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Winter geraniums - 4 possibilities presented

Winter geraniums - 4 possibilities presented

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If you want to overwinter your geraniums, you should use one of these 4 options. It is fairly easy to get geraniums safely over the winter.

A terrace or balcony without geraniums (pelargonium) is like a zoo without animals. Geraniums, also known as geraniums, are among the most popular balcony and terrace plants in Germany. Not only because they are beautiful to look at, but because they are perennial plants that can be grown over the winter and thus be planted outdoors again next year. And that, of course, saves the cost of a new purchase. Alternatively, you can also get hardy geraniums from the start.

There are various ways to hibernate geraniums, whereby every hobby gardener has his own preferences. But it always depends on how much space you have available. The methods presented below should always work.


  • 1 Stuff the geraniums and shorten the shoots
  • 2 ways to hibernate geraniums
    • 2.1 ❖ Possibility 1 - hibernate geraniums in flower pots
    • 2.2 ❖ Possibility 2 - overwinter bare-rooted geraniums without a pot
    • 2.3 ❖ Possibility 3 - wintering in the burrow
    • 2.4 ❖ Possibility 4 - wintering in the plastic bag

Stuff the geraniums and shorten the shoots

The first frosts shouldn't affect the geraniums yet. So there is no hurry when winter approaches. If you think that the time is right to overwinter your geraniums, use a small shovel to remove them from the flower box and then remove the loose soil from the root ball. Please proceed very carefully, because as many fine roots as possible should be preserved.

Shoots shorten before overwintering

After stuffing, you have to cut all shoots with pruning shears to a length of around 10 cm. It is sufficient if there are two or three thick knots on each side shoot. The geranium will then sprout again in the coming year. On this occasion it is best to remove most of the leaves immediately, so that they are not so susceptible to pests and diseases in winter quarters.

A little hint:
It is also possible to bring the complete flower boxes to the winter quarters. This is recommended if you have enough space for it and there are no other plants in the flower boxes that need to be disposed of anyway. This wintering method is also particularly good for geranium trees.

Opportunities for wintering geraniums

❖ Possibility 1 - hibernate geraniums in flower pots

Most hobby gardeners put the stuffed geraniums in flower pots over the winter.

  • Bundle three or four plants loosely. Then cover the roots of the geraniums with potting soil that you have previously enriched with some sand.
  • In the winter quarters it should be as bright as possible and between five and ten degrees cold. If it is darker in the winter quarters, the temperature must also be correspondingly lower.
  • If you keep the geraniums too dark and too warm, they will sprout early with tiny leaves and weak, long shoots.
  • By the way, keep the soil slightly moist during winter rest.

If you take all of this into account, you can plant the geraniums in fresh soil in balcony boxes next spring.

❖ Possibility 2 - overwinter bare-rooted geraniums without a pot

You don't necessarily need to plant stuffed geraniums in soil over the winter. After removing them from the balcony box, you can also store them bare-rooted in the cool and dark basement. To do this, the plants must be completely dry to prevent rotting.

  • Simply wrap the plants in several layers of newspaper and then store the bundles in the basement at a temperature between two and ten degrees.
  • If it is warmer in the basement, you can also store the geraniums in a shed or in the garage.

❖ Possibility 3 - wintering in the burrow

Another way to hibernate geraniums is to bury them in the ground. However, it is important that you live in a region with rather mild winters, in which the temperatures do not drop below minus two degrees.

  • Lift a path in the garden about 80 cm deep.
  • Then fill them with brushwood, straw or branches and then put the defoliated and soil-free geraniums on them.
  • After covering them with a straw or coconut mat, put the excavated earth over them again.

❖ Possibility 4 - wintering in the plastic bag

What sounds strange at first is a method that is used by many plant lovers.

  • The stuffed and pruned geraniums are wrapped in a plastic bag so that no moisture is lost.
  • A little air is only allowed to get to the roots. However, the plants must never dry out.
  • You can hang the geraniums upside down in a dark, cool and frost-protected place.

This saves you having to worry about maintenance in the winter quarters. However, it must never be too warm, otherwise the geraniums will not only sprout, but would also die due to lack of water.