Blooms and sunshine from January to April
I knew I was going to grow geraniums in my winter window someday. As a young girl I would occasionally see artwork in old children’s books, and I would dream of having my own home with red geraniums basking in the winter sunlight to cheer my home.
Now I am growing them winter after winter – and with good success. And so can you! It only takes a little planning and know-how.
Strategies For Success With Geraniums
1. Locate a window where you can place or hang a pot near the glass. You may need to allow for closing a curtain at night. A single south-facing window is fine, but more windows is better. As the sun’s path drops lower in the winter sky, it shines sunlight ever deeper into the room, giving energy to the plant for continuous budding and blooming.
It gives us energy, too!
2. If you already grow geraniums outside, you can repot several and bring them in.
When saving for the winter, dig up your geraniums and place them in a pot that can comfortable fit their root ball. Prune them back by one-third to one-half, focusing on stems that are woody or leggy. Set the pots on a deep saucer or plate and water thoroughly.
3. You can also do as I’ve done and buy a pre-potted hanging geranium to avoid re-potting. Toward the end of the summer (Aug), many full service nurseries often mark their stock way down. The red geranium above cost me only $9.00, and it was beautiful over 2 winters.
4. The best time when to prune geraniums is in late fall or just before you bring them indoors. Don’t be afraid to cut the geranium back to 6-7″ tall. Soon, it will force new growth, covering the cuts. It will be dense and full, and the blooms will last longer. One year I didn’t cut mine back in the fall and we had monster plants, but a bit thinner. Let your space needs determine if you cut back or not. Either way, you will have color and alive-ness.
Fertilize Every Time You Water
Miracle Gro Indoor is the best fertilizer I know, but any good flower fertilizer will provide all the essentials your plant will need.
Whatever brand you choose, use a balanced fertilizer every time you water. Your plant should set new blooms all through the winter.
I water well every 7-8 days knowing in the drier winter air it will dry out faster. Don’t over water or your geraniums won’t thrive. Seven days apart is usually adequate to humidify your geranium in the dry indoor heated air, but you will be the best judge of when to water.
Baby your plants by pinching off yellowing leaves. This is normal, given that geraniums, which had lots of sun all summer, have to adjust to less and less. As the blooms fade, pinch them off. This encourages new budding and fullness.
Instead of just dreaming about it, I hope you will put a cheery geranium in your winter window. With a little care, I guarantee its blooms will enliven the most drab of months.
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