A follow-up report on Overwintering Geraniums posted Nov. 2010
Late last fall, I decided to try and overwinter my geraniums and I’m so happy to report that the Hanging Method worked beautifully.
Mid April– the alarm clock sounds and it’s time to wake up the geraniums from their hibernation period. This allows me ample time to get them into pots and slowly reintroduce them to sunlight and soil before taking them outdoors. To my surprise, the plants have already initiated new growth despite having been stored in darkness the entire winter. Proof that plants are tough and want to grow.
I potted them up in plastic pots and gave them a hard prune, cutting away as much as 2/3 of the dead, dry stem tips. After the big haircut, the pots were placed near a window with southern exposure. Kept out of direct sunlight for several days, the light they received was filtered by a canvas blind.
April 30th– In 14 days, the stumpy plants now resembled a likeness of their former selves. This is where the pots would remain until danger of frost had past. By mid May, the pots were taken outdoors but remained in a sheltered area. I would occasionally bring them into a service area to spend the night if the temperatures took a dip.
June 1st– things are going quite well. We’re all alive and the weather keeps getting warmer. This is where progress grinds to a halt. I witnessed very little change in the plants for 3 weeks. I began to despair. And as if to taunt me, the local garden centers were receiving shipments of beautiful blooming geraniums by the hundreds. Were my efforts wasted? Was this the end? And then, as if on cue, my gardener instincts kicked in. I ignored those babies and did what any sensible gardener would do– absolutely nothing, except wait it out. Within 10 days, the first blossoms made their debut appearance. YES!!
Today, the display shows no signs of slowing. All three plants were placed in a giant terracotta pot. I still recall a quip by a local garden center employee with whom I had shared my overwintering project. “It’s not worth it” she exclaimed, all smug and smiling. Well, I beg to differ. The proof is in the pot.