Overwintered Scented Geraniums in Sad Shape
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Deb Carr
Posted on: April 5, 1998

I attempted to overwinter two scented geraniums. I cut them both back about 1/3 in fall and placed them in a sunny but cool entryway with an south/east exposure and lots of windows. They would get new growth, only to have it shrivel up shortly thereafter. Now they are completely dessicated looking. Are they too far gone, or like regular geraniums, will they come back and start new growth with the longer light days of spring? Last year, the same thing happened, but I managed to get some cuttings to root, and saved the plant. This year, none of my cuttings were successful. What am I doing wrong?

You did not mention the temperature of the growing area of the geraniums. When light levels are low it is best to keep the plants around 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) and keep them only moist but never wet. Are the windows sufficiently insulated so that the plants are not freezing close to the panes? The new growth would be more easily damaged. Potting the plants on, that is, moving them to a bigger pot without distubing the roots and adding fresh soil around the perimeter might help if the soil is too depleted.

Scented geraniums will rebound like regular Zonal geraniums as long as the roots have not rotted due to excess moisture. If, on inspecting the roots, you determine that they are still firm and not rotted, then keep them in a bright window and new shoots should develop from the base or branches later in spring.

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