How can I keep my geraniums dormant over the the winter?

AmandaJuel88(4)September 15, 2013

Can anyone give me some good tips on how to keep my geraniums in my basement to plant next year??

My late grandmother always had red geraniums on her front porch year after year and no one in family can remember how she actually did it!

The only thing they remember is that they were covered in the dark basement over our MN winters. Maybe not even taking them out of the pots.

I've read about taking the soil off and putting them in a dark cool place but I'm hoping there is an easier way to leave them alone and have them bloom again next spring!!

Any ideas would be awesome!!
Thanks!

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gardengal48

A simple search on this forum will turn up multiple threads on this topic! There is more than one way to skin a cat, so a variety of methods are mentioned. All work more less with the same effectiveness so select your favorite and go for it. Over wintering geraniums is very easy......you can even treat them as houseplants for the winter.

Here is a link that might be useful: forum search on overwintering

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 2:15PM
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AmandaJuel88(4)

Thanks for your response! I've done too much researching, here and google, so I decided to ask hoping to get the quick and easiest way to dormant from someone first hand. Unfortunately for me, there's not much room for them indoors. Wish me luck :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 4:14PM
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Patty zone 5

I put a mixed pot of geraniums and a spike plant in our attached, unheated garage one year. I didn't do anything with it but by February, I noticed new whitish green growths starting that were very spindly from lack of light in the garage. I moved the plant to a sunny location in front of patio doors inside my house and started to water. I cut off all dead or weak material. The pale growths soon turned green and eventually became healthy branches. It did take a while for it to fill out but it did. Before that though, in early spring the nurseries started putting out their very lush, healthy geraniums which of course I purchased some of as well. Eventually my overwintered pot caught up in terms of lushness. I was glad because that next year, I could not find the same variety for sale and it was a fave of mine. Overwintering it was very rewarding and I still have it. Now I just keep it growing inside over the winter.

This was absolute minimal care for most of the winter. It did require some indoor space and more attention from the end of February on though.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 3:00PM
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goren

I don't know whether I'd trust an unheated garage to store a plant over a northern winter but if you have a basement that stays above 40ú, can be put where it can be left alone....no watering, no giving light of any kind, no feeding....it can come back better than ever.
No thinking a little sprinkling will do it some good...it wont.

When we give plants light, we are expecting it to do something....like grow....same with heat....same with food.
Leave the poor plant alone....do not do anything to encourage growth.

In February--or March....bring the plant out...remove it from its pot if you left it there, or you might have hung it--upside down...which is equally the way to leave it....
cut it back to about 4"....removing all dead branches..inspect the roots and remove any that appear dead or damaged.
With a clean pot, put something in the bottom to keep the soil away from the drainage holes---the pot MUST DRAIN....fresh potting soil, place the plant in, water it to drainage, then place it in a sunny window where it is left to gain leaves. Turn it every other day to ensure all parts receive adequate sunlight. Do not feed it until sufficient foliage returns and then only as it requires.
Do not let the drainage sit under the pot longer than 5 - 10 minutes....
Within 6 weeks your plant should have foliage that will signify its beginning to return to its old self.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 3:01PM
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