Friday, August 5, 2011

Overwintering Geraniums

One of my favorite annuals is the geranium. Most annuals just get thrown in the compost pile in the fall.  Geraniums can be easily stored over the winter with a minimum of effort and no mess.  I know they cost less than a dollar at the garden center by mid June but I think it's cool to store them over the winter. 

Here is gernaium pulled from it's pot in late October.  You can see how plump the stems are, full of water like a succulent.  If you are having a really dry fall water the geraniums a few days before you are going to store them.  

 Trim off the leaves and leave 3-4 inches of stem above the roots.  It seems odd cutting off the leaves but the plant would lose water through them.  Shake off as much dirt as possible from the roots.
The trimmed plant.  Store in a closed paper sack or in a cardboard box in a cool dark spot like the basement.  Check the plants every month or so to see if the stems are becoming wrinkled and dry. If they are, soak the roots in room temperature water for a day and replace into the bag or box.
In the spring replant them like you would any bedding plant.  This pot is about 2 months after replanting.  Store your geraniums in the fall and the cycle goes on.  Dancer made this into a 4 H project and won a state fair trip with it.

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