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Saving Geraniums Over Winter

Your geraniums are at their peak bloom and you heard somewhere you could store them overwinter – but how?

Many gardeners remember mom or grandma placing their geraniums in a paper bag in the basement for the winter.  It seemed she always had great luck reviving the dormant plants in spring.  Unfortunately, most of us have warm basements that make this method the least successful.

You can bring potted plants indoors and grow them like houseplants.  Unfortunately, unwanted pests may hitch a ride in with the plants.  Isolate the plants for several weeks and monitor for pests.  If an insect problem is present, make several applications of an eco-friendly insecticide like insecticidal soap or Neem.

I prefer to take cuttings from healthy plants.  I root these in moist vermiculite or a well-drained potting mix.  They are ready to plant in several weeks.  Grow like a houseplant in a sunny window and water as needed.  You will eliminate the risk of bringing in unwanted pests and need less room to grow these plants overwinter.

A bit more information:  Ambitious gardeners may want to try saving a few other annuals over winter.  Fuchsias and lantanas can be moved indoors to a cool bright location and watered as needed throughout the winter.  Try taking cuttings from coleus, rose periwinkle (Catharanthus), impatiens and basil.  You may find your indoor winter garden adds needed color and a bit of garden therapy to help get you through the winter.

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