Pretty Posies

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet, French Impressionist painter

I think Monet was onto something.

Perhaps all creative types thrive when surrounded by Nature’s beauty, whether it’s trees and flowers or seas and mountains.

For Central Illinois this year, Fall has been a bust. Precious little in the way of color and a sudden cold snap that promises to slap frost on the pumpkin before it’s time.

Usually our Falls are delightful: pleasant temperatures in the 60s by day, sunny cloudless skies, and low humidity.

Must be global warming.

Anyway, since winter’s chill is right around the corner, and I haven’t tired of watching these two geraniums bloom, I’ve decided to bring them indoors and keep them around longer.

Don’t laugh.

We tend to think of geraniums as annuals, but master gardeners call them tender perennials and say they can be overwintered inside with the proper light, water, and feeding.

See the fuchsia plant on the left above? Mostly through beginner’s luck, I managed to keep it alive last winter. When Spring arrived, I repotted it and hung it outside, right next to its new pink cousin.

‘Pink’ has offered a profusion of blooms, and I’d like to overwinter it, too.

To be successful, experts advise:

  1. Starting with healthy plants. (Check)
  2. Caring for them as houseplants — bright southern exposure, moderate 60- to 70-degree temperature. (Check)
  3. Watering and fertiliing as needed. (Check)

Seems like all I need to do now is baby them a bit!

Of course there are other methods pf overwintering — rooting a cutting or letting the plant go dormant in a cool, dark place and drying up.

But if I can keep these beauties thriving in the dark dreary days of winter, they’ll brighten my living space immensely. Don’t you agree?

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19 thoughts on “Pretty Posies

  1. Debbie – our pink, fuchsia & coral geraniums put out at the beginning of summer are still puttering blooms. Didn’t know they could be wintered. My sis comes to put new ones in our planters as a yearly ritual, hmmmn, it kinda works for us! Green-thumb winter blessings! 💨❄️🌷🍃🌷❄️💨

    • Thanks, Virginia! I do hope my beginner’s luck will hold — they’re just too pretty to part with, and there’s something wonderful about having Living Nature inside when the snows are blowing outdoors!

  2. My mother regularly kept her geraniums over the winter, and before she left Iowa, she had a few healthy ones that were at least a decade old. So, yes: you certainly can do it.

    Down here on the Texas coast, we have the opposite problem. The geraniums do fine in winter, as long as they’re brought in during hard freezes, but when the temperatures start to heat up, they have to be brought in over the summer to live in the air conditioning. Pampering takes many forms, for sure.

    • What wonderful news, Linda — thank you for sharing it! My mom used to keep Impatiens indoors during the wintertime. Some years, they were better than others. The not-so-good years found them sans flowers and awfully leggy!

      Yes, I can recall those hot Texas summers! No wonder some plants prefer to be treated like royalty inside the air conditioning. The things we do to keep beauty thriving!

    • Poor Pat. Yes, ’tis a green thumb I have, probably thanks to my genetic background. My grandma grew African violets indoors, and my aunt’s yard rivals those Yards of the Month designations. P.S. You need water, so do your plants, as you found out!

  3. Lovely plants! I hope they appreciate your care and attention! I fear my fingers have never been green. I eventually gave up with plants on the grounds that it seemed too cruel to torture them slowly to death, even if I did have the best of intentions. Fortunately silk flowers are beautiful these days and with just a touch of essential oils can be made to smell almost like the real thing too… ;)

    • FF, my mom prefers the silk route, too. That way, she doesn’t have to worry about watering and fertilizing. You’re right about the better quality of silk flowers available today, too. Perhaps I just hate to turn down a challenge, ha!

  4. Debbie, I LOVE the quote by Monet because it’s true. And no one could paint flowers like Monet. In fact, when you look at one of his paintings, his brush strokes actually looked like strokes of flower petals!

    Like you, we here in the Northeast have not had any Fall to speak of. I’m hoping for a really good cold snap to make to our trees turn color.

    That’s amazing you were able to keep that fuchsia plant alive last winter. You must have some green thumb!

    “But if I can keep these beauties thriving in the dark dreary days of winter, they’ll brighten my living space immensely. Don’t you agree?”

    Yes, absolutely!

    Hope you’re having a great weekend, my friend.

    X to you and Dallas!

    • Ron, I’m sorry you haven’t had the glorious colorful Fall you were looking forward to. Here, it got down to below FREEZING last night, brr! After a few dreary days, Mr. Sun has popped out, making this a beautiful, if chilly, day.

      Bringing these two inside lets me keep a watchful eye on them. Of course, I had to make sure there were no bugs on them before doing so — and I poked a stick throughout their pots to make sure some nasty garden snake hadn’t hitched a ride in! Can you imagine me sitting here working and seeing a snake slithering out of a flower pot?!?! xo

  5. I totally agree, Debbie, and I do this all the time! In fact, I even got two seasons out of a tomato plant one time. Can you imagine? Of course, we really have more of flashes of winter that come in with what the old-timers call “blue northers.” It can be cold (sometimes bitterly) a few days, then presto, back up into the upper 60s or at least the 50s. I will be bringing my plants in when we get our first frost, and of course, we have no idea when that might be, ha ha. I’ll bet your plants do great!

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