by Sage & Snow Garden Club
September 5, 2009
Would you like to know an easy and inexpensive way to save this year's geraniums for next year's planting?! Here’s how. Dig your geraniums up before a hard freeze and gently shake the soil from the roots. Cut off any remaining blooms and put the plants in the shade and let them dry for a few days. Most of the leaves will dry and fall off, but pick off any remaining dead or moldy leaves. Now put them in a box or paper sack upside down. No kidding! Keep them in a cool, dry location, at about 45 to 60 degrees F; a place with a little bit of humidity works best. Periodically check for mold and clean out any fallen leaves. If you find any shriveled or dried stems, throw them away. The stems should stay firm. If you find black mildewed tips on the stems, cut off and dispose of them.
Leave your geraniums in the box or sack until 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Now it is time to pot them up! Fill your pots with a damp soil free mix or a good potting soil. Snip off any extra long or straggly roots and cut the stem back to a healthy 4 to 6 inches of green growth. Plant in the potting mix deep enough that two leaf nodes are below the soil surface so new roots can grow. You should see growth in 7 to 14 days. The key is to water only when the soil dries out to about an inch down. In 4 to 6 weeks the plants should be ready to transplant outside or put in pots for the porch. This really works!
For more gardening tips, come to the next Sage and Snow Garden Club meeting on September 15 in the Cooperative Extension Service Office at 621 South Pine, Pinedale. Come for social time at 5 pm and the business meeting at 5:30. Contact the Garden Club at Box 2280, Pinedale, WY, 82941, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-859-8606.