? about Over-wintering Geraniums in basement

shirl36(Zone 5b West Central Illinois)October 11, 2006

I have checked FAQ...read many threads and I do not see my concern about the root system.

I have just removed all my zonal geraniums from their pots...and they all have clumps of dirt remaining around their roots. My question is...do I remove most of this dirt leaving roots exposed or leave it on till spring, and then remove? By spring it will hard clumps...will that damage roots as you begin to work with them and replant. Also do I now wait till these plants are dried before I put in sacks. I have them laid out in garage...Weather man says tomorrow nite it is going down to 28 or so....

I will be storing them in brown paper sacks in the basement.

Last fall I stored 3 plants over...this spring replanted all 3 in one pot...trimmed back....and it turned out to be a beautiful pot of geraniums all summer....But now this fall I have several plants and am serious about overwintering and looking forward to next spring.....

Thank you for any information.....Shirl36

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Thats my question also.If I remove them from the pots how do the roots not dry up and do I put the whole plant in the paper bag? I will be putting them in my basement .Thanks

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 7:27PM
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Shirl and Flowergazer....it is perfectly alright to let your geraniums enjoy all the sunshine they can get....as long as they don't get hit with frost.
So you might, if they are still in their pots, bring them into the garage at night, back out into the sunshine during the day.....and repeat this as often as you decide they can be and not be touched by frost.

OK, out of the pot...no need to remove the soil around the roots...but you can if you wish...knock it off with your fingers....don't wash the roots...that just delays drying.
And dry is what you want....very dry.

Put them away in the garage or shed for a day or so to let them dry out a bit. You don't want to store a plant in a damp condition.

Take them to that cool place....35 to 50 F...and either hang them up, upside down (because its easier to hang that way) or put into paper bags...keep them opened to let moisture escape...and let them be all alone, dry, dark and cool. OR, leave them in their pots...on their side..and let them remain on a shelf.

No water should be sprinkled on them...what for? That could initiate some form of growth...we don't want that.
So keep the plants dry....very dry.

You might put something on the floor to catch the debris that will surely fall from the drying plant.

In mid February....but can be delayed as late as March......bring them out to a well newspapered table where you will inspect their roots for any damage, you will cut them back after removing all old leaves and flowers, then you can wash the roots free of any and all old soil. Use warmish water. Cut back about half...third....you decide.

A clean pot...6"...8"...10"...depending on the size of the plant...put shards in the bottom to keep the soil away from the drainage holes. Fresh potting soil, make a hole in the center, put your plant in, firm it up. Water to drainage.
Take to the sunniest window you have...east,west or south.
Don't water again until new leaves begin to form...might take 2+ weeks.
When you water, do so always to drainage and dump the excess...never leave water in the saucer below.
Begin fertilizing as the amount of leaves dictate...1/4 rate...1/2 rate...20/20/20.

As the plant matures you can then increase fertilizer and give it 15/30/15.
Turn your plant 1/4 turn every day to ensure all parts of the plant receives equal amount of sun.

May produce flower buds in 5...6...7 weeks...but don't concern yourself if it comes to May...flower buds will come.

That's it.....that's how after 8 years I still have 7 plants alive and kicking.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 9:03PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Can you still do this if you don't have a place that gets to 35 to 50 F? I have a crawl space cooler than the rest of the basement, but I doubt if it gets below 60. I have cooler basement windows, but those will get light. Dark garage, but that freezes!

I'd like to do this for my scented geraniums if possible.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 12:04PM
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shirl36(Zone 5b West Central Illinois)

caroldiane.....Thanks for the information....I think I have done OK so far....sacked them up this afternoon, but then again maybe I have them to tight. I put them in one sack, then turned that sack upside down into another....I will redo tomorrow...
Thanks again.....Shirl36

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 5:52PM
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rhadler200(Z7 NY)

I have a really stupid question to which I didn't find the answer in FAQs. Does this advice apply to all sorts of geraniums? I have the red ones that one buys in Home Depot for $4.00, growing in pots, doing really well so far. Can I bring them in over the winter, to my basement? In fact, can I do this with all my potted plants from the summer? What a wonderful thought that is!
Please help me out. I'm so ignorant about this...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 1:46PM
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