Overwintering geraniums-worms

Asked October 28, 2017, 5:59 PM EDT

I brought in four geranium planters for the winter and because I don't have a lot of light coming in through the windows because of trees, I put them under lights. I now find that I have brown and sometimes green worms eating the leaves. I pick off the ones I see, no problem, but I wonder how I can get rid of them for good. I sprayed with insecticidal soap before I brought them in but wonder if I should do it again. Where do they come from; the soil?

Hennepin County Minnesota geraniums overwintering geraniums horticulture

1 Response

These are possibly geranium budworms, which are a difficult pest to manage, especially if you bring your geraniums inside over winter. Read here:
https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/tobacco-budworms/
http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/tobacco-geranium-budworm-5-581/

Hand picking or possibly Bt are controls. An alternative to trying to keep your geraniums growing in poor indoor conditions is to store them dormant without soil. Read here:
https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2004/9-17-2004/geraniums.html