How to Grow Geraniums from Seed: A Handy and Easy-to-Follow Guide
The delightful colors and rich aromatic splendor of the geranium are things to behold. Geraniums, with their plentiful blooms and easy-to-grow habit, are a favorite amongst gardeners. While they can be purchased pre-grown, the real joy comes in growing them from seed. This hands-on process allows you to appreciate their growth and beauty in an intimate, deeply personal way. This guide will help you understand how to grow geraniums from seed and enjoy their captivating allure in your garden.
Choose Your Geranium Seed
There are quite a few different geranium species. While they all share some key growth habits, each species can have its unique requirements. Picking the right geranium seed largely comes down to personal preference on flower type, color, and even aroma. Some popular types are the Zonal, Ivy, and Scented geraniums.
Once you’ve made your selection, acquire high-quality geranium seeds from a reputable garden retailer. This ensures that the geranium seeds are healthy and viable, giving you the best chance of successfully growing your plants.
Begin the Germination Process
The process begins by germinating the geranium seeds. Start off by placing the seeds in a shallow dish. Add enough water to moisten them, but avoid using too much. Excessive water can cause the seeds to rot which would prevent them from sprouting.
Keep your seeds in a warm place to encourage germination. This could be atop a radiator, inside a heated propagator or in a warm room. The key is to maintain temperatures of around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Within a couple of weeks, your seeds should begin sprouting tiny shoots.
Transfer to Nursery Pots
Once your seeds have sprouted, it’s time to move them into nursery pots. Fill pots with a well-draining soil mix, make a small hole, and place each sprout inside. Firmly pack the soil around the sprout. Ensure the new plants are kept in a warm, well-lit area but out of direct sunlight which can be too harsh.
Water them sparingly, just enough to keep the soil from drying out. You’ll continue this until the sprouts develop into seedlings and later mature into plants with several leaves.
Once your geraniums have developed a sturdy base with multiple sets of leaves, they’re ready to transition outdoors. This usually happens around 6-8 weeks after you’ve planted them in nursery pots. Prepare your garden by ensuring a well-drained soil and an area that receives plenty of sunshine.
Plant each geranium in a hole deep enough to bury the roots completely. Space them about a foot apart to allow for ample growth. Water them well after planting to help establish roots in the new location.
Maintaining Your Geraniums
Geraniums require minimal care once planted outdoors. However, regular watering and feeding with a balanced fertilizer will boost their health and vigour. Grow them in full sun for abundant flowering, and be sure to remove faded or dead flowers to encourage more blooms.
Although geraniums can tolerate light frost, it’s best to transfer them indoors during harsh winter. This ensures they are safe from the harsh cold, and ready to be transplanted again come spring.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to plant geranium seeds?
The best time to plant geranium seeds is in early spring. This gives them plenty of time to grow and mature before the flowering season.
Why aren’t my geranium seeds germinating?
There could be several reasons for this. It could be due to old or poor-quality seeds, incorrect temperatures, or inappropriate water levels. If you’re having trouble, try using fresh seeds and specifically a germination mix.
Can I grow geraniums in pots?
Absolutely! Geraniums are versatile plants and grow well in pots. Make sure to choose a pot with good drainage and use well-draining soil to prevent water-logged roots.