Geranium can reward you with cleft leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers containing distinctive veining, and it is easy to reproduce too.
If you remember, you can populate Geraniums through leaf cuttings and the old-school method; seed propagation.
Generally, Geranium produces 4-6 mm long black or brown seeds after flowering in spring, summer, and early winter. You need to soak them in a damp paper towel for two days and maintain a temperature of 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate.
If you are a beginner, you need additional requirements to know before you jump into making mistakes in collecting and germinating seeds.
So, continue reading the entire article.
Table of Contents
- Overview of Geraniums Seeds
- How to Collect Geraniums Seeds?
- Where to Buy Geraniums seed?
- Can Geraniums Grow from Seed?
Overview of Geraniums Seeds
Geraniaceae is widely known as horticultural bedding plants.
However, most Geraniums do produce seeds; some of the seeds look like oat seeds, while others look like pepper.
Let’s look at the overview of Geranium seeds to know them better.
|Size||4-6 mm long|
|Shape||Round and oval with awn|
|Blossom||Different shades of white, pink, red and purple|
|Blooming Season||Spring, summer and through early fall|
|Germination Time||One to two weeks|
|Toxicity||Toxic to pets|
|Conducive Temperature||70 to 75°F|
How to Collect Geraniums Seeds?
While extracting the Geraniums seeds, you must be careful as a slight wind can easily drift the seeds.
Do not prune your Geraniums flower at the end of the season to enable them to form seeds. As Geraniums only produce seed pods when the bloom has dried entirely.
When they’re ready, they open, and the seeds launch. Likewise, it may take a few months to produce mature seed pods.
Choose a flower with the brightest bloom to mature to ensure healthy seeds.
When you see green spikes with up to five seed pods form at the base of a flower on a geranium, that’s when to catch the seeds before it ripens. Once riped, the seed pods can spring open anytime.
Likewise, they don’t require a cold period like some seeds, but they must be dried before germinating. Once they dry, the seeds pop out of the seed pod.
The seed pod on Geraniums are like long thin spikes that develop out of dying flowers. The flowers must be exposed to sunlight and again left to dry on the baking sheet.
You can ensure that the ready-to-open seed pods are green to black.
Here are some essential tools needed to extract seeds from the Geranium plant.
|Scissors||For cutting the dried flowers|
|Ziploc Bag||To place the seeds|
|Mesh Bags||To prevent seeds from wind|
|Tweezers||To extract the small seeds from mericarps|
Steps to Harvest the Geraniums Seeds
There are two ways you can extract the Geranium seeds.
The first way is to put the mesh bags on the seed head and close them up, so the seeds develop inside the bag without drifting from the wind.
You can follow the instructions for the second method to collect the seeds.
- Firstly, cut the dehydrating Geranium flowerheads that have spiky seed pods.
- Place the flowerhead under the sun for the flower to turn dry before harvesting the seeds.
- Identify the seed pods, mostly brown with hairs, and dry them for 2 days in the sun to easily remove the mericarps.
Garden Geranium does not have mericarps, and Geranium phaeun seeds rarely pop out of their mericarps, so you need not worry if they do not squeeze out.
- However, other different varieties can be easily popped out of the mericarps by squeezing them or rubbing them in a circular motion in your palm. If they are stubborn, you can also use tweezers to take them out.
- Save them in the ziplock bag or brown paper bag with labels for further use.
- You can place them in a refrigerator or cool place where the temperature will be below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
After successful extraction, plant the seed immediately or the following spring because Geranium seeds are generally viable for a year only.
Where to Buy Geraniums seed?
If you think the seed extractions are too much of a hassle for you, I have your back. Below are some of the online stores you can buy Geranium seeds from.
|Plant World Seeds||Within 7 working days|
|Amazon||Within 7 to 13 days|
|Etsy||Within 1-3 business days|
|Best Seeds Online||Varies according to location|
Can Geraniums Grow from Seed?
Geraniums can be easily propagated through seeds, although it takes patience.
The seed-grown varieties are often smaller and produce more blooms than cutting-propagated plants.
Likewise, hybrid Geraniums produced from seed have exceptional vigor, heat tolerance, and disease resistance and are free-blooming.
Geranium seeds should be sown in early to mid-February to produce flowering plants for spring. The seeds take 13 to 15 weeks to grow and produce blossoms in spring.
However, it can be influenced by the time of year the seeds are sown and the amount of light and temperature.
Materials Required to Grow Geraniums Seed
You must be prepared with different materials to help germination, and some of the essential materials are listed below.
|Soil Potting Mix||For planting them|
|Germination Tray||Support for the germination of the seeds up to the seedling stage|
|Heating Pad||To aid in the germination process|
|Plastic bag or glass||To maintain the humidity|
Germinating Geraniums Seeds
Follow the steps given below to sow and germinate the Geranium seeds successfully.
Step 1: Prepare the Seed and Potting Mix
- To plant your extracted seed in the following spring, you should keep them in the refrigerator for dry stratification to speed up germination.
- You should also pre-soak the seeds on damp paper for two days to soften the seeds.
- Likewise, the soil should be a mixture of vermiculite, peat moss, and perlite and moistened before putting it in the seedling tray.
Step 2: Planting in the Germination Tray
- Choose a clean and good drainage germination tray to avoid potential damping off fungus.
- Use the prepared soil mix and pat each cell of the tray very lightly to settle down the soil.
- You can put two seeds per plug to increase the probability of getting germination success.
- Apply the soil lightly to the top of the seeds or use vermiculite to cover them.
- Water the seeds sparingly using a watering can and ensure they are not overwatered.
- Cover the tray with clear plastic or glass to maintain humidity level.
- Place them in a warm position where they will receive bright indirect light.
- You can also place them on a heating pad and under the fluorescent light to speed up the germination.
- Remove the plastic or glass cover when your seeds germinate in 5 to 7 days.
Step 3: Transplant the Sprouts
Lastly, use a well-drained commercial potting mix and transfer the seedlings into a plastic pot.
You can transfer the seeds to a larger pot once they have about three sets of leaves and the roots have filled the germination tray. Also, the pot should be about two to three inches.
Remember to handle the small seedling by their leaves, as the thin stems can break off easily.
Besides, you need to plant the Geranium seedlings in a shallow container with holes in the bottom for proper drainage and to prevent root rot.
Tips to Care for Geraniums Seeds During Propagation
Proper care is critical for the successful germination of Geraniums.
Remember the following crucial instructions to take care of your Geraniums during germination.
- Geraniums seeds germinate fully in bright indirect light, so put them in south-facing windows.
- You can also grow the seedlings under fluorescent lights for 12 to 16 hours a day and no more than 4 to 6 inches above the growing plants for the best result.
- Geraniums prefer a little heat during the germination, so use a heating pad underneath the germination tray.
- Maintain the ideal temperature for germinating Geraniums is 22 to 26 degrees Celcius.
- Water them sparingly using a mister when the soil surface is dry to the touch.
- Finally, you can notice that Geranium seeds will grow roots in about four weeks of sowing.
Tips to Care for Geraniums Seeds after Propagation
After the successful germination, you might think your work is over, but it is not. You must care for your Geraniums to ensure they grow healthy.
|Sunlight||Filtered light of 4-6 hours a day (Except for the ivy geranium, which grows best in light shade)|
|Watering||1–2 times per week when the soil feels dry|
|Temperature||70 to 75 degrees F during day
60 to 65 degrees F during night
|Humidity||No higher than 75%|
|Fertilization||200 to 250 ppm of nitrogen
Recommended Fertilizer types: 15-15-15 (Geranium Special), 15-16-17 (Peat-lite), and 20-10-20 (Peat-lite)
You need to apply a dilute fertilizer solution once every two weeks to your Geranium.
Also, be aware of pests like aphids, cabbage loopers, scales, and slugs which can damage the plant and affect the foliage.
You can try to remove them by hand using gloves or use neem oil or insecticides to remove them.
Another common fungal disease in Geranium is botrytis leaf spot; hence, remove the discolored leaves and use fungicidal sprays to prevent them.
If you want to plant the Geraniums outdoors, acclimatize them in a shady location for 7 to 10 days and gradually expose them to a longer period of sunlight.
Growing Geranium from seed is one of the easiest ways to propagate them and will make the bare spots bright with its colorful blooms.
The extraction of seeds can be tedious, but the end result is worth all the hassle.
You can easily grow a healthy and lush Geranium with all the tips and techniques I have mentioned above.
If you own a gardenia plant, you may also wish to read the complete buying and grow guide.