Geraniums grow in shades of white, pink and red. The plants are widely grown in the summer because they add colour and texture to gardens. Caring for the geraniums properly in the winter will ensure that they remain healthy. Protect geraniums from a hard freeze by digging them up and bringing them indoors. Once you dig up the geraniums, you can store them in paper bags for the winter or grow them as indoor houseplants.
Dig the geraniums from their location outdoors. Remove as much of the soil from the geraniums as possible.
Add 2 inches of potting soil to an appropriately sized planter. Place the root ball in the planter and add potting soil around the geranium. Fill the planter with the soil and leave a 1/2 inch head space.
Place the geranium in a sunny location. Maintain a temperature of 18.3 degrees C during the days and 12.8 degrees C at night.
Cut back the geraniums to one-third of their size with pruning shears. This will ensure that the geraniums grow healthy foliage during the growing season.
Water the geraniums to keep the soil moist. Water the geraniums only when the top 1 inch of the soil feels dry to the touch.
Fertilise the geranium with an all-purpose fertiliser before you plant it outdoors. Follow the fertiliser instructions closely to ensure that you apply it correctly. Transplant the geraniums in the spring when the soil stays above 10 degrees C. You can also leave them in the pots and place them outdoors on patios or porches.
Dig up the geraniums before the frost arrives. Remove the soil from around the geranium roots.
Place the geraniums inside brown paper bags. Leave the bags open so the air can circulate.
Place the bags in a dark, cool location with a temperature range between 4.44 and 10.0 degrees C. Remove the plants from the paper bags twice during the winter and soak the roots for 2 hours.
Inspect the stems on the geraniums. Remove any shrivelled stems on the geraniums and discard them. Plant the geraniums outdoors or in growing pots when all danger of frost has passed in the spring.
Water the soil thoroughly to moisten it. Cut off dead stem tips from the plant.
Things you need
- Potting soil
- Pruning shears
- All-purpose fertiliser
- Brown paper bags
- Iowa State University: Overwinter Geraniums; Cindy Haynes; September 2004
- North Dakota State University: Questions on Geraniums; Ron Smith
- North Dakota State University: Ask Extension Database: Saving Geraniums Over Winter
- Purdue University: Winter Storage of Geranium, Canna, Gladiolus, Caladium, and Begonia; Michael N. Dana et al; July 2005
- University of Missouri Extension: Geraniums, Saving Over the Winter