Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scented Geranium Resurrection

Let me start by saying that I love, love, love! scented geraniums!

Every year I make an early spring road trip to Countryside Farm and Greenhouse, Inc. in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. They have a great selection of scented geraniums, and I also stock up on container and bedding annuals, perennials, and herbs. They have quite extensive vegetable plants as well, but I usually only pick up a few since I do a lot of my own vegetable starting.

I have tried to over-winter the scented geranium plants before but never really succeeded. They were usually quite large by summer's end and I didn't have the room for them all. This year I decided to take a different approach.

First thing I did was to cut the plants back hard in late fall, drag the containers into the garage and leave them, un-watered and un-lighted until late January, when I then brought in the wheelbarrow and started de-potting them.

As you can see, most of the top growth is dead but some new growth is starting from the roots. The plants are much smaller and easy to re-pot. I just do a little additional root trimming, re-pot and put under lights.

A week or two after re-potting the plants look a little anemic and weedy, but new growth is shooting up!

It is now late February and the plants are lush, green, and provide a heavenly scent when lightly brushed. I've managed to resurrect several varieties: Staghorn Peppermint, Coconut, Cinnamon, Rober's Lemon Rose, Apple (my favorite - with its tiny velvety leaves), Orange, Red-Flowered Rose, Attar of Roses, and Chocolate Mint. The only variety I lost was Lemon.

Don't worry Countryside Farm! I'll be back this spring!

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