Annual geraniums are a great option for a winter gardener. They will grow and bloom very well all year round and don’t need a lot of fuss. You can dig them up in the fall and place them into a paper bag or cardboard box so you can store them over the winter so you can let them out again in the spring. So let’s talk a little bit about what to expect from certain Geraniums.
Martha Washington Geraniums
All zonal geraniums are known as frost-tender pelargoniums. They are however different in their growing conditions that they prefer. Zonal geraniums will do better in warm, dry soil. Geraniums such as Martha Washington’s require cool temperatures in order for them to thrive and bloom well. Your Martha, Washington will be very impressive in the late spring, as such they are quite popular during that time for gifting. In the late spring they become thick and busy and have ornamental leaves with fringed edges. Their flowers are showy and appear in clusters with vivid splashing colors and are beautifully veined.
These flowers tend to have long bloom periods. To help lengthen their bloom period you want to ensure you keep them in the cool. During the high summer temperatures, this plant can take a break from flowering. While you will notice that zonals may hit their peak bloom in this time. To prolong the bloom period you can place this plant outside in a spot that is lightly shaded when the weather starts to warm up.
During the winter, Martha, Washington’s don’t need too much water. It will thrive in temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees in light and almost dry soil. This not only will help them survive the winter but will also set them up for a great spring flowering.
Rooting Zonal Geraniums
When you take cuttings from your geraniums you may want to cover them with a humidity tent. Ensure that they are covered but not being touched. This is helpful with your zonal geraniums to help them to root. You don’t want the roots of the plants to be too damp because they are sensitive to these types of conditions. High humidity levels can cause rotting, otherwise known as “black rot”.
Rooting is very easy in warmth and with bright but indirect sunlight. You want to choose a porous free draining planting mix to ensure that the soil stays modesty moist to provide the best outcome for your rooting endeavors.
Considering doing some planting in the winter to get ready for the spring with lovely flowers. Consider getting some Martha Washington Geraniums!