How Do I Care for Geraniums in Winter?

Sarah Sullins
Sarah Sullins
Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Caring for geraniums in winter usually involves one of three types of storage. Depending on your needs and the needs of your garden, you may want to taking cuttings, force the geraniums into dormancy, or allow the flowers to continue growing in their pots. Each type of storage requires a bit of effort, but will ensure that your geraniums are ready to continue to grow when spring comes.

Geraniums are from a genus of flowering plants that can be perennial, biennial, or annual. There are about 422 species of this flower growing in tropical and temperate areas of the world. In general, geraniums are thought to be hearty and forgiving, growing in almost any type of soil condition and withstanding almost any kind of treatment from gardeners. One thing these plants cannot withstand, though, is a frost. Even the lightest frost can kill them, which is why caring for geraniums in winter may be the only way to make sure they survive the colder months.

The first way you can care for geraniums in winter is by using pots. If the flowers are outside in the ground, you will need to dig them up and place them in pots big enough to hold both the plant and its roots. After doing this, you should trim the plant down to about one-third or half of its height and bring it indoors. You can then either place it in a window to allow the sun to hit it each day, or you can place it under artificial lights. They will only need to be watered when their soil becomes dry, so it must be check every day to ensure the flower lives during winter.

Another way to store your geraniums in winter is to take cuttings. This can be done by cutting three to four inches (7.6-10.2 cm) of the stem, measuring from the end of the shoot. Take the cutting, and dip the base of it in a root hormone, then place it in a clay pot with rooting medium, moss, and sand. Water it, and allow all of the medium to drain out. You can then place a plastic bag over the top of the pot and wait for the cuttings to take root in the sand.

The last way to care for geraniums in winter is to force them into dormancy. This involves digging up the plants and shaking all of the dirt out of the roots. The plants can then either be placed in a paper sack or hung upside down in a dry, cool area. Each month throughout the winter, place the geraniums in water and allow them to soak before putting them back in the sack or hanging them back up. The leaves on the plant will fall off during the winter, and when spring comes, you can prune the flower and replant it in your garden or in a pot.

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