Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Saving some money next spring and bringing some cheer for February.

Frost is just around the corner here in WI and it's time to start bringing in the geraniums and other annuals. Here geraniums can be as much as $4.00 each in the spring, and I've found I can easily overwinter them in a sunny window. They drop a few leaves when they hit the furnace-heated air, but settle in nicely, need very little water and usually send out a bloom or two around February, just when I'm starved for some garden color. Then in spring, I start to fertilize and they perk up beautifully to go outside come May.

I've had some success overwintering impatients, mostly just for fun as a six pack is usually only $1.29 or so and they don't seem to perk up very well the second year. This year, I'm overwinting some others just to see what works. I've got some begonias, some salvias (a GORGEOUS dark blue), and some pink polka dot plant.

If any of you have had good success with overwintering plants other than geraniums, do tell your secrets. Also, I have a book on plant propagation that assured me geraniums were easy to propagate, just take a stem cutting, stick it in perlite or another well drained medium, water, and wait. I've tried this for over four years and have yet to make any new geraniums. The first year I had visions of creating five hundred or so "free" geraniums to edge gardens and put in overflowing garden pots, but this has come to zip. So again, if you've happened to be successful at this, do tell, please! I've gotten spider plant and some easy houseplants to root this way and would so like to double my geranium number by next spring.

Best wishes! Eileen

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