Overwintering Geraniums

On October 26, 12 Garden Club of Denver members gathered at Suellen White’s house to learn more about saving their geraniums over the winter.  Master horticulturalist Marilyn Wilson outlined three different ways to preserve geraniums. Participants brought their own geraniums and even shared their own plants. A favorite of the group was Suellen’s fuzzy leaf scented geranium. 

To save Geraniums over the winter in pots:
Dig up your geranium and place it in a pot that can comfortably fit the rootball. Prune the geranium back by 1/3. Water the pot thoroughly and place it in a cool but well-lit part of your house (a garage with windows is good). 

To save Geraniums by making them go dormant:
Dig up your geranium and gently remove soil from the roots. The roots should not be clean, but free from clods of dirt. Hang the plants upside down in either your  50 degree basement or garage. One a month soak the roots in water for an hour and re-hang the plant. The geranium will lose all its leaves but the stems will remain alive. In the spring, replant the dormant geranium and it will spring back to life. 

To save Geraniums over the winter using cuttings:
Cut 3-4″ cuttings from the green (still soft, not woody) part of the geranium. Strip off any leaves on the bottom half of the cutting. Dip them in rooting hormone. Stick the cutting into a pot filled with vermiculite, water and drain. Place the pot into a plastic bag. The cuttings will root in 6-8 weeks. When rooted, re-pot into potting soil and keep in a cool, sunny spot until they can go back outside.