The Q&A Archives: mosquito geranium

Question: I have some mosquito geraniums that I would like to save for next year. However I don't have room indoors for them. I do have a basement (with no light) and a greenhouse outside. Is there an alternative to enjoying these plants next season? I'm in zone 6 and where I live the winters are quite brutal with wind and snow. thanks !!

Answer: If you want to keep your geraniums alive during the winter, you'll need to treat them like houseplants, giving them bright light (with some direct sunlight), average household household temperatures during the day, cool nights, and regular watering. A cool greenhouse should provide the required light and temperatures. Geraniums do best when soil is on the dry side. You can check soil moisture by sticking your finger into the soil - when it's dry an inch below the surface, water thoroughly, and then don't water again until the soil dries out again. Geraniums can get leggy indoors, so pinch the tips of the stems out regularly to keep them bushy. If you just want to store them, rather than keep them growing, you can leave the plants in the pots, cut the stems back even with the edge of the pot and store them just above freezing in a dark, airy location (such as a garage). They won't require water until new buds show in the spring. The problem with keeping them in a cool basement is that it's not warm enough for them to grow well, and it's not cool enough to put them into dormancy. If your plants are stressed because they're not getting the temperature and light they need to adequately grow, they'll be prone to disease problems. Hope this provides some guidance!

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