Close up of pink geranium blossoms in a vase

In the Pink: geranium blossoms brighten up a February day

People fuss a lot over geraniums – or more properly, “Pelargoniums” (since true geraniums are actually quite different than these popular garden flowers).

They’re not frost hardy, so they need to be brought inside for the winter. Every gardener seems to have a favorite method for dealing with them. Some people dig them up, shake the dirt off the roots and store them in paper bags or newspaper. Others take cuttings and root these in soil, then throw out the original plants; the following spring, they move the new plants to the garden. Variations on these themes abound.

As for me, I take the easy way. My geraniums never make it to the garden: instead they live, permanently, in large containers which grace the steps on the south side of our house from May through September. In October I drag the pots into the solarium, a bright, unheated room which gets good winter light, and there they live until the following spring.

I always intend to cut them back when I bring them inside, as soon as their flowering ends – but it never does! Most years they carry on blooming right through the winter, and I can`t bring myself to take out the pruning shears.

Finally, come February, I am forced to take action – otherwise the new growth will be far too leggy. I cut off the flowers and prune the plants down to a small fraction of their former height, give them a good drink of water with some fertilizer, add a layer of fresh potting soil, then trust Mother Nature to do the rest.

And for a few days we get to enjoy those lovely blooms in a vase: a welcome foretaste of summer’s luscious colours.

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

5 responses »

  1. […] Big Colour, Little Fuss – precisely as advertised, Laurie MacBride shares a gorgeous photograph of her geraniums in full bloom, completely filling the frame in glorious color.  This image really is a harbinger of the coming summer and an awesome example of exactly how beautiful nature truly is. […]

  2. Gorgeous doesn’t even begin to describe this! Wow, how lucky are you to have these beautiful natural flowers gracing your solarium all winter, in full bloom! 🙂 Great photograph, Laurie, the colors are absolutely jaw-dropping.

  3. Sherry Galey says:

    I love the close-up and the beautiful different shades of pink! I’m not a pink person in clothes or decor but I do love pink flowers. Nice that you have a solarium. You must have lots of interesting plants in there. Is that where you start your seedlings?

    • It’s usually too cool for delicates like tomatoes and peppers so I start them inside, in a heated room, under grow-lights. I move some to the solarium when they’re larger, as I start to run out of room inside once I’ve also got basil, cukes, squash etc. started. The solarium is great for most houseplants and also for starting cuttings of shrubs and hardier plants – although sunny in winter, it’s actually quite shady in the summer, when the sun is higher in the sky. Glad you lilke the pix – I’m like you, not really a pink person except for flowers.

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