Overwintering geraniums


I hope you are having a happy holiday season! I have kept putting off this question to you. I live in a condo. I have a small patio and I face north. I had geraniums on my patio this summer. I have brought them in for the winter months. They are still in their pots. How do you recommend I continue to winter them until I can put them back on the patio for the summer months? Should I stop watering them completely? The leaves are drying up one by one (should I remove them?)
Thank you very much and happy new year!!


Thank you for great questions about overwintering geraniums.

There is always much confusion when common names are utilized when referring to plants. In your question you refer to overwintering geranium. This  can refer to the perennial geranium such as the widely grown Geranium ‘Rozanne’  or G. ‘Johnson Blue’. On the other hand you may be asking about overwintering those tender perennials such as the ivy geraniums, scented geraniums, Martha Washington geraniums which are grown during the summer in our containers. These annuals are actually Pelargoniums, that is, they don’t belong to the genus Geranium, but instead to the genus Pelargonium. For more information on the difference between these two genera see the Laidback’s Gardener Blog  Geranium or Pelargonium? Let’s Stop the Confusion.

Although the species of geranium is not mentioned, I will assume that yours is a tender perennial, Pelargonium. Tender perennial geraniums are best overwintered indoors as regular houseplants. As it is quite late in the season and plants are in a period of slower growth, it is advisable to keep your geraniums in their current pots to avoid root disturbance. Grow in a sunny but cool area. Continue watering but only when the top 1.5 cm of the soil is dry. Dried leaves can be removed or left until they fall off. Geraniums overwintered as houseplants may benefit from pruning as necessary, as they tend to become a bit “leggy” over time. Examine your plants weekly to detect and manage potential insect problems early. Plants overwintered indoors will require a period of hardening off before being returned to the outdoors. Please refer to the Toronto Master Growing Guide for geraniums by clicking here.

For further information, please click on the following link:

Gardening in the Zone: Overwintering Geraniums

Wishing you continued success in overwintering your geraniums and best wishes to you!