If you live in a climate where the winter is harsh, most likely you are bringing your geraniums inside when it’s getting cold and then putting geraniums outside once again around when the threat of frost has passed and the weather starts warming up. Perhaps as you are relocating your geraniums, at some point you may be concerned about them going through so many changes. After all, even for us humans it’s stressful when we move from one place to another and we require some time for adjustments! Just consider that even just moving a geranium pot from one spot to another, even if just a few inches away, can be stressful on the plant, so here’s a little tip or two that can make all these changes much easier on your beloved geraniums.
Geraniums Get Stressed Too!
Transplant shock can happen to any plant, and geraniums, even though hardy, may be affected too. When geraniums have been cooped up all winter inside the home, it can be quite shocking when they’re exposed to all the elements of Mother Nature at once. Let’s place ourselves into a geranium’s shoes (or better roots!) for a moment, shall we?
In the home, geraniums were protected from the wind, rain and direct sun. They were also likely shielded from the abrupt temperature drops between the day and the night. If your home was kept at a steady temperature all winter, then your geraniums were likely spoiled with all this stability. It can therefore be shocking for a geranium plant to be put out all at once all left to deal with all the elements!
For instance, let’s consider the sun. If your geranium was indoors all winter by a window facing the sun, and now the plant is out facing the sun in a different direction, all the leaves may need to turn accordingly. This takes quite some energy from the plant. Along with all the temperature and weather changes, there is also the energy expense of getting used to a different soil if you are placing the geranium in a flowerbed. All these factors play a toll on the geranium plant, and you might stumble on the effects of transplant shock such as yellowing and loss of leaves at the base of the plant. Fortunately, there’s a little tip or two that can help reduce the shock.
Slow and Steady
Slow and steady wins the race. This old saying applies well for the process of acclimatizing geraniums to life outdoors once again. To do this, place your geranium plant outside for a couple of hours for a few days. Keep light in mind, considering that light is one of the biggest factors when it comes to transplant shock. Sure, geraniums love light and lots of sun, but let’s not forget that the intensity of the sunlight outside is greater than the light the geranium experienced in the home.
So best to start to avoid strong, direct sunlight in the first few hours spent outside and pick a slightly shaded area at first. Allowing the geranium to get a bit of fresh air each day is helpful.
Afterward, you can start to gradually move the geranium more and more close to its final destination (where it will be planted until it’s time to bring it back inside again) increasing as well the duration of time the geranium plant stays out, until you leave the pot out all day. After a week or two, your geranium plant should be ready to enjoy the great outdoors, but here’s another helpful tip coming…
Keeping the Same Pot
So here’s another handy tip for those who are bringing geraniums outdoors when it gets warm and then bringing them indoors again when it’s getting cold. Simply, don’t take the geranium out of its pot. Yes, plant it directly with the pot.
This is helpful for two reasons: one reason is that it will help your plant suffer less stress, the second reason is that when winter comes, you can easily dig the pot out and voila’ your geranium plant is ready to enjoy indoor life again!