What is the best way to keep geraniums over winter?

Answered by Robert Dupre

The best way to keep geraniums over winter is to store them in a cool, unheated basement. I have found that this environment is ideal for keeping them dormant until spring. Before the first frost hits, it is important to pot your geraniums. I usually cut back the plants by about half to prepare them for the dormant period.

Once potted, I take an extra step to protect my geraniums by placing an overturned paper bag on top of each pot. This helps to create a little microclimate around the plant and provides some insulation. The paper bag also helps to retain any moisture in the soil, which is important for the health of the geraniums during their dormant period.

During the winter months, I make it a point to check on my geraniums every few weeks. I want to ensure that the soil is not completely dry and that the plants are not starting to rot or develop any issues. If I notice any signs of rot or disease, I take immediate action to address the problem and prevent it from spreading to other plants.

I have found that the slightly damp environment in the basement is beneficial for the geraniums. It helps to provide some humidity, which is important for their overall well-being. However, it is essential to avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot. Regular checks and a careful balance of moisture are key.

In my experience, storing geraniums in a basement has been successful in keeping them healthy and ready for the next growing season. The cool temperatures and slightly damp conditions mimic their natural habitat and help them survive the winter months. It is important to note that this method may not work as well in warmer climates or if you do not have access to a suitable basement environment.

The best way to keep geraniums over winter is to pot them before the first frost, place an overturned paper bag on each pot for insulation, and check on them regularly to ensure they are healthy and not experiencing any issues. Storing them in a cool, unheated, slightly damp basement has proven to be the most effective method for me.