Growing Geraniums From Seed

Pelargonium x hortorum

When you see that 'x' in a plant name, it means it's a hybrid. Growing geraniums from seed is a crap shoot; they could revert back to the basic type of their ancestors, or you could get something magical and wonderful.


These will be marketed as a named variety, such as these, called Maverick. That name perfectly suits me, as I've been a rebel all my life.

growing-geraniums-from-seed-seed-package1-600x800.jpgGeranium 'Maverick' seed package

When I seeded these, they say on the package, could take 3-13 days to germinate, so I took that to mean they'll be two weeks or so to show their faces.

growing-geraniums-from-seed-package2-600x800.jpgSeed package with sowing instructions - read these!

They also recommend keeping them in the dark, but being a rebel, I didn't cover them, nor were they in a dark place. I did place another container with rosemary seeds over top, which didn't exactly fulfill their recommendations.

growing-geraniums-from-seed-germinated-600x800.jpgGermination - in three days!

Imagine my surprise when I looked at the covered container and could see green, three days after I sowed the seeds.

I've grown lots of geraniums, from seed collected from my own or others plants, from purchased seeds, and from cuttings.  I'll be interested to see how these do, especially as I'll be growing them under lights for a while, until the time comes to plant them in containers on the deck.

growing-geraniums-from-seed-ready-to-transplant-600x800.jpgReady to transplant, now they have their first real leaf

For now, these will be kept under the grow lights until they're bigger and can be pricked out and placed in individual clay pots to grow on a bit.

The sign that they need to be transplanted from the germination container is the first real leaf, seen here with the typical zonal coloration in the middle.

Record Keeping

In the frenzy of excitement that you are actually getting a jump on the spring season, it's easy to forget to keep records. 

I find a quick note on the calendar can be enough to just jog the memory, as well as taking pictures of the process often - each digital photo you take will have the date you took it.

growing-geraniums-from-seed-record-keeping-600x800.jpgKeeping records is a suggestion

As soon as they get a bit bigger, they can be hardened off and go into the kitchen window, which faces south, or under lights in the kitchen. 

The kitchen is very cool, which will give  them the best chance of getting strong enough to go outdoors when the  time comes.

In time, I'll take cuttings off them, to swap with other afficianados of the Pelargonium genus.

In the fall, I'll cut them right back, spray them for any hitchhikers, and overwinter them somewhere under lights, either upstairs or in the basement.

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