Winter Care for Ivy Geraniums

Overview

Ivy geraniums represent one of many different types of flowering plants in the geranium family. These ivy-like plants look dramatic cascading from hanging baskets or spilling over the sides of large pots. These beautiful plants produce pink, red or white blooms and will overwinter indoors as a houseplant. Ivy geraniums can also be put to sleep for the winter, allowing the plant to rejuvenate for use the following growing season. Learning winter care for ivy geraniums provides the gardener with a little touch of summer indoors during the cold winter months.

Step 1

Locate a plant pot sized to fit the ivy geranium. The pot should have adequate drainage holes in the bottom to pull water away from tender plant roots. You'll be trimming back the plant so the pot doesn't need to be huge enough to accommodate all the trailing vines.

Step 2

Remove the ivy geranium from the garden or container before the first frost or sharp cold snap by digging up the plant completely. Shake off as much dirt as possible from the roots to remove as much dirt as possible. Rinse as much dirt off the roots as possible to prevent the transmission of disease or fungus to the new planter.

Step 3

Fill the new planting container halfway with potting soil and place the geranium inside the pot. Position the top of the root ball about 2 inches below the edge of the pot. Fill in around the roots with loose potting soil and firm lightly with your fingers.

Step 4

Water the plant at the base of the main plant stem. Avoid dripping water on the leaves or misting the plant. Geraniums prefer a dry indoor environment and you can let the soil become dry to the touch before adding more water. Test soil moisture levels by pushing your finger into the soil to the first knuckle. If the potting soil feels dry and powdery, add water.

Step 5

Prune the plant vines back to 6 to 8 inches to encourage bushier growth. If you're reluctant to prune the entire plant, prune one area and watch what happens. Geraniums throw out shoots for new vines quickly, creating the opportunity for more foliage and blooms. A good plant haircut will channel the plant's energy to the roots and subsequently, to areas of new growth.

Step 6

Place the pot in the sunniest possible location in your home. Move the ivy geranium under a grow light in areas with inadequate light. Clip back the plant in the late spring and transplant back outside after the final frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Plant pot
  • Trowel
  • Watering can
  • Pruning clippers

References

  • Colorado State University Extension
  • Oregon State University
Keywords: ivy geraniums, geranium, overwinter geranium

About this Author

Currently studying for her Maryland master gardener certification, Sharon Heron has written professionally since 2006. Her writing includes hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics including gardening, environment, golf, parenting, exercise, finances and consumer how-to articles.