Though most people choose to propagate geraniums with cuttings, growing geraniums from seed is increasing in popularity. Geraniums are generally one of the easiest plants to grow, and the fact that they come in such luscious Mediterranean colors, makes it all the more delightful.
When to Plant Geranium Seeds
It will take 12 to 16 weeks to go from seed to flowering plant, so back date accordingly depending on your zone. Start your seeds indoors by referring to the section below, “How to plant Geranium Seeds.” When your area is free from frost, you can begin to “harden off” your young seedlings. For the next week, bring your seedlings outside to a partially shaded area to help them acclimate to the outside temps and wind. Bring them inside at night. After this hardening off period, your young geranium plants should be ready to be planted outside.
Where to Plant Geranium Seeds
Geraniums are quite versatile, growing in full-sun to partial shade locations. Giving your geranium full sun will result in more blooms. Geraniums do well in pots, hanging baskets, hillsides, and garden beds so take your pick of where you would like to plant and enjoy the fruits of your (very minimal) labor.
How to Plant Geranium Seeds
Fill pots with two to three inches of soil, knowing this will be just the starter size. Once geraniums show two to three sets of real leaves, they can be transplanted into bigger containers. Moisten soil first, place seed, then cover each seed with a thin layer of soil. Place small pots inside a clear plastic bag, cover with plastic wrap, or use a seed starting kit with a plastic cover. This method will keep soil consistently moist. Geranium seeds prefer temps to reach 75°F to germinate. This temperature can be reached by placing your starts on top of your refrigerator or by using a heat mat. Geraniums love sunlight, so choose a sunny south-facing window and watch for germination that can happen in one to four weeks. If the soil looks dry, remove the cover and mist.
Once you see the first shoots of green, keep temperatures around 70°F during the day and no less than 60°F at night. Transplant your smaller pots into larger four-inch containers. Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged and continue to give plenty of light. You can also feed with a light water soluble fertilizer at half strength.
How to Care for Geranium
Geraniums are not picky, but prefer potting soil that is moist, well-draining, and high in organic matter. Consider the ultimate size of the plant when choosing your container size. Though the plant will survive shaded areas, plant in full sun to benefit from a bounty of the beautiful blooms that have attracted us to this plant in the first place.
Geraniums respond favorably to having their soil dry out between waterings. Check to see if the top few inches or so are dry, and then water the plant well. You will be rewarded with prolific blooming if you quarterly feed your plants with a water soluble fish emulsion. Deadhead geraniums during the growing season to encourage the plant to send energy back into itself, rather than into seed production.