How to Winterize Geraniums

Move bedding plants into pots for winter storage. image by Fran Linden:


Geraniums are perennial flowers that often are grown as annuals. While many gardeners plant new plants year after year, keeping geraniums alive through winter to replant in spring is not very complicated. Available in a range of colors, these flowers work well in beds, borders and containers. A warm-weather plant, geraniums must be brought indoors during winter because they only tolerate light frost. Container-grown geraniums are the simplest to winterize, but you also can save garden-grown plants.

Step 1

Dig up plants before the first frost. Carefully dig up the plant damaging as few roots as possible. Lift the root ball from the ground and brush off as much soil from the roots as possible.

Step 2

Choose a pot that is larger in diameter than the root ball. Fill one-third to one-half full with potting soil, then place the root ball into the container. Fill in with potting soil up to the crown of the plant where the first leaves emerge.

Step 3

Trim back the stems to two-thirds their original height and water thoroughly. Keep the soil moist throughout the winter.

Step 4

Place the plant in an area with cool temperatures and full light. In cooler, dimly lit rooms, keep a lamp near the plant and on 24 hours a day.

Step 5

Trim back stems that become long and leggy in the spring once temperatures begin to rise. Trim back to the leaf set nearest the desired height.

Step 6

Replant in the garden after all danger of frost has passed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lack of lighting will damage the plant or cause it to become scraggly.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Potting soil
  • Container
  • Trimmers
  • Lamp


  • Oregon State University
  • Gardening Know How
Keywords: winterizing geraniums, perennial winter care, potting geranium plants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Photo by: Fran Linden: