Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Saving money on geraniums

Nope, I'm not buying geraniums at an end of season clearance!


It's that time of year for me to move my potted geraniums indoors for winter. These are the same geranium plants that I bought in April of 2015. I overwintered them in a sunny window, November through March, last winter. I then gave them a trim and put them back outdoors on the deck.

I spent about $8 on these, in 2015. So, in effect, I saved about $8 in spring of 2016. And I have every hope that they will make it through this winter, indoors, for flowers next summer. That will save me another $8.

Two side benefits to bringing my geraniums indoors over winter -- beautiful blooms in the house, occasionally, this winter, plus the time savings in potting plants next spring. All I'll need to do is move them back outdoors for all but one plant that I had to dig out of a planter.

13 comments:

  1. Hi Lili

    I have co-workers that do the similar thing with the geraniums, but when they 'trim', they actually take some cuttings to expand their plants for the following summer. If interested, I can check with them and see what method they use, and let you know. Aren't plants just lovely?!?!?
    Have a great Tuesday!

    Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa,
      Oh yes, any tips you can get for taking cutting on geraniums would be much appreciated. I tried cuttings last fall, indoors, and it was unsuccessful. I'd like to try again. The only cuttings that have worked for me in the past are with evergreens, outdoors.

      Have a wonderful day, Lisa!

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  2. What a timely post, Lili. :) One of our DS and I are both doing this this year for the first time.

    One of the geraniums has been indoors at a neighbor's house since April, and is rather leggy, though super-healthy. She said she has pinched it some, which is what we saw on-line was important. Do you have any additional hints about this aspect of growing geraniums indoors?

    Have a good week! Sara

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    1. Hi Sara,
      I cut mine back in spring before planting out. I may experiment with one of the plants and pinch it back regularly through winter. We'll see. I'm sorry I don't know any more than you do about pinching it back. What I know is you don't want a super warm room, but lots of sun. And if there isn't enough sun then a lamp with a CFL on 24/7 would be enough light to get it through the winter. Good luck!

      have a great day, Sara!

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    2. DS won't have too hot a house, and will try to maximize available sunshine. He's also looking into some full-spectrum bulbs.

      The one that's been indoors might not have had enough light (mostly eastern in the location she had it). It'll be in a southern window now.

      It's 18 inches tall or so, so robust, but definitely leggy. The branches are thick, though; so I'm at a bit of a loss as to WHERE to pinch.

      When we get snow here, I'll pull in some the outdoor ones we had for porch appeal. Those are nice and compact, so maybe it'll be easier for me to see where to pinch on those.

      I'll be reading along with interest the comments others are sharing, too. Great information! Thanks, ladies! :) Sara

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  3. It's so nice to extend the life of your geraniums! With this method, I wonder how many years you can enjoy these plants?

    My Mom tried to do that with two huge ferns. She had bought the ferns one spring, and in the fall they were so big and beautiful that she hated to lose them. My Grandma lives about 1/4 mile away, and has a large covered porch that they used to enclose with plastic every winter. My Mom asked if she could keep them there to see if they would survive the winter. The ferns did survive, and my Grandma watered them every day over the winter, and talked about how beautiful they were. My Mom did not want to take them away from Grandma in the spring, so she had to buy new ones for her own porch anyway. Lol. Grandma enjoyed those ferns for years though, until Grandpa passed and was no longer there to enclose the porch in plastic.

    I buy two ferns for my front porch each year. The ones I have this year are so big and pretty. I don't have room for them in the house. They might survive in the garage, as far as the temperature goes. It doesn't get colder than 45 degree F in the garage during the winter. I may try it, but I'm not sure there would be enough sunlight. There are only two small windows in the garage. I don't lose anything from trying though. :)


    Have a wonderful day!
    Angie

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    1. Hi Angie,
      what a wonderful story about your grandma and the ferns!
      Can you put a CFL light very close to the fern and leave it on all the time? You're right about just moving them there -- you don't lose anything by trying.
      With begonias in a pot, I move the whole pot to the garage, place it on a table so its off the cold, cement floor, and water it a couple of times in winter. And it survived and did well last year. I put it back out on the deck in the spring and had beautiful blooms all summer. I'm doing the same with the pot of begonias, this winter, and hope to divide the tuber next spring, for 2 pots of flowers.

      Good luck with this, Angie, and have a great day!

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    2. Thanks for the tip about putting the pots on a table, off of the cold cement floor. I wouldn't have thought of that! Good idea about the CFL light, also.

      Angie

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  4. Seems like I heard from my neighbor that she just puts it downstairs in her basement for the winter and doesn't do anything with it until early spring when she takes it upstairs and slowly on makes its way outside for the summer. I'll have to ask.

    Alice

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    1. Hi Alice,
      I think I heard that folks did something like that, putting the geranium in the basement, near a window. We don't have a basement, here, but the family room did well last year. I would guess the benefit to a basement, besides being out of the way, is that it is slightly cooler, usually than the main living spaces. And the cool temps would limit new growth and legginess.
      Yes, ask, if you can! That would be interesting to know what all she does.

      have a great day, Alice!

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  5. Please pray for my kittie the er vet prescribed a medicine that can harm her.I gave her a dose before I relised how bad it was. (Baytril) enrosioxacin
    Thank You,
    Patti

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    1. Oh Patti. I am praying for your kitty right now. And I'm praying for you, too.

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