How to Overwinter Fuschias, Geraniums, & Verbena

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Fuchsias, geraniums and verbena are all tender perennials, meaning plants that are not cold hardy. If left on their own in most gardens, they’ll be killed by the first hard frost, and you’ll need to replace them again in the spring. That is why, in some climates, they are sold as annual flowers. But if you’d like to keep your tender perennials year after year, you can winterize your fuchsia, geranium or verbena plant to enjoy again in the spring by bringing it indoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shears
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Shovel
  • Pots
  • Potting soil

Before the first frost, cut your plant back to about one-third its original size. Inspect it for any insect damage, and spray it with an insecticidal soap if necessary.

Dig up the root ball of your plant, and brush it free of clumping dirt. Trim the roots back to about half their original size.

Choose a pot that is at least 2” bigger in diameter than your root ball to allow for growth. Fill the pot with enough potting soil so that the plant will be buried at the same height it was in your garden. Place the plant in the pot, and fill it with potting soil. Water well.

Place your plant inside in front of a sunny window where it will receive at least six hours of sun a day.

A few weeks before the last frost, lightly fertilize your plants and gently prune the branches to encourage spring growth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don’t over water your wintering tender perennials. Allow the soil to dry slightly between watering.
  • Verbena needs higher humidity, especially the first few weeks after transplanting. Spray with a misting of water two or three times a week.
  • If your tender perennial is already in a pot, it can remain there. Trim the plant to about one-third of its size, and bring it indoors before the first hard frost.
  • Geranium is poisonous to dogs and cats. Please use caution if you have pets.

References

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