One flower that's often passed along from generation to generation is the geranium. Luckily, it's also easy to overwinter indoors, since it won't survive our winters. Here's how to keep it alive.
If you have a sunny, south-facing window, you can simply cut it back to about eight inches tall, leaving just the skeletal structure of stems. For a geranium in the ground, dig it up and pot the plant in a container filled with moistened potting soil.
Keep it in a cool, bright location for a week.
Then bring it indoors into a sunny window to grow.
It may get leggy in December and January with the low light levels. Simply pinch back the long stems, and eventually, come March with the longer days, it will bush out and flower for you even as the snow flies.
Another way to bring a large geranium indoors if you don't have room is to take cuttings.
Take a four-to-six-inch long cutting from the stem end. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder, and stick the cutting in a plastic pot filled with a moistened potting soil.
Place the cutting in a bright room, and it will root in a matter of weeks.
For gardeners with no room, another way to store your geranium is to cut back the plant, dig it up, remove the soil and place the root end in a perforated plastic bag filled with slightly moistened peat moss.
Check the bag periodically all winter to make sure the roots aren't rotting or shriveling up. In spring, pot up the plant and let it grow.
Next week on the Connecticut Garden Journal, I'll be talking about mushrooms. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.