Overwintering Geraniums

I try to keep myself busy with a multitude of home and garden projects during the winter.  This year, I wanted to test a theory a friend passed along about overwintering geraniums.

Home of the Frozen Tundra

I live in Wisconsin, home of the Frozen Tundra. Last winter was brutal. Green Bay certainly lived up to its nickname of the Frozen Tundra!  Below zero temps, ice storms and it just seemed to linger.  

Our plants wouldn’t survive outdoors. So, we have two choices, throw them out or bring them indoors.

I always overwinter my geraniums in some fashion, as well as store tuberous begonia and dig up canna bulbs. This year I am trying a new way to overwinter the geraniums.

Old Method For Overwintering Geraniums

The method I used previously was to cut the potted geraniums down a bit and stick them in the basement in a dark corner without watering them from November until February.

In February, I would place the pots in a bright and sunny window and give the plants a good watering. 

In March, the plants were started on a liquid fertilizer that was added to the watering can every other time the plants were watered. This seemed to work out just fine for me. 

I did lose a few pots over the years and most plants were laggy by spring because we just didn’t get enough sun through the windows during the winter months.

New Method for Overwintering Geraniums

A friend told me a new way to overwintering my geraniums. The new method was rather simple and didn’t require me to lug my geranium pots to my basement and then back upstairs again. That was a huge bonus for me.  I decided to give it a go because IF it worked, I would save some heavy lifting of pots at the end of the season.

Steps For Overwintering

1.) Remove each geranium plant from the soil and shake off the dirt.

2.) Cut the greens and stems back to around 2 inches.

3.) Place all the plants in a paper bag and store in a dark space.  I stored mine in a hallway closet.

4.) Set a reminder on your calendar or phone once a month to take your plants out and spray them down.  Place them on a towel for a quick dry.  Return to bag and dark place.

5.) 4-6 weeks before you wish to plant your geraniums take them out and place them in a jar of water in a sunny window.

6.) Your stems will green up and you will see growth.  After your plants start to form buds, plant in pots.

7.) Slowly expose your geraniums back to the elements.

Looking for unique ways to plant your flowers?  See the growing list of container options. 


The steps above are really THAT simple.  It works extremely well for those of us who can’t keep geraniums healthy enough indoors.  I do believe my plants have doubled in size from last year using this method of overwintering geraniums.  I only lost 5 plants out of 42 plants.  Small potatoes for me. Most certainly, will be doing this method next year as well. I don’t have to lug the pots up and down the stairs.  Booyah!

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