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How to Save Geraniums Indoors Over Winter

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

Geraniums add color to the garden. They are also well suited to containers and baskets displayed on porches and patios. While often grown as an annual, geraniums are actually perennial and the same plants can be grown in the garden year after year. As tender perennials, geraniums must be protected from freezing over the winter if you want to replant them the following spring. Bringing them indoors and storing them while they are dormant helps ensure they are healthy and ready to be replanted in spring.

Dig around the geranium plant in late fall, before the first hard frost causes the plant to die. Dig down about 6 to 8 inches then slide the trowel under the roots, lifting the plant out of the ground.

Brush off as much soil from the roots as you can. Cut the geranium's stems down to half their previous length with a pair of garden shears.

Place each geranium plant in a paper bag. Fold the top of the bag over then set them in a cool room, such as in the basement or another unheated interior room.

Check the geraniums once a month. Look for signs of drying such as shriveled roots or stems. While the foliage should appear dead, the stems should still be firm and soft.

Soak the geranium roots in a bucket of warm water for six to eight hours if the plants are beginning to dry during storage. Pat the roots dry and return them to their paper bag and storage place.

Replant the geraniums in the garden once all danger of frost has passed in spring. Alternately, replant them in a pot indoors four to six weeks before the last spring frost, then later move them outdoors.


Things You Will Need

  • Trowel
  • Garden shears
  • Paper bags
  • Bucket


  • Potted geraniums can be brought in without digging them up. Cut them back to about half their original height. Place them in a sunny window in an open room where they will not overheat. Water them thoroughly after cutting them back, then water them as needed through the winter.

About the 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.