How To Plant Geraniums From Seeds

  • Put moistened potting soil into your pots or planting cells. A size of roughly 2-3″ is good. You will eventually need to “pot up” your seedlings. In other words, once they have around three sets of leaves and the roots have filled the beginning pot, you will transplant them to a larger pot. Despite the fact that starting with a bigger pot might seem sensible, it is not. Close quarters seem to benefit seedlings.
  • One tiny seed should be placed in each pot, and it should be covered with a thin layer of moistened soil. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the pots or, if using a seed starting, place the transparent cover on top.
  • Put the entire setup in a warm location with strong, indirect light. Consider placing geranium seeds on top of a refrigerator or using a Heat Mat as 75 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for germination. If the soil surface becomes dry, sprinkle it with water using a mister.
  • Keep an eye out for germination, which can occur in as little as three days or as long as four. Remove the covering as soon as you notice the first green sprouts, and if the soil appears dry, wet it.
  • Place the little plants in a location that receives plenty of sunlight and has temperatures that don’t drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and in the 70s during the day. Grow lights are preferred even though you can grow them on a bright, south-facing window. As the plants grow, make adjustments to keep the bulbs no higher than 6″ above them. Twelve to sixteen hours a day, keep the lights on.
  • At this point, you should start fertilizing once a week with liquid fertilizer that has been diluted in half.
  • Transfer the seedlings to a 3-1/2″ to 4″ pot once they have three sets of leaves. Self-watering Pop Out Pots are ideal, but anything up to 4″ will do.

This allows the roots to spread even more, according to Valerie. “Additionally, there is more room between the plants, allowing air to circulate. Plants that are overcrowded are more prone to illness.” Use caution while recycling old soil because it may contain pests and diseases. Use new potting soil, such as our sterile, freely draining Transplant Mix. Continue fertilizing the seedlings, but make sure to mix it thoroughly and use the appropriate amount per packet. Valerie comments, “I prefer our Plant Health Care fertilizer.

  • It’s time to “harden off” the seedlings once it’s no longer frosty outside. Simply acclimating plants to outside circumstances is hardening off. Indoor seedlings have been spoiled; you’ve been providing them with the ideal conditions for light, moisture, and nutrients. With changing temperatures, light levels, soil moisture, and wind, outside circumstances are more difficult. Start hardening off the seedlings a week before you intend to plant them in the garden. For a few hours, keep them in a safe outdoor location (partially shaded, away from the wind), then bring them inside at night. Expose them to greater and more sunlight and wind over the course of a week to ten days.

How long does it take a geranium to grow from seed?

For spring flowering plants, geranium seeds should be sown in early- to mid-February.

For many years, geraniums have been a common choice for bedding plants. Cuttings are a common way to grow plants. Geraniums can, however, also be raised from seeds. Hybrid geraniums that are grown from seeds have great vigor, heat tolerance, disease resistance, and free blooming.

Growing geraniums from seeds is not too difficult. Geranium seedlings, however, develop slowly. For spring flowering plants, geranium seeds should be sown in early- to mid-February. Approximately 13 to 15 weeks after seeding, flowers begin to bloom. Geraniums from the Elite, Orbit, Maverick, and Multibloom Series are recommended for Iowa. A series is a collection of closely related types that share similar traits like height, spread, and flowering behavior. The only trait that typically varies within a series is the color of the flowers.

Jiffy Mix and Redi-earth are two great soilless mixtures that work well as germination media. Geranium seedling damping-off can be a significant issue during germination. Different species of fungi attack the seedlings and kill them, which is what causes damping-off. Containers used to start seeds should be spotless and have sufficient drainage to deter this. Prior to disinfection, previously used containers should be cleaned in soapy water and dipped into a solution of one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water.

The germination media should be poured into the container to within 1/2 to 1 inch of the top. Lightly firm the medium, completely wet it, and then give it some time to drain. Rows of seeds should be 2 to 3 inches apart, and the medium should cover the seeds by about 1/8 inch. After planting, thoroughly hydrate the soil by immersing the container in water only partially. Remove the container from the water after the surface is damp, then let it drain. The media can alternatively be hydrated with a gentle water spray from a sprinkler made of a rubber bulb or a similar tool.

Use clear plastic food wrap or a clear plastic dome to cover the container to maintain a constant moisture level during the germination process. Place the container in a well-lit area away from the sun. If the covered container is placed in the direct sun, there could be an excessive accumulation of heat. When germination is taking place, the medium’s temperature should be between 70 and 75 degrees F. The seeds should start to sprout in seven to ten days at the right temperature and moisture content.

As soon as the seeds start to germinate, remove the plastic covering. Put the seedlings in a window with natural light or under a light fixture. Fluorescent lights should be turned on for 12 to 16 hours a day and placed no higher than 4 to 6 inches above the seedlings. When the seedlings develop their first true set of leaves, transplant them into separate containers using a well-drained commercial potting mix. Handle the little seedlings by their leaves since the fragile, delicate stems are easy to break. When transplanting, place seedlings at the base of the seed leaves (cotyledons).

Grow seedlings under fluorescent lights for the greatest outcomes. One 40-watt cool white and one 40-watt warm white fluorescent tube can be used in a conventional fluorescent shop light. Due to little light, plants grown in windows frequently grow tall and spindly. Geraniums prefer daytime temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees and nighttime temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees. When the soil surface is completely dry to the touch, water the geraniums thoroughly. Fertilization is probably not required if using a potting mix that is sold commercially and has a slow-release fertilizer. For potting mixes without a slow-release fertilizer, applying a diluted fertilizer solution once every two weeks should be adequate.

Before putting the plants in the garden, harden or acclimatize them to the outdoors for seven to 10 days. First, plant the geraniums in a sheltered, shaded area. Then progressively subject the plants to extended sun exposure times. When there is no longer a chance of a frost, plant the geraniums outside. Early May is typically a good time to grow geraniums outside in central Iowa.