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How to save geraniums, great reader's tip

Written by Doug Oster on .

 

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Lois Ann Huston will save these geraniums to plant next spring. She fills these planting boxes with new geraniums each spring.

 

Lois Anne Huston is a reader who has a great way to save geraniums over the winter. Here's how she does it-

Usually I leave the geraniums in the window boxes till early November, covering them if a frost is predicted.  We have a rather warm location living near to the river. Our home also protects our patio which is on the southwest side.

Geraniums planted in the garden I remove earlier. I'll probably do it this week while the weather is still warm.

I simply pull them out of the soil and shake off all of the dirt until all of the roots are exposed.  If anything needs to be trimmed I do that but do not cut the tops off.  I have cardboard boxes which are about 30 inches tall.  I separate the geraniums according to color and mark the boxes standing them upright in the boxes. 
Our garage has a heater which comes on when it gets below 40 degrees but I feel these can also be kept in a cool basement.  They remain dry all winter and by early spring there are a few green spouts on some of them.  We only have one window in our garage so they do not get a tremendous amount of light.
When the soil is warm enough in the spring I trim them where needed and plant them in the garden.  I have made the mistake of planting them too early and they did not live so the soil must be warm enough for other annuals. 
I feel they could be replanted in window boxes, too, but I like to have larger plants in the window boxes and these take a bit of time to get going even with TLC.  This method saves lugging pots indoors filled with soil and remembering to water them now and then.  Have also heard of people hanging them upside down but the cardboard box works well for me.
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These geraniums will come out soon and be stored in Lois' garage.

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