How to Save Your Annuals for Next Year

Hi I'm Helen Muntz, USU Extension Gardening Expert, and I would like to share with you

a little secret on how to save your annuals so that you can replant them next year.

Now not all annuals overwinter very well, but some plants such as geraniums, euphorbia,

canna lilies, dahlias, even some shade annuals such as the asparagus fern can over-winter

quite well in the house.

So it's still September, a little bit early for starting to plan on overwintering-in

fact, most of the time my annuals look awesome in September-but I do have a pretty peaked-looking

container here.

So I just want to show you what I've done...I've taken and dug out with a trowel a couple of

these plants here that I'm planning on keeping.

The two that I use over and over are this euphorbia-that's not the euphorbia-right here;

this one's called "Diamond Frost" it's absolutely beautiful in containers or in um, in the garden.

So you give it a pretty substantial haircut before you transplant it into a pot, and then

same with the geraniums.

These do wonderful indoors, they don't even necessarily need a lot of light, if they don't

have a lot of indoor light they'll just kind of go through a sort of false dormancy period.

You'll get a lot of brown leaves that sort of drop off throughout the winter so they'll

need a little bit more cleaning if they don't get a lot of light.

If they do have a substantial amount of light during the winter they'll continue to grow

and bloom, which is fun as well as an indoor plant and then you can take them back out.

But again, you want to really pinch these back quite vigorously before you transplant-we've

had some root damage there.

A lot of these leaves are going to end up falling off as it transitions into the indoor just like that.

And then you transplant it into another pot to take in the house.

So here I've transplanted my geranium just into a regular pot from the nursery that I've

kept, just using potting soil-normal potting soil-and then my euphorbia had a bit of a

smaller root so I just put him in a smaller pot like that to save some space.

You can also use...purchase pots that have a catch tray in them, which is nice so that

you're not getting water on your floor or your counter while it's indoors.

Now it's important to mention that you won't be watering quite as often while they're indoors

as you would while they're outdoors, so maybe about every other week, depending on how dry

it is in your home...and how much light they're exposed to.

Bulb plants such as dahlias and canna bulbs are some great annuals that are pretty simple

to overwinter.

The important part is to dig them out and how to pull it out.

So here is one of my dahlia bulbs-this is a dahlia-and you can see it's got a lot of

powder on it-powdery look to it-looks very gray.

Normally the foliage would look really dark...dark purple, so it does have powdery mildew, which

is pretty common in our dahlias around here-and a lot of our landscape plants, actually.

So this is one that I'm ready to pull out; normally you would wait until we have at least

a light frost, so it starts to pull some of those good nutrients down into the root before

you try to store the root.

So what I've done here is I've dug out the bulb; I've tried to make a pretty big hole

before I pull it just to reduce any mechanical damage on the bulb itself.

So this is what we're looking for down here are these bulbs and these are what we're going

to save.

So they need a little while to cure before we store them, but for just purposes of this

demonstration, what I'm going to do is snap this off-I forgot to grab my scissors, so

I'm just going to to pull them for now, for demonstration- you want to leave about a 4-6

inch stem and then let that sit and dry for a couple weeks and then you can cut it back.

And then after that, how you store these bulbs, you don't want to pull them apart individually

until you're ready to plant them in the spring, but for wintertime you can store them in something

like just a regular tree pot with a garbage bag line.

You can use something like perlite, you can use sawdust, you can use dry potting soil,

any of those kinds of mediums to store it.

And it's just a nice, cushiony way to store the bulbs just like so.

And you can stack them all in there and store them in a cool and dark location in your home

until spring when it's time to plant.

Overwintering annuals is a fun and great thing to do; most of the plants that you see

here in my containers behind me I've had for several years and they do just fantasically

and I do save a bit of money on my shopping, so hopefully that's been helpful for you.

And if you have any questions, you can always contact your local county agent or visit:

Thanks for watching!