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geraniums

Overwinter Geraniums Successfully

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Geraniums, for the most part, are grown in regions that experience harsh winters. Very few people realize that geraniums can be brought inside and tended to throughout those harsh winters, giving them the upper hand when spring rolls around again.

Overwintering geraniums has long been a tradition in European countries. Geraniums will not bloom very much during the winter months, even when brought inside out of the cold and tended to daily. They will however sprout new greenery now and then, as well as a few splashes of red occasionally. The best part of overwintering your geraniums is that you have the same plant the following year, rather than adding it to a compost pile.

How to Overwinter Your Geraniums:

Bring Them Inside:
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you need to bring your geraniums inside before the first frost of the season occurs. If you allow them to remain outside, and a heavy enough frost occurs, you may as well add them to the compost pile, because there is less than a 50{693caeddec125ac0dffc6900ebb304e7b3460b245f839692e81e846f79eb42e4} chance of successfully reviving them and proceeding. Bring them in early, rather than losing them by leaving them too late!

Prior to bringing them in the house, trim them back a little first, but do not snip off more than 1/3 of the existing growth. Remove stems at the node.

geraniums

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Perfect conditions for geraniums hovers in the 50-70°F range. Place them in a windowsill of a south facing wall if possible; if not possible, find a west facing windowsill and proceed. Attempt to make sure they will not receive drafts of cold air, keep them away from sources of heat, and make sure they receive plenty of natural light!

Leave Them in Pots:
Geraniums prefer light, airy potting soil compositions; soil, peat, sand. Clay or garden soil that clumps, will not be appreciated by your geraniums. They also require a good drainage system, so place a layer of gravel beneath the potting soil along the bottom of the pot.

Geraniums do not perform well when waterlogged, but they do not like arid soil conditions either; they prefer a moist environment at all times. The type of pot used may influence soil conditions. For instance, terra cotta absorbs moisture and will therefore leave the soil conditions drier than other pots over the same watering schedule. Geraniums are susceptible to rot if overwatered, so err on the side of caution and leave them just a tad on the dry side between watering.

Winter Maintenance:
Deadhead your geraniums regularly to enhance new flower production. Remove the stem by breaking them off with your fingers, at the node.

If you live in a region that experiences warm temperatures during winter days, then choose a couple days to place them outside, allowing them to soak in the sunshine and fresh air.

You really don’t need to worry about feeding the geraniums during their winter inside as they will be somewhat dormant.

Put your geraniums back outside after the threat of frost has ended. Fertilize them immediately and get them into a nice sunny location on the south or west side of the house!



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