How to Save Winter Geraniums


Geraniums are popular bedding plants and are cultured indoors as houseplants. In most climates, geraniums are annuals, dying back every winter. Gardeners who wish to save geraniums over the winter can dig them up and bring them indoors. Taking cuttings of the best plants in the fall and rooting the plants over winter is another solution that can strengthen the garden.

Step 1

Choose healthy mother plants in the fall. Take 3- to 4-inch cuttings from the tips of healthy branches. Use a sharp craft knife or razor blade and make a straight cut. Avoid bruising or crushing the stems.

Step 2

Prepare small pots or a flat of planting medium. Mix equal parts of potting soil and coarse sand. Moisten the soil and place in the pots, ready to receive the cuttings.

Step 3

Remove the leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the stems, leaving the last set on the tip. Cut the leaves away cleanly at the stem.

Step 4

Place the cuttings 2 inches deep in the prepared planting medium and give plenty of water.

Step 5

Place the cuttings in a sunny window, where they will receive plenty of indirect light.

Step 6

Spray the cuttings with water 3 or 4 times a day with a misting bottle to prevent them from drying out. Water the soil whenever the planting medium begins to dry out. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 7

Transplant the cuttings into individual pots of potting soil once the roots are established, approximately 3 to 4 weeks after cutting.

Step 8

Keep the new geranium plants in a sunny window and water only as needed to prevent the plants from wilting.

Step 9

Fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks once the plants have rooted and new growth begins. Use a water-soluble formula suitable for houseplants, made according to the package instructions.

Step 10

Transplant the geraniums outdoors into the garden after all danger of frost has passed in the spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Small pots or trays
  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Craft knife or razor blade
  • Spray bottle or mister


  • NDSD Extension: Saving Geraniums over Winter
  • NC Cooperative Extension: Geranium Culture for Home Gardeners
Keywords: propagate geraniums, save winter geraniums, move geraniums indoors

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.