How to grow geraniums from seeds

Written by david mckinney
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Offering abundant blooms, geraniums are a gardening enthusiast's summertime staple. A durable and gorgeous annual, geraniums bloom from early June to beyond the first frost of the fall and can reach a foot in height. To reach that point, try growing your geraniums from seed. The process only takes a few weeks and starts shortly before the last frost. Try it once, and you'll discover an easy, inexpensive way to watch one of the summer's most beautiful flowers take shape and flourish.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Geranium seeds
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic flat
  • Pen
  • Spray bottle
  • Large plastic bag with tie
  • Six-hole plastic container

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put potting soil in plastic flat six to eight weeks before the spring's last frost. Fill the flat with dirt to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Be sure the flat has adequate drainage for water by poking three or four holes in the bottom with a pen. Take pen and run it lightly the surface of the dirt from one end of the flat to another, creating three rows in which to plant your geranium seeds. Plant seeds approximately 1/2 inch apart, then cover with a thin layer of dirt. Spray mist from your spray bottle over the entire flat.

  2. 2

    Insert the flat into a big plastic bag. Close the bag with a tie twist. Store the bag in a warm indoor area between 21.1 and 23.9 degrees Celsius. Expect the germination process to last one to two weeks. After seven days have past, open the bag to check for sprouts. Take the flat out of the bag when sprouts emerge from the soil, which should stay moist.

  3. 3

    Fill plastic six-hole containers with dirt. Gently take out sprouts from the flat once two leaves emerge on each seedling and place a seedling in each container hole. Move containers to a southern window for full-sun exposure and fertilise once a week with a water-soluble solution diluted to half strength.

  4. 4

    After three or four days in the window, move seedling containers outdoors to a full-sun location. Increase outdoor exposure by one to two hours per day for a week, waiting to plant in your garden until the threat of frost has passed. Before planting seedlings, fertilise garden with a 10-10-10 mixture.

  5. 5

    Place seedlings a foot apart in 4-inch-deep holes containing 2 inches of mulch in each hole. Cover roots with soil and water.

Tips and warnings

  • When removing germinated seedlings from plastic bag, feel free to thin out sprouts that appear least healthy.
  • Instead of placing the newly germinated seedlings in a southern window to get accustomed to sunlight, they can be placed under fluorescent growing lights for between 12 and 14 hours per day.
  • Expect blooms 13 to 15 weeks after sowing your geranium seeds.

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