Geraniums can be winter-stored and overwintered in several ways. There are two main methods for storing geraniums during the winter. In simplified terms, you can either keep them in a dark and cool environment or provide them with bright and warm conditions. Here are our top tips for successfully overwintering geraniums!
How to store Geraniums over winter
When the initial frosty nights approach, it’s time to store the Geraniums for the winter. It’s quite apparent on the plant when the season is nearing: growth slows, flowers diminish, and the leaves may start changing color. Then it’s time for one of the following methods to store the plant:
Storage in Darkness
If you have numerous geraniums, finding indoor space might be challenging. A good alternative is to put them away in a garage, shed, or basement where there’s limited light but not too much warmth.
Trim away withered leaves and flowers to prevent molding during winter. You can prune the plants significantly. This reduces debris as they wither and ensures they grow densely and beautifully come spring. Place pots in a cool, dark spot. A temperature between 5-10 degrees Celsius is ideal. Water gently about once a month without adding nutrients.
Bright Winter Storage
Another option is to bring the geraniums indoors and place them on the windowsill. This treats them like any regular potted plant and they’re content with occasional watering. This method is particularly suitable for zonal geraniums, trailing geraniums, and scented geraniums.
Trim the geraniums if needed. Remember to cut just above an old leaf node. It’s a good idea to trim right above a healthy leaf. This leaf helps draw water through the stem so it doesn’t wither. Place them in the brightest, coolest spot possible. If feasible, consider lowering the temperature to between 15-20°C. Maybe you have a spare room that isn’t used often where the geraniums can reside during the winter? Avoid placing pots on a windowsill with a heater beneath it. This could lead to the soil becoming excessively warm when the heater is on. Water sparingly and avoid adding nutrients to the water. Indoor air can become quite dry in winter, so water is necessary, but water just a little and check the soil’s moisture level. If it gets too wet, the roots may rot. Geraniums always benefit from fully drying out between waterings.
Documenting the winter storage of your plants is important for several reasons. By jotting down your experiences, you’ll remember what worked well and what needs improvement. You can also share your insights with others and experiment with various wintering methods to determine the most effective for your situation.
In spring, it’s time to bring out and revive your geraniums by placing them back in warmth and light. Trim away anything dead and withered. If they’ve grown leggy, you can prune them quite heavily, leaving stems of about 10 cm. Trim just above an old leaf node.
Repot in fresh soil (preferably with some clay pellets at the bottom for drainage), start watering, and provide nutrients. You’ll see them rebound beautifully. Once the risk of nighttime frost has passed, you can move the geraniums outdoors.
GERANIUM ‘Picote pink’
GERANIUM ‘Brocade Cherry Night’
Document like this in Gardenize when you bring in your geraniums:
Example from Jenny at Gardenize when she notes in the app:
- She creates a new event in Gardenize called “Brought Inside.”
- Then, she takes photos of what she’s doing and adds the images to the event.
- In the plant list, she looks up and selects the geraniums relevant to the task.
- She specifies the plant location, such as Living Room Window, Kitchen Window, or Garage.
- Later, she logs into Gardenize on her computer and adds additional comments and reminders.
- She often takes the opportunity to review her notes, ensuring they remain current and relevant.
- She jots down if any pests or diseases are observed, which she needs to keep an eye on going forward.
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