(January) I recently relocated from Southern California and brought a large potted geranium and a large potted calla lily. So far, they have both survived in the garage (they were outside before this last "cold snap"). Should I put them into the ground? How do I keep them alive until spring?
In the spring, the calla lily can be permanently planted, but the geranium will not over winter outside year-round. Moving it into the garage for the winter is always an option. They should be fine in the garage until spring. Give them a little water, but just enough to keep them alive.
(February) I bought a mosquito plant last spring and it did great in a large pot. I put it in my green house for the winter and now the lower leaves turned yellow and dropped off. What do I need to do with it? If I cut it back will I kill it? Any help would be appreciated.
Mosquito plants are a scented geranium that smells a bit like citronella–thus the common name. Make sure you aren’t watering too much, but you can cut them back as much as you like. As you cut them back, root some of the cuttings to make more plants. Scented geraniums are extremely easy to root. The whole plant should begin to bush out, once you have pruned it.
(April) I kept a dozen pots of geraniums in my basement all winter, watering them about once a month. As of right now I have them outside, where I have taken off all the old dead leaves and blooms. The plants have continued to grow, thank goodness. They now have long, leggy, stems with like one leaf on the top of them stem. I know I am supposed to cut them back, but I don't know how far. Do I cut off the new growth? If so, how low to the soil in the pot?
I would cut them back by at least half, otherwise they will be long and leggy in bloom. Begin fertilization and water more frequently to get them blooming. Geraniums typically bloom best in cooler conditions than in the hottest part of summer. Next year, you may want to bring them out a bit earlier, so they can recover and start blooming before it gets too hot.
(October) Last year I kept my geraniums growing under a grow light in my basement (60 degrees). I did not cut them back until spring. They did fine, but I think that they can be removed from the pots, hung upside down and left to dry and then replanted in early spring. Which method do you think is best?
Storing them by drying and hanging is an old-fashioned method, that can produce good results, but it is a more risky venture than a grow light in the basement. Usually we say a 50-50 chance of survival. You might try a combination of both approaches, and see which does better for you.
(November) I heard that you can save geraniums and replant them next spring. How would I go about preparing and storing them for the winter?
Geraniums have a more woody type of stem than most summer bedding plants. As long as they don't freeze, they should overwinter fine. There are several options for storage. One is to simply bring them inside along with other houseplants. They may get a bit leggy after a winter indoors, but they can be pruned back. The other option is to store them under the house or in a garage that doesn't get below freezing. Store them in their containers, and cut back in the spring when you move them back out. An old-fashioned method was to uproot them and hang them to dry in an attic. Then cut back and repot in the spring. From what gardeners have shared with me, there tends to be a 50-50% rate of survival with that method.
I have geraniums in pots that I wintered over inside last year. They did great. They bloomed all year. They have been outside since Spring and I want to bring them inside again for the winter. They have grown very big this summer and I was wondering if they can be cut back. If so, when and how much?
Geraniums can be cut back, but usually I do it in February. By then, any dieback or legginess will have occurred. You can take the parts you cut off and start new plants. Cut back as much as needed to keep them full and bushy.
I have several beautiful geraniums. I understand that there is a way to save them and replant them next year. Can you please give me instructions on how to do this?
There are actually several ways you can overwinter geraniums. One is to simply bring them indoors like a potted plant. Give them a bright sunny window and let them grow. You can also store the plants in their pots in a garage or storage area, provided they won’t get below freezing. Give them limited water and allow them to go dormant. Next spring cut off the dead tips, and they should begin to grow again. The third method, (and one I give a 50-50 chance to) is to lift the plants in their entirety (roots and all) out of the soil. Shake off the excess soil and hang the plants to dry in a cool, dry area. Next season, cut back the dried, dead areas, repot and see what happens. Last year, many plants actually overwintered outside until the March freeze. That was unusual--but then, so was our winter.
I keep hoping you will tell me what to do this spring with these geraniums I unpotted last fall. They have been hanging bare rooted in our house crawl space all winter. Do you cut them back? Just what is the repotting technique? Any information would be appreciated.
Bring your stored geraniums out of storage now. Cut back all of the dried out ends of the plants until you get to firm growth. Then pot them up in fresh potting soil, begin watering and move them to a sunny location. New growth should begin in a week or two. Don’t expect 100% survival of the bareroot storage method, but you should have some surviving plants. As growth begins, begin fertilizing as well.
I must admit that I have been gloating somewhat, in that I kept my geraniums alive and in bloom all winter on my front porch. I did take precautions when the freezing weather came through in late March, but otherwise they did great. Now that spring is here and I see the glorious geraniums at local garden centers, mine don't look as good. They have gotten a bit tall and thin. Have I waited too late to prune them back? Can I just cut them back by half and still have a blooming plant this spring?
Cutting the plants back now will definitely delay the bloom cycle, and this is the prime season for their flowers. Geraniums don't like the intense heat of our summers and often get smaller blooms as the season progresses. As I see it, you have two options. Enjoy the blooms now, and cut them back by half when the weather gets hotter, or cut them back now and wait for more blooms. The tops you cut back, regardless of when you do it, will be easy to root for more plants. I hope you realize that geraniums don't often overwinter unscathed in Arkansas outside. They will however, take light freezes well and can overwinter with a little protection in a garage or storage building. In the future, try to take care of any pruning chores in early to mid-February to allow time for recovery. I know it's hard to do when you have blooms in the middle of winter.
What is the best way to over winter geraniums? I have kept them inside for years, but they get so leggy. I have heard you can cut off the tops and put the roots in a paper bag. Can you? What is the best procedure. I have a number of them in my yard and would like to winter as many as possible. Space will prevent me from keeping too many.
You have several options for over-wintering geraniums. One is to treat them as a houseplant, keep them as cool as possible, and give them bright light and water sparingly. If they begin to get leggy, give them a haircut. You can also group all the pots together and store them in a garage, or in the crawl space under your house. As long as they don’t freeze, they should survive. Then prune them back next spring and they should begin growing again. A third option is to pull them out of the soil and then hang the entire plant to dry. Again, don’t store them where they will freeze, but keep them cool. This is an old-fashioned method and I usually give it a 50-50 chance of survival. You will have to prune them back to get all the dead tissue off in the spring to get them growing.
Back to Annuals[http://www2.arhomeandgarden.org/_includes/bottom.htm]