Contrary to popular belief, the care of geraniums is quite easy. These plants are capable of surviving in a wide range of conditions, making them an excellent choice for both new and experienced gardeners.
Surviving Dry and Airy Conditions
One of the notable characteristics of geraniums is their ability to thrive in dry and airy locations. As such, they can be kept either as a whole plant or stored as cuttings until spring.
The Growth Cycle of Geraniums
Light and Watering Requirements
Interestingly, geraniums require minimal light, especially during winter – their rest period. They are comfortable in a dark, temperate space and only require watering once a month. However, it's advised not to let their roots dry out. Geraniums' development halts until the light hours extend and temperatures rise.
Outdoor Geranium Care
Geraniums can survive outdoors in mild climates but should be shielded with a winter veil. When temperatures drop below freezing, moving the plants indoors is advisable.
Winter Care Tips
Geraniums should be relocated indoors by the end of October or November, depending on the weather. A basement, interior staircase, or garage serves as the best location for them. Note that they enter complete dormancy when kept in a dark basement.
Geraniums can't survive negative temperatures, but they flourish in temperatures between 10 and 15°C. When the temperatures drop below 10°C, it's time to winterize your geraniums. This involves reducing and eventually stopping watering during winter. Watering can be resumed in February or March, when there's no risk of frost.
Indoor Winter Care
If kept indoors during winter, geraniums should be repotted in rich soil, placed in a sunny window, and watered generously. Thin and crossing stems demand pruning while the remaining stems should be shortened to 20-25 cm.
Winterizing Geraniums: Alternative Methods
There are two alternative options for winterizing geraniums:
- Uproot, clean, and hang the plants by their roots in a dark, dry place.
- Water the plants generously, uproot them, plant them in suitable pots, and remove half of their stems. Each pot should be enclosed in a plastic bag for 10 days. After this period, bags should be gradually opened over 3-4 days to gently acclimate the geraniums.