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How to Winter Geraniums by Making them go Dormant

It was last year, about this same time, the first or second week of November, when I was going to get rid of the geraniums that adorned my front porch during Summer. But then, I remembered reading from a magazine that these are one of the plants we can
"save" during winter.

So yeah, I decided to give it a try. This post it's being in the making for an entire year.

I love geraniums, after red roses, this is perhaps the plant/flower I like the most.
Both of these plants remind me of my mother, she always had them in her garden.
I don't have roses in my garden, I haven't had a good experience with them, but geraniums are a staple every year.

I didn't know I could save them during winter. Every Spring I used to buy the little plants and waited for them to grow.

But as I said, last year I took them out very gently, trying not to brake the roots that much.

After getting rid of the dirt around their roots, I also removed the flowers they had.
This was that last bouquet I enjoyed. ;)

I didn't prune them, in my opinion, they were a medium size, so I left them like that.

Then, using jute rope I tied them by their roots...

And hang them upside down in a dark, cold corner of  my basement.

They're supposed to be in a place where the temperature stays around 50°F and you have to soak the roots or spray the roots with water every month or at least once in a while.

However, I have to admit, I completely forgot about my geranium plants all winter long. :(
I didn't soak or spray the roots with water. Not even one single time.

One day in May I finally remembered I had the plants in the basement.
They didn't look too bad.
I brought them out and replant them.

I'm so sorry I have no pics or better yet, I have no idea where those pictures might be.

The thing is, I had flowering geraniums all Summer long!

It took them like a month to recuperate after re-planting them. Only one of the six plants died during summer when we went away on our vacation.

This is how they look today. This weekend I'm gonna save them again.

And this time I promise I'm gonna set an alarm to water those roots during winter. ;)

By the way, while working with the geraniums last year, I couldn't ignore my beautiful oak tree. There are still lots of green leaves on it this year, some more days and it will be the same, can't wait!

I have to say this was super easy!
Do you over winter plants? Any advice you want to give to an amateur gardener like myself?
Thanks in advance!

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  1. My girlfriend does this every year, too. I brought 2 windowboxes in this year and put them in a sunny window. I have done this before and they make wonderful winter houseplants, too. However, you have to "harden them off" in the spring before moving them back outside for the summer. xo Diana

    1. Diana, I had no idea what "harden them off" meant, though Mr. Google just answered it for me.
      Of course, I didn't know I had to do that either! I don't have much space in my house to bring the plants inside, that would've been easier.
      Anyways, thanks for the tip!

  2. I didn't know that Cristina, next summer/spring I will shop for some and try to save them too! I love the fact that these flowers remind you of your mother, that is always a good thing!

  3. I had no idea. Thanks for this. I wondered how some of them were so huge at the start of spring. Now I know. I'm doing this.

  4. I am definitely going to do this next year!. I will have to clean a spot out in my cold room next summer dedicated just for plants. I think you should re-post this next August!! Thanks for the excellent tip Cristina.

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  6. Did something similar last year. Mine came back beautifully. Carefully dig up the plant before the first frost. Shake off the soil so that the plant is bare-root. Roll the plant up in newspaper, or place in a paper bag. Store in a dark, dry, cool place (but don't let it freeze)...a basement is perfect. Two or three times during winter, soak the plant in water for 1-2 hours, remove any dead stems or leaves, then return to storage after it has dried. When weather begins to warm, pot the plant up in fresh soil (I used re-used soil), keep it well-watered, and it will grow.

  7. I am glad to learn this. Wish I had a basement. It would be great to save money not having to replace plants.

  8. Que bonita planta , se nota que llego el otoƱo con su lindo colorido

  9. I have 2 geraniums that I have had 2 years from over wondering them in my house in my kitchen windows they bloom all winter long.i also have to hibiscus plants one is a tree that I have had at least 5 years and one I have had 2 years love them

  10. To Bonnie above, I saw a post that said to put the plants, cut back, into a brown paper bag in a dark closet. It also calls to spray the root monthly as Cristina said. I've had luck wintering mine over in soil, in my cellar so I haven't tried this method yet. I plan to next year.

  11. I live in Colorado -- water freezes in our garage and our basement is finished and well heated in the winter. Any suggestions where I can keep the plants where they will be cold but not freeze. Would a refrigerator work? At what temperature?

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