Keeping geraniums in the house over the winter?

janie58(5a)August 6, 2009

I have several geraniums blooming in pots outside. I would like to take them into the house for the winter. What do I have to do to them to keep enjoying them in the coming winter? Do I have to cut them back? Do they need a lot of light? Does the room have to be cool or warm? Will they continue to flower or at least stay green? Thanks

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ljpother(3a)

I keep some of my geraniums in pots in east and south windows. They retain blooms for about a month and start blooming again as the days get longer in April. I have one I let grow for a tree form. The others I use as a source of cuttings to start new plants. Last year I lost several (light colours and variegated) to frost. Don't wait until the last moment to bring them in.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 9:00PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

its possible ... i suppose lots of things are ...

but it will become a hassle ...

they are full sun plants... any window immediately becomes half sun ... plus all the cloudy days in winter... so light is an issue...

then the furnace.. and it effect on humidity in the house.. if you have forced air.. you will be lucky to run the house at 30% humidity ....

then there is the issue of potting media ... and water retention.. with the furnace.. to wet.. and you will get root rot ... etc ...

ALWAYS TRY THE EXPERIMENT .... do not be surprised if they fail .. and revel if you succeed ... just ID all the variables.. and TRY to address each one ...

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 9:32AM
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oilpainter(3)

If you have a south or west facing window you sure can over winter them inside. I have been doing it for more years than I can remember. There are other ways to save them for the next year too, but I'll get into that in a bit.

First here is what I do. I try to get the shortest bushiest ones.I remove all the flowers and buds, and cut them back, to a leaf, to make a nicely shaped plant. I pot them up and put them in my south facing window. I only fertilize once or twice during the winter with diluted strength and only water when they are dry. When they get tall shoots during the winter, I cut them back. Every time you cut them back they make new shoots and I want this so I can take cuttings in the spring. I got 41 cuttings off of 4 plants this spring.

If you have a cold cellar or a place that is just above freezing you can store them there for the winter and let them go dormant or you can hang them upside down, bare root, in a paper bag(punch holes in the bag) For both these 2 you need a cool dry dark place that is just above freezing. In the spring, pot up the bare roots--the rest is for both ways. Move into indirect light and give a little water. Not too much--they have no feeder roots yet. Gradually increase the water and move more and more into direct sunlight and only then when they are growing well give them a mild 1/4 strength fertilizer
I hope this helps

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 11:37AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

I used to bring in my potted geraniums every winter. I filled the south window with them, kept them watered and they bloomed, but not gloriously, all winter. I repotted in Early march and took cuttings,,,,that didn't do much until June....but they lived.
You can also just put the plant in the basement in the dark and only water enough to keep the stems plump....just a little every month or so....then re pot and bring into the light about march 1.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 10:00PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

linda.. you said USED TO do it ...

why did you stop.. just not worth the hassle????

ken

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 8:49AM
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oilpainter(3)

Ken:

It's not much hassle to grow them in the house. No more than having house plants. They really thrive on neglect, because they go into a semi dormant state. A watering once a week or so and a little cutting back when they grow long shoots. The bonus is that you get all those cuttings in the spring.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 4:24PM
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