Monday, September 24, 2012

Overwintering Rosemary and Geraniums

Each Fall I decide I am going to overwinter some plants, but each year I get caught with an early freeze and lose them before I have a chance to bring them indoors. This year I was able to beat the weather and attend to my rosemary and geraniums before the frost.

I've tried often to continue growing rosemary indoors but I just couldn't keep it going.  Rosemary is fussy.  It doesn't like to be overwatered  but it does need quite a bit of humidity in a dry house which is heated with a furnace throughout the winter. In this house I have a walkout basement and the lower level is not heated; but the temperatures stays at 58 degrees all winter long.  It has proven to be the perfect location for my plants.  I was able to keep my Boston fern going  all last year and through the summer.  It is huge now.  So I am hoping for the same results with the rosemary plant.

I heard there was a frost warning last week, so I quickly dug it up and potted it.  I left it in the pot throughout the day under the deck  and then brought it in in the evening.  I immediately watered it well and misted it thoroughly.  The next day it seemed a little dry so I misted again.  So far it looks really nice, but it is a long season and I'll have to keep a close eye on it.

The geraniums are handled quite differently.  I have previously tried to save the whole plant indoors, but again, no success.  So I am trying something more drastic.  Again I was able to get to them before the frost. They were still blooming so this part was difficult for me.  I pulled them from their pots, washed off the dirt from the roots really well.  I left them outside for a few hours to dry off a little, bare roots exposed.  then I cut them back to about half.  Left behind, on the ground were the beautiful pink blooms -- so sad!  Then I brought them inside, tied them with string and hung them upside down in the basement.  They need a semi dark place, and they also need to be allowed to dry out.  When you noticed they might be shriveling, mist real well and let dry again.  Continue this cycle, watching them all winter long and you might be able to re-pot outside and start fresh next spring. I might seem quite fussy, but it will save a few dollars in the spring.

You might also like to visit my cooking blogs at An Herbal Bedfellow and my restaurant reviews at Grabbin' A Bite

1 comment:

sensiblegardening said...

I've never had trouble overwintering rosemary as long as I didn't let it get dry. Geraniums like you say tend to get ugly and die out on me, never to really recover. Your method looks interesting, I should try a few like that this year.