Overwintering geraniums: 1-month check-up

I always find it a little scary opening up the box that I'm overwintering my geraniums in after the first month has passed.

That's because the beautifully-vibrant plants I first put in there are now the picture of death and destruction! I'm talking dead leaves and what initially appeared like lifeless plants.

But, on closer examination, I discovered they're doing exactly what they should be doing.

When you're overwintering geraniums, the three things you're checking for each month are mold, shriveled branches and tiny new leaves.

Did I see any mold? Nope.

Shriveled branches? Nope again.

Tiny, new leaves? Yes indeed! If you look closely in this photo, you'll see small, pale leaves emerging from the stems. That's a very good sign.

If I'd seen any mold, I would have clipped that off a plant, or -- if it was spreading throughout the plant -- I would have thrown it out. So always watch for that when you do your monthly updates.

I didn't see any shriveled branches, but last year about 2/3 of the way through the winter, I noticed one plant's branches had started shriveling up. I decided to take it out of the box, lightly mist it with some water and then return it to the box. I was sure I was going to lose the plant so figured it was worth a try. It turns out, the plant perked right up and grew beautifully through the whole garden season. Another good reason to check your plants once a month through the winter!

OK, see you back here in a month...