I live in Windsor. I purchased beautiful geranium mixed planters 3 weeks ago. I kept them in the garage, watered and with a window for light, due to cool temps. I put them out yesterday and now they are wilted and pale. Do I fertilize now or will this add to the problem?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Moving plants from a relatively stable indoor environment to the outdoors where the sun is strong, temperatures vary and the wind can buffet the plants, is stressful.

Your geraniums are suffering from sun burn. This is why indoor plants should be introduced gradually to the outdoors using a process called hardening off.

This involves putting plants in a shady spot sheltered from the wind for the first few days of being outside, and returning them inside for the night. Then, gradually introduce the plants to full sun, and full time outdoors. Make sure that your plants are well watered. Avoid any fertilizer for the first week or two outside.

I recommend you start following the hardening process describe above.

Growth of your plants will be delayed for a few weeks, but they will hopefully recover if

there are enough unharmed leaves or leaf area to continue to photosynthesize and produce food.

It is better to leave the scorched leaves on the plant unless they are no longer green. Any dead leaf material should be removed to avoid becoming a magnet for plant diseases.