Pinch the bottom leaves off each cutting before dipping the base in a rooting hormone. Insert the cuttings into vermiculite or a mix of perlite and sphagnum peat moss as a rooting media. Rooting containers that have drainage holes on the bottom are pots and flats. Just enough to allow the cuttings to support themselves should be inserted into the media. Water the rooting media once all of the cuttings have been placed.

Place a clear plastic bag or dome over the cuttings to stop the plant foliage from wilting after allowing the medium to drain for a few minutes. The cuttings should then be placed under bright light—not direct sunshine. In six to eight weeks, the cuttings should begin to root. Remove the cuttings from the rooting media after they have healthy root systems and plant each rooted cutting in a separate pot. Until spring, keep the potted plants in a window with natural light or under artificial lighting.

How do you overwinter geraniums as potted plants?

Each plant should be dug up carefully and put in a big pot. After giving each plant plenty of water, set the geraniums in a window with natural or artificial light. Geraniums prefer a cool environment indoors. The ideal temperature range is between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and a little bit lower at night. Plants need watering around every two weeks. By the end of winter, geraniums are likely to grow tall and lanky. Trim the plants back in March. Reduce the geraniums by a third to a half. Within a few days, the geraniums will start to grow once more, and by May, they should be beautiful specimens.

How do you overwinter geraniums as bare-root plants?

The geraniums should be carefully dug out before the first fall frost. Remove the plant’s roots’ soil by shaking them. After that, put one or two plants in a sizable paper bag and keep it dry and cool (45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). It might be appropriate to use an indoor porch or an unheated bedroom. Hanging the plants upside-down in a cool, dry area is an another (somewhat messier) option. Eventually, the leaves and the shoot tips will wither away.

Trim or prune each plant in March. Get rid of all the dried-out, lifeless stuff. Return to firm, green, living stem tissue through pruning. After pruning, pot the plants and give them plenty of water. Put the potted geraniums in a window with natural light or next to a light source. March pruning and potting of geraniums should result in lovely plants that may be put outside in May.

Should geraniums be pruned in the fall?

reducing after blossoming After flowering, early-flowering perennials like geraniums and delphiniums are pruned to almost ground level to promote new growth and late-summer blooming. Then, in the fall or spring, these are again pruned.

Will my geraniums survive the winter indoors?

Pelargonium species, which come in pots, make great indoor plants that may be grown all year round. They normally become available in March through June, and if given enough light inside the house, they will bloom continuously. There are several fresh varieties, like vining and hanging basket cultivars. They are available in many different types of containers and at varying stages of development.

Do geraniums grow back in the spring?

Geraniums have the advantage of easily entering dormancy, allowing for storage in a manner akin to that of sensitive bulbs. This method of storing geraniums for the winter entails digging the plant up in the fall and carefully removing the soil from the roots. The roots should not be spotless, just clear of dirt clumps.

In a room with a constant temperature of roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit, such as your garage or basement, hang the plants upside down (10 C.). Rehang the geranium plant after soaking the roots in water for an hour once a month. All of the leaves on the geranium will fall off, but the stems will still be alive. Replant the dormant geraniums in the ground in the spring, and they will come to life.

Will geraniums recover from freezing?

The geranium will keep any uninjured leaves and stems if the weather improves after a frost or freeze in the garden. Depending on the weather, it may start to develop again from the tip of the stem or go dormant until the right amount of warmth returns in the spring. Frost-killed leaves and stems turn black and dry, however there may be some rotting of soft stem tissue where dead tissue meets living, moist tissue.

  • Geranium plants cannot be subjected to frosts in order to be permanently evergreen, remaining alive with all of their leaves and stems.
  • When air temperatures dip and stay between 25 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit, plants can suffer significant damage or even die. The geranium will keep any uninjured leaves and stems if the weather improves after a frost or freeze in the garden.

How long do geraniums in pots last?

My geraniums are no longer blooming. I fed them, but it was ineffective. What’s the issue?

You might be feeding them too much. Pelargoniums, a genus of geraniums native to the Mediterranean, flourish in full sunlight and relatively infertile soil. Overfeeding can be the issue if you have a lot of foliage growth and the plants appear healthy. For a while, stop giving them food. But if your plants are becoming older and their stems are getting lanky, it might be time to propagate. Although they can live much longer, geraniums typically only bloom for two years on average before becoming woody and losing their blooming ability. Thankfully, geranium propagation is simple. Simply cut stem tips with at least two pairs of healthy leaves from a four-inch stem. Cut the stem at the lowest point, dunk it in hormone rooting powder, and then plant it in a mixture of half sand and half peat moss. In around three weeks, repot in ordinary soil after providing adequate watering and covering with plastic to assist preserve moisture. Sticking the cutting in water and letting it grow roots before potting is a simpler method.