Geraniums make a beautiful addition to UK gardens with bright, attractive flowers and are quite easy to maintain. They also don’t have a dormant period in the winter, so will continue to flower all year round if kept indoors. But, because these plants can suffer from cold, wet, and dampness, many gardeners choose to treat the outside plants as annuals, choosing to plant new bulbs each year.
If you have outside Geraniums and want to make sure that these plants make it through the winter and into the next spring and summer, you will need to take certain steps to ensure that they are protected.
When choosing how to overwinter Geraniums there are four different options you can consider. The best choice for you will depend upon your resources, the weather where you are in the UK, and the available spaces you have on your property.
Below we will look at the top four ways to look after geraniums over winter and detail how you can go about protecting your Geranium plants through the colder months.
Are Geraniums Hardy?
A common Geranium is not a hardy plant but it can decorate your garden for many years as long as they don’t have to deal with extreme cold. If you have true Geraniums in your garden, you will find that they are more winter-hardy and are suitable as garden perennials in colder climates.
So, your first step in deciding how you are going to overwinter Geraniums is to make sure you know which type of Geranium plants you have planted in your garden.
How to Overwinter Geraniums?
Your four options for overwintering Geraniums are to place them in an unheated greenhouse, use a horticultural frost fleece, use bare root storage, or bring them inside the house.
Read below to discover which method seems more suitable for your plants.
Note: You will also need to remember to cut the plants back by about two-thirds and also decrease the amount of watering you do through the winter months.
1. Overwinter Geraniums in an Unheated Greenhouse
One of the easiest and more economical ways to look after your geraniums over winter is to place them in a Greenhouse. You simply need to carefully dig up your Geraniums from the soil, (making sure not to damage the roots), and place them in pots. Then you can cut back the plants for the winter.
After placing the potted geraniums undercover, you just need to make sure that the plant stems are not exposed to frost which may cause them to begin to die.
You can keep them free from frost by placing them under the protection of a greenhouse.
2. Overwinter Geraniums in a Heated Greenhouse
If the weather in the winter includes extreme temperature drops, you can also use a greenhouse heater (amazon link – opens in a new tab) to ensure that they are not exposed to freezing temperatures during the winter. You should be aiming for a temperature of about 5°C.
If you don’t have a greenhouse, you can use a sunroom, conservatory, or porch to store the plants. Just make sure to check on the plants and the temperature to ensure that the environment doesn’t become too cold for the plants to continue to flourish.
3. Overwinter Geraniums Using Horticultural Fleece
If you live in a part of the UK which has milder weather, you can overwinter true geraniums outside by protecting the pots with some horticultural fleece (amazon link – opens in a new tab). You can buy some fleece from any local garden store and then cut it down so that you can wrap it around the pot.
If you have common geraniums, you should consider bringing these Geraniums indoors. But true geraniums can be wrapped in protection and left outside in milder parts of the UK that are not usually subject to extreme temperature changes.
4. Overwinter Geraniums (Bare Root Storage)
You can also choose to overwinter Geraniums using bare root storage. Using this method, you will remove them from the ground and store them in a dormant state with no soil surrounding them until you are ready to plant them out again in the spring.
This means that you won’t have to worry about finding lots of indoor space for tons of potted plants and can store them neatly in a shed or garage.
Your first step will be to dig up the plants from the soil and shake the soil from the roots. Make sure to be careful about not damaging the plant as you remove it from the ground. Then you need to cut back the stems and remove the leaves.
You can then wrap the collected plant roots in a paper bag, or newspaper, or place them in a cardboard box. Then place them in a cool and dry area where they can be stored over the winter. You can also choose to cover them in compost or sawdust to keep them protected through this period.
Once spring arrives you can access the plants and pot up the healthy which are showing signs of early growth.
5. Overwinter Geraniums by Bringing them Inside
Perhaps the safest way to ensure that your geraniums remain alive throughout the winter is to bring them inside your home. You can pot the plants up and place them on windowsills around your home so that they remain protected from the cold and rain while being exposed to sunlight.
If you bring the flowers indoors you should find that the plants remain flowering throughout the winter months.
When deciding how to best overwinter your geraniums you will find that you have a range of options. Perhaps the most effective way to ensure that your geraniums are protected is to pot them up and bring them inside.
But if this isn’t an option you can place the pots in a greenhouse, keep outside potted geraniums warm by using horticultural fleece or put the plants into a dormant state by using bare root storage methods.
Follow our tips above and you should find that your geraniums are ready to be planted outside again next spring!
Garden Doctor Tips
“If your geraniums are already potted and you are worried about leaving them out, bring them indoors!”
“When storing geraniums using the bare root method, ensure that the roots are clean and dry to prevent them from rotting!”
“Place your geraniums between layers of newspaper, not only will this protect them, but the paper should absorb any moisture!”
“If keeping your geraniums in a greenhouse, depending on the weather, it may be worth getting a heater to keep the temperature above freezing!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Can geraniums survive outside in winter?
Yes, but only if you live in a mild climate. Geraniums will survive a light frost, but a hard freeze will kill them. If you live in an area where the temperature dips below freezing, you will need to take measures to protect them.
How do you keep geraniums through the winter?
There are a few ways to keep geraniums alive through the winter. One option is to keep them inside near a sunny window. Another option is to move them to a greenhouse, where they will be protected from the cold weather. Finally, you can wrap them in fleece or some other type of insulation to protect them from the cold.
Do geraniums need to be brought inside for the winter?
If you live in a cold climate with harsh winters, it’s best to bring them inside for the winter. If you have a heated greenhouse, that would be the best place for them. If not, then you can wrap them with fleece and keep them in a warm room. Make sure the soil is moist, but not wet.
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.