As soon as the first frost is announced, I am moving all my potted plants back inside. I don't know how, but every year it seems this announcement is on the very same day when it happens, so every fall I'm in a big hurry. Usually, it takes me almost an hour just to get the pots inside, crowding them in the conservatory - which I like to refer to as my greenhouse. Then I start thinking where to put all of them. Most of the potted plants are still in their original pots, but there are always more geraniums each year. How could this happen, I wonder? The answer is easy, and gardeners should know it! Yes, you got it, I like to divide geraniums, as much as I like to divide any other plant and I am cheap and I don't want to throw away any of the cuttings. That's where all the geraniums come from!
My husband likes to open the windows and air the rooms every morning, even in winter, so we are always arguing when it's time for moving the pots back in. This year's argument was about a wall that cracked last winter because I had put too many pots on our bedroom windowsill. I don't like to argue, so I wondered what will I do if I couldn't keep my geraniums in that window. I have the conservatory where I'm keeping almost all the pots, but unfortunately it is oriented to the west and during winter it doesn't have too much sun. The geraniums couldn't stay in there if I wanted to have any geraniums when winter was over.
Our bedroom was still the best choice, since it's oriented to the south and has sun all day long. I put some of them on the floor, in front of the balcony door, but I still had some which needed space. This year I threw away a few geraniums to have a pot for an azalea I was overwintering. My mother was devastated when she saw those blooming red geraniums thrown away! I reassured her that we would have even more geraniums next spring, if those left inside will grow in the proper conditions.
I managed to convince my husband that my geraniums weren't guilty for the cracked wall and that maybe the earthquakes moved the house and did the damage. Now all my geraniums are on a southern window and they are happy. They don't need to bloom during winter and I usually trim them back from once in a while, so they can grow vigorously until spring. They always tend to grow thin if they are far from the light, that's why I've learned my lesson and always keep them in a sunny window all winter long. All the geranium species react the same, so it's difficult to find a good spot for each of them. I have a few huge pots with hanging geraniums, a few with simple geraniums and a few with japanese geraniums. Sometimes I think my husband is right to argue about this, but what can I do? I'm addicted to my plants! Meanwhile, all the potted plants are okay, especially the geraniums which are showing off their foliage in the bedroom window. Just don't tell my husband; he thinks they are less than last year, yet the windowsill is full - those plants are growing so well and so big! Am I to blame because I have a green thumb? Even he is proud of it!
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 29, 2011. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to respond to your questions.)