The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Geraniums

Question: How can I care for geraniums in winter without hanging them upside down?

Answer: There is a great way to overwinter geraniums that involves storing them upside down but not hanging them upside down. To overwinter geraniums they need to be dug from the ground before frost hits. Shake all of the soil from the roots, put a paper bag over the entire plant and store upside down (roots up, stems down) in a cool, dry place (in a box in an unheated garage or crawl space is great). In late March, plant the geranium in potting soil in a container big enough to accomodate the roots. Water thoroughly and place in a cool (40-45F) location that receives bright yet indirect light. As the stems sprout leaves, move into direct sun and apply an all purpose fertilizer such as Miracle Gro carefully following application instructions. Remove any dead stems before setting outside. After a year or two, your geraniums will become woody and produce fewer blooms - at that point, you can start new plants from cuttings. You can also treat them as houseplants for the winter if you have space. They requirelots of sun and watering about once per week. Feel free to cut them back, since they'll send out new, tender growth and blooms.

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