In the Garden: Getting geraniums ready for spring

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) For gardeners that kept their geraniums alive through the winter, they may not be looking so hot right about now. Gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi shows us how to nurse these perennials back to life.

Sharon Meyer: I did it! I kept my geraniums alive through the winter, but they're not looking so good.

Charlie Nardozzi: Exactly. For those who don't remember, back in the fall we talked about over wintering geraniums. You can do them as cuttings -- put them down in the basement -- or you can grow them in a window sill like you did. But this time of year they need a little help. Now, they look very good. You did a good job. They're alive!

What we'll want to do first is cut them back so they'll be nice and balanced as they start to grow. Let me show you where I want to cut them. We want to cut off some of these taller ones and certainly the flowers you want to take off. But also this one's getting a little bit tall, so I'm going to cut it in half. It's ok to do that because along the stem are buds that will start forcing and will grow out into new branches.

Of course, taking off all of these dead leaves is a good thing to do. And then we have some more flowers over here and I would take that off as well because we want to get more bushiness to the plant before we let it actually start flowering. You can even cut back into this old wood here and then it will leaf out. We'll cut it on this side, too, and even in the front. We'll cut those so it will force it to bush out and have flowers just like the pros do it.

So, this little plant is the one that we rooted. We rooted it in the fall and look -- It survived. It's got little leaves on it and a flower. But we do want to cut this one back as well. For this tall flowering plant, we'll cut it back about half-way, but we'll leave this plant because it's doing really well. As it gets a little older, you are going to want to pop them out and put them in individual pots. You want to use clay pots because it breathes and geraniums like it a little on the dry side. Give them a little fertilizer, and then they'll be looking like the pros' version of geraniums soon.