The Q&A Archives: Overwintering Scented Geraniums

Question: I have grown three scented geraniums in a tub outdoors. How can they be overwintered? Should they be brought indoors and if so how should they be treated?

Answer: When the weather starts to cool down in the fall, cut the stems of your potted geraniums even with the sides of the pots. (You can start new plants from the cuttings and leaves.) Stop watering your geraniums and store them, pots and all, in a cool place (like a garage) until springtime. The tops of the plants will wither down, but the roots will remain viable and will resprout in the spring. You can also place the pots on their sides next to the foundation of your house, under the eaves where they won't get soaked, and cover them with pine boughs or other insulating material. In the spring, set the pots upright, begin watering, and they'll sprout. Root the stem cuttings by dividing into 3-4 inch pieces, each with a node (where a leaf used to be), lay them lengthwise on sand or potting soil, barely cover the ends but leave the node exposed. New leaves will grow from the node and you can keep the plants on a sunny windowsill during the winter months.

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