The Q&A Archives: Saving Annuals In Winter

Question: when bringing annuals ;geraniums,bogonias,impatients, for the winter, what is the best way to care for them, to give them the best chance to survive and reduce stress?

Answer: First off it is a good idea to bring them into the lower light levels gradully so their foliage has time to adjust. Check very carefully for pests before you bring them in. Then try to put them in a very bright location with moderately cool temperatures -- the reduced light will cause them to grow more slowly and the cooler temperatures (say 65 degrees) will help. As they slow down you will reduce watering and fertilizing accordingly. They may become leggy and need to be cut back by next spring. As they begin to grow again with the longer days then water and fertilize more; when the weather settles gradually acclimate them to the sunlight and put them back outside. You may find the plants lag and look disappointing all winter. Some gardeners will simply root tip cuttings of their favorites and baby those along for the winter because they take up less space that way.

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