Greenhouse Information

Dinter Nursery Greenhouse - ready for spring
Getting ready for spring!

Wintering Begonias, Dahlias and Geraniums

Begonias

To winter tuberous Begonias, simply take them indoors, placing them in a cool, well ventilated room. Begin withholding water from them, and the foliage will die back. Within a few weeks you can easily remove the stem and leaves without damage to the tuber. Next, remove the tuber from the soil, clean it off, dust it with bulb dust and store it on top of dry peat moss until it is time to restart it early next year.

Dahlias

Carefully dig the plants after the first frost, or at the onset oF hard winter rains. Remove the top, leaving only 4-5" of stem attached to the tuber clump. Wash off all dirt, cut away any diseased, damaged or insect infested parts and set in the sun to dry the surface of the tubers. You can store either of these ways:

  • Leave the clump of tubers intact and place in nearly dry sawdust, sand, peat moss, or other dry insulating media. This storage area should be dry, cool and frost free.
  • In the spring, remove the clump from storage and divide by cutting the cluster into sections, each containing at least one tuber and an eye or vegetative bud. Start in a 6" pot, planting in the ground when rooted out or when all danger of frost has passed.
  • Divide the clump after cleaning and drying. Each section should have a tuber and vegetative bud. Store as described in the first method.

Dividing the clump before storage takes less space, but leaving the clump intact during storage usually results in less tuber shrinkage. Examine tubers periodically during the winter for signs of decay. Discard any decaying tubers to prevent spread of rot.

Geraniums

One way to overwinter geraniums is as a houseplant placed either in a cool basement or garage where they will be warm enough to keep from freezing. The plants require limited sun and only light watering. Cutting them back and leaving them on a window sill is an option as well. They will get pale and stretch, and also be slow in recovering, but they will survive! It seems that the best option is to take cuttings in the fall as you trim your plants back thus having both cuttings and mother plant.

With geraniums, the cuttings are taken just below a node. Each cutting should be 3 inches in length if possible and be of solid material. It is a good idea to let the geranium cuttings sit for a few hours before you stick them to provide a little callousing on the cut. Remove all the leaves except the top few. Dip the cutting with a rooting hormone, shaking off any excess powder. Place the cuttings in a container of bark mulch, and firm the media around them.

Place them in a cool light room, water weekly or as needed. They do not like to be under a mist system or under a lid, as some other cuttings do. Excess moisture is your enemy with geraniums. Watch for rot, removing any damaged material.

Do not fertilize unrooted cuttings. When the cuttings have developed some roots, you can pot them on into 4 inch pots and continue to overwinter them as above, fertilizing about once a month.

Waterfall outside Dinter Nursery