Overwintering Scented Geraniums

| 9/29/2009 4:36:58 PM


Scented geraniums are rooted deep in the culture of herbal tradition, finding their prominence in 17th century homes freshening hallways and masking body odors. Think of them like Old Spice with flowers.

Their varied smell and relative growing flexibility make them a favorite amongst herb enthusiasts, and not only is their aroma inviting, but many types can be used to flavor your home and your food. For those especially interested in herb gardening, scented geraniums, or more accurately pelargoniums, were the 2006 Herb of the Year.

You may have heard someone speak of a plant as being a “tender perennial.” This means that that particular plant is likely to overwinter well, either by bringing it indoors as a houseplant or sitting it in a cool, sunny window in a garage to rest for the winter.

Geraniums can even be dug up or removed from their pots, shaken free of soil and hung upside down in a cool, humid place to encourage plant dormancy over the winter – but this can be a fairly difficult process to master, and you’d have to be willing to take the risk. Every few weeks, the roots should be soaked for a few moments in water.

Having said that, it’s important to note that most geraniums grown originally outside will do only moderately well inside your home. But with a little bit of determination and a couple bits of advice, you can enjoy these beautiful aromatic plants all winter long.