What should I Do With My Geranium Plants in Winter?

I have some gorgeous geranium plants outside. It’s going to start getting really cold at night soon. Is there anything I can do to help my geraniums survive the winter?

Hi Susan,

Pink and red geranium

Geranium Plant

There are a couple of ways to care for geraniums during the winter. I prefer this method rather than the bare root method.

Before the temperature drops below 40 degrees, dig up your geraniums and plant them in 6″ or 8″ pots that have drip holes in the bottom. Use a loose soil that drains well. If your geraniums are already in pots on  your porch you’re ahead of the game.

Be brave and take a pair of sharp pruners or scissors and remove the top 50% of each of the plants. Don’t worry,  you can save the cuttings to start new plants.

Water your pots of geraniums well and place in the sunniest part of your house. They like the sun but also like cool temperatures around 65 during the day and 55 at night. If you place them in a warm area that doesn’t have bright lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light., the geraniums become tall and thin rather than short, bushy.

During the winter water when the top 50% of the soil is dry. When in doubt do not water. geraniums can handle being under watered but die quickly when over watered. Pinch the growing tips during the winter to help the plants branch out. Do not fertilize until mid April.

Water the cuttings you have started in small pots when the soil becomes dry.

Move your geraniums back outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. You can eave them in the pots or plant them in garden.

Geraniums are considered slightly poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants