Geraniums are one of the staples of the flower garden, where their bright flowers add color all season long. A frost tender perennial, geraniums will die out in winter if not cared for properly. By transplanting geraniums from outdoors to indoors in the fall, the plants overwinter and are ready to replant in the spring. Geraniums that are overwintered are usually larger than most nursery plants sold in the spring, so not only do you save money on new plants, you also get a head start on the growing season with large, ready-to-go flowers.
Things You’ll Need
- Pruning shears
- Planting pot
- Potting soil
- Transplant geraniums in the fall before the first frosts arrive. Cut back the foliage to half the plant’s original height using a pair of sharp pruning shears.
- Place a shovel on the soil 2 to 3 inches from the base of the plant. Drive the shovel into the soil and pull back on the handle to lift the geranium root ball out of the ground.
- Select a planting pot that is 1 inch larger than the root ball of your geranium. Use a pot that has holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain through.
- Put enough potting soil into the bottom of the pot so that when you place the geranium into the pot, the base of the stems are 1/2 to 1 inch below the lip of the pot.
- Put the geranium into the pot and fill in the soil around the root ball. Fill the soil up to the base of the geranium stems so that the plant is the same depth in the pot as it was in the soil.
- Soak the pot with water until it drains out the holes in the bottom. If the soil settles and sinks during the first watering, add more until the correct level is reestablished.
- Place the pots in a damp basement or other dark area where the temperatures will remain between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter. Water the plants when the top 2 inches of soil feels dry, to keep the roots slightly damp.
- Replant the geraniums outdoors in the spring when the temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees.
Tips & Warnings
Use potting soil formulated for container-grown plants rather than garden soil. Potting soil is designed to drain well whereas garden soil is often too heavy for growing geraniums and other plants in containers.