How to Preserve Geraniums

Geraniums are fragrant flowers that add beauty and color to your summer garden. You can save a lot of money on next year's garden budget by preserving this year's geraniums through the winter. It's easier than you may think! Follow the steps below to transport your geraniums inside and ensure that come next spring, your garden's geraniums will be in full bloom.

  1. Take cuttings from the geraniums you want to preserve toward the middle of the fall, before the first frost [source: Haynes]. Pick healthy, thick stems that are at least 6 inches (15 centimeters) tall.
  2. Trim the stems from the bottom until they are 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) tall. Pinch off the leaves from the bottom 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 centimeters) of the stem [source: Haynes].
  3. Dip the stems in rooting hormone.
  4. Place the stems in containers with a mixture of compost and sand. This will keep the stems healthy. Make sure the containers have holes for proper drainage.
  5. Cover the stems with a clear plastic bag. This creates a greenhouse environment. The humidity produced in the bag will enable the flowers to thrive during the winter months [source: Easton].
  6. Place the potted plants in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. The geraniums will need 10 to 12 hours of sunlight each day [source: UOI]. Though an enclosed porch is a great source of sunlight, depending on the severity of your winter, it may not be warm enough for the geraniums.
  7. Water the plants as needed.
  8. After approximately six to eight weeks, when the roots are 1 inch (3 centimeters) long, transplant the rooted geraniums to larger containers that will allow proper drainage [source: Easton].
  9. Check on the geraniums regularly to ensure they're not receiving too much sunlight and are not in need of water.

When the weather gets warm enough, the geraniums will be ready to return to you outdoor garden.