Putting Gardens To Bed

When fall arrives, that means putting your gardens to bed for the winter. You want your garden space to be ready when spring comes.

Preparing Perennials And Flowers In The Fall:

1. Water your perennials and flowering shrubs in the fall

2. Once the ground has frozen hard, cut perennials back to 3 inches and then mulch them.

3. If you want to add a new flower bed come spring, cover that area now with mulch or heavy plastic to discourage growth when the ground warms up in spring. 

4. Move pots of mums to a sheltered spot when their flowers are gone. Water well and cover well with a thick layer of straw to overwinter them.

Overwintering Geraniums:

1. Geraniums (or pelargoniums) are South African in origin, and there they have a three-month dormant period. They need to be kept well-watered before going into dormancy.

2. If you have a cool place in your house (around 50 degrees), you can overwinter them by keeping them in their pots and giving them very little water. 

Come spring, bring them into a warm place and water them heavily. When they start to bud, repot them and prune heavily.

3. Geraniums do best in plastic or glazed pots with good drainage in the bottom. You can overwinter them as house plants without letting them go dormant, but they will be deprived of the rest they favor.

Putting Roses To Bed In The Fall:

1. You can water roses regularly through fall. There is no need to fertilize starting six weeks before the first frost.

2. Remove any dead parts

3. Mulch after the first frost

4. Before temps drop well below freezing, carefully pull down the long canes of climbing and tea roses. Lay them flat on the ground, and cover them with pine branches or mulch.

Come spring, we will all be itching to get back into the garden.

I hope you’ve planted bulbs that will rise a above the detritus of winter and be one of the first signs of spring. 

I’ve got my tulips planted in containers on the patio underneath mums and various other plants that will be gone soon.

 (I planted my tulips down to a depth of 4-6 inches. Remember to  have the pointed tip of the bulb facing upward.)


Similar Posts


  1. I over winter several plants each year. My spikes do well as do the geraniums and succulents. I cut the geraniiums back before I bring them in and water about 2x each month while they are inside. They get a lot of sun during the winter. When I bring them back outside in the Spring they seem to do just fine. I have a cat, also, who is very nosy, but I sprinkle a bunch of black pepper around the area where I winter the plants and it keeps them away!! I freshen the pepper every 3 or 4 weeks. So happy to see people wanting to winter-over their plants. No need to discard all of them! I have some that are going into their 6th winter!! I know a lot of people bring their Impatiens in, too. I haven't had luck with them, but many do.

  2. Great info Brenda..I would love to bring in my lavender colored geraniums I bought this year but they are toxic to cats and I have a kitty that likes to taste my plants..I have to search every plant I want in the house!!

  3. Lots of good information, Brenda! I never quite knew what to do with my rosebushes–in the past I've just heaped them with leaves and hoped for the best. Now I know! Thanks.

  4. Thanks for all this great information. I have a wonderful southwest window and I had some glass shelves made and I hold up the shelves with candle stick and I put my indoor plants on them for winter in my kitchen. I hope to do this again this year.

  5. These are all such good tips. I have some geraniums in plastic pots on my front porch steps right now. They aren't flowering right now. I've never overwintered them before. I wonder if I should try it. Now you've got me thinking!

  6. love this … i bring my geraniums in for the winter but keep them blooming. depending on the location, some become almost bonsai looking but still bloom, some stay fat and leafy and don't bloom and some are somewhat fat and leafy and bloom … they are my favorite "bring in for the winter" buddies … and i'm sharing this really concise lovely list with my niece who will be putting her first big gardening adventures to bed this year. you gathered it all into a lovely little nutshell.

Comments are closed.