Plan to store your summer window box flowers and ivies during the cooler months of the year and reuse them next spring. It's easy and it saves money.
Everyone wants to save money in spring gardening window box plantings, especially geraniums.
The cost is getting so high, this year up to $8.00 a geranium plant at Home Depot.
Last fall, this gardener saved all the geraniums from four window boxes and planted them into two. Geraniums love to be root-bound and produce the most wonderful blooms, sometimes over seven inches this past spring. They will grow leggy in some instances, but patience is virtue. Strategically prune the leggiest stems and then watch them grow beautifully again. One plant has over 25 blooms on it. So lush and full, as these geraniums are now into their second year of growth.
Storing geraniums for reuse in the spring is an easy project. Using potting soil, it doesn't have to be new, replant your geraniums together in enough boxes or pots to fit the space you have. Plant them close together, if you must, save and plant the vinca or ivy that you used in the outside boxes. Place the boxes or pots in the lightest spot available. Water initially, but don't over water at anytime. Geraniums have very succulent stems. Cut the healthy stems of the geraniums to about 4 inches. Make sure to cut the stems on a callus. Remove any bottom leaves. Water about every two weeks.
After about two months, you will see new growth. Then it is time to begin feeding the hungry, stored geraniums, as all geraniums love fertilization. Use any flower fertilizer mixed with water and fertilize monthly. In early March, your geraniums might be long and leggy, prune appropriately at this time.
To acclimate the geraniums to growing outside again or harden off, set them out during the warm days of early spring to get the bright sunlight. Bring them in at night, if any frost conditions are predicted. When it is safe to transplant the geraniums to your outside window boxes, do so. In the Northeast, usually not until mid-May, at the earliest. You will want to clip any long and dangling roots to a neat root ball.
Plant the geraniums in new clean potting soil, water and fertilize monthly. Invest your saved money from storing your geraniums over the winter in new varieties of lovely geraniums.