Some of my mom's favorite flowers are geraniums and as you can see above she has a green thumb for growing them. Last year like usual, we put her inside plants in her house, before frost and since the geranium still looked good we put it in the garage and left it there all winter without much thought about it until spring.
I might have watered it a couple of times during the winter, I don't remember, but I do know that all the flowers, leaves and many of the stems died prior to spring. When Spring 2012 rolled around, it was time to put her house plants back on the deck and I could tell the geranium could be revived. Before we placed it back in the sun on the deck, the stems were cut back to about five inches and potted with new soil in a larger container.
Although, the picture above is not this year's plant, I was surprised that the same geranium grew even bigger with even more blooms, after resting through the winter. This was more like keeping it in a greenhouse over winter and it let me know, I had a lot to learn about geraniums.
Geraniums originated in South Africa and were transported to Europe in the 1600s. Today there are approximately 422 species grown in the US, mainly as annuals raised for beds, borders and container gardens. However, in Zones 10 and 11 (Florida and South) geraniums can be grown as perennials, and if cared for (as my mother and I proved last year) can also be kept as container plants in our sub-tropical Georgia climate. Many geraniums bought in spring at local garden centers are not true geraniums but 2nd within the family known as pelargonuims. True geraniums are perennials that bloom smaller flowers and are used as ground covers. Regardless, this garden favorite have colors ranging from reds, white, pinks, magenta, salmons and even lavenders,blues and oranges. All ranging in a variety of scents. Some of these varieties are used in perfumes, sachets, insect repellents and even teas.
Even though geraniums aren't my favorite flower, I love them because it's one of my mom's favorite and too because it's a beautiful plant that can be saved over winter. So, hope you try saving a geranium or your favorite container plant to put out somewhere on your deck, or in your yard, next spring 2013.
Until next time........
Happy Gardening 2012!
Posted by Wilma Smith