How to Overwinter Geraniums

how to overwinter geraniums

When I shot the video below about how to overwinter geraniums, I had no idea how popular it would become! In the two years since it was filmed, almost 87,000 people have viewed it. Isn’t that crazy?

But it underscores the interest in this topic. After all, most of us gardeners buy geraniums for planters or flower beds and hate to toss the plants at the end of the season. And that was the case with me: every year, I would feel like it was such a waste of beautiful plants… not to mention the money I spent on them.

I could probably film a new video but I feel this one — “How to Overwinter Geraniums” — covers all the basics. So here it is, and underneath the video, you will see something different I’m trying out this year.

OK, so what’s new this year? Well, it’s an improvement on what I tried to do with my ivy geraniums last year. I’ve researched overwintering them and they supposedly can be treated like regular zonal geraniums, which I’ve had success with for a few years now.

Unfortunately, my success rate for the ivy geraniums last year was zero. What I had done was un-pot them, knocked the potting soil off the roots, and gave them a big haircut so they’d fit in a cardboard box. After discovering none of them had made it through the winter, I decided that maybe they should be pruned a couple of weeks ahead of time so they could heal from those pruning cuts.

how to overwinter geraniumsWhich brings us to this year. The plants were huge (silly me, I forgot to take a photo of them) and had hot coral blossoms all season long — you’d better believe I am highly motivated to get them through the winter this time!

Several days ago, I pruned them all back pretty drastically as you can see. But I went a step further.

Why not take some cuttings from the prunings and see if I could root them? So that’s what you see below right. I trimmed off all but 2 sets of leaves and poked each cutting into a big container of potting soil. After watering them in, I enclosed the pot in a big plastic bag and tied it shut. The cuttings will remain there for 2 weeks, at which time I’ll remove the bag and see if they’re starting to root.

how to overwinter geraniumsI did something similar last March, when I’d overwintered the zonal geraniums and pruned back some of the leggy growth to make the plants more compact. And it worked great! I ended up with lots more plants to poke into various flower beds out back.

So I’m trying two things: 1) I’ll un-pot the baskets of ivy geraniums and overwinter them using the standard method and 2) I’ll see if the cuttings root and make it through the winter in pots indoors.

I’ll let you know how the grand experiment goes! And just to clarify: the method in my video has worked beautifully for overwintering my zonal geraniums each year and that’s what I’ll be doing with them in a week or two. The new things I’m trying this year only apply to my ivy geraniums due to last winter’s failure.

In the meantime, the video will show you how to overwinter geraniums. I hope you are going to try overwintering yours if you haven’t done this before. It saves you a bunch of money and you get to enjoy them next year, and hopefully for many years to come.