Geraniums- indoors for the winter

My geranium plants live outside during the summer but I keep them indoors in the winter. Can anyone give me advice about the best way to do this? Someone suggested wrapping them in newspaper and storing them in a dark place. Someone else said put them indoors but don't water them at all. Another person said to leave them outside in a sheltered spot. I've tried all 3 with varying success. Can anyone give advice? What's the best way?
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danielle snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (danielle) wrote:

I put mine on top of the fridge and let them grow all winter. Whack them back without mercy when they get leggy.
Jan, Alaska USDA Zone 4
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Jan Flora wrote:

I have a citrosa that is getting really leggy, but it also looks like it will bloom soon (little green buds).
Was planning on cutting it back when I take it outside, should I do it sooner? How far back is without mercy? It's about 29" at the tallest, but there is some lower growth.
It's in my semi-heated basement, about 50 degrees F and growing towards the lamp.
Janine
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(danielle) wrote:

If the plant is getting leggy, have you tried pinching off the ends of lots of the stems? That encourages them to become more bushy. I'm not sure if you're supposed to do this at a particular time of year, but it seems to work anytime with all sorts of (house) plants, not just geraniums.
Danielle
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I've whacked mine back to a couple of bud nodes (is that what they're called?) on each stem. Mine is in a pint jam bucket right now, and about 3 foot long, cascading off the fridge. It smells like lemon furniture oil when you touch it. I have no idea what cultivar it is -- got it as a slip off a neighbor's plant.
You could probably give it a good haircut when you put it outdoors for the season. That way you'd get nice thick growth. But if it wants to bloom for you right now, gee, let it!
I live in a daylight basement, so plants kind of languish in here all winter, then go nuts in March when the daylight comes back. (We have snow on the ground until May 10 or so, here at the house.)
Jan
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Jan Flora wrote:

Yours cascades? Cool! Mine pretty much goes straight up, although the main woody stems do this curve thing before going up. I bought it at Lowes in the early summer. I tried taking cuttings in the fall, but they aren't doing that well. I'll try rooting everything I cut off in the spring.
The little buds haven't changed much in the week since I noticed them, but there seem to be more. I had the pot in full afternoon sun all summer, lots of growth but no flowers (some of the ones still at Lowes were blooming in late summer, they hadn't grown much). So do they like it cooler/shadier? Or was it just growing to fill the new pot? I was also planning on repotting in the spring.
I'm just outside Chicago, and last summer really wasn't that hot. But aside from the legginess, it's doing really well in the basement, so that's why I wonder about the best temps.
Janine
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