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Thread: geraniums from seed

  1. #1

    geraniums from seed

    next year I would like to start geraniums, not pelaro!@$%$% whatever from seed , they are some of my favorite annuals but in the past I have had trouble with germination..any tips? thanx

  2. #2

    I've never started them from seed BUT...

    I don't have any advice for starting geraniums from seed but I thought I would pass this info on anyway.

    My grandmother was an avid gardener that passed away a few years ago at the age of 97. She'd been a flower gardener for close to 60 years. Geraniums were one of her favorite annuals.
    As far back as I can remember, she 'saved' her geraniums from year to year here in Ohio. And I've done the same thing...
    This is exactly what she did and had quite a bit of succcess with it year after year:

    Before the first anticipated frost (or in our area in Ohio about the end or middle of October) she would dig up all her geraniums and shake all the dirt off the roots, remove all the leaves or blooms and throw them all in a brown paper bag. She would leave these bags in a closet somewhere in the house or under her kitchen sink. Somewhere dry and somewhere they wouldn't freeze. Then she would just forget about them until Spring.
    When you get them out again, they will look totally dead and shriveled up. Don't be discouraged! Plant them anyway just as they are and keep watered well with good drainage. Better than three fourths of them will come back. I've also seen her take cuttings of these geraniums during the hottest summer months and just stick them in the ground in a shaded area and water the heck out of them to keep them moist and most survive. She was some kind of gardener! At 96 years old she was still out there with her walker tending her gardens with her little watering can and with alot of help from her friends and family.
    Becki
    Becki B.
    Central Ohio
    Zone 5b-6

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Telcaster,

    You said NOT Pelargonium, you also stated it was one of you favorite annuals. I am a bit confused as the Pelargonium is the only non-hardy "Geranium" I know of.

    I have done a few searches under "Annual Geranium" and all the photos found were that of the Pelargonium. So now I am wonder if this is regional common name for some other type of plant.

    If you could be more specific or include the botanical name I could probably find the information you need.

    I do know the "Hardy Geraniums" are very easy from seed, if you can harvest the seeds before the plant expels them. The seed pod is trigger loaded and they actually shot the seeds far away from the mother plant. I generally allow my plants to plant their own seeds and when the seedlings are big enough I just move them to where I want them!

    I haven't tried growing the other from seeds as it takes too long for them to reach blooming size. Where as cuttings take only a few months to bloom.

    Rebecca
    Last edited by Rebecca; 05-05-2004 at 06:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    Zonal Geraniums

    Zonal Geraniums are the annual type that are often sold in hanging baskets. I posted an article about it some time ago on the Greenhouse and Nursery Production forum.

    I decided to 'bump' it for Randy.

    Randy, how wonderful to have a new place to spread out and start a nursery!

    You can produce more numbers by growing from seed, but it is not fast and will require practice and learning.

    Cuttings are easy!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5

    maybe I am confused,

    I TOUGHT that cranesbill was a perrenial,,a ground cover if you will...I have some common type with the small blue flowers..I thought these were "hardy" geraniums...educate me please

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    The Cranesbills are the hardy geraniums. From my searches I've found at least 10 different species and countless hybrids! I grow 3, perhaps 4 different ones, the smallest gets to about 8 inches tall and does make a nice ground cover. I also grow 'Johnson's Blue', which gets to 24 inches tall and does not form a mat. I also have a pink flowered one, but am undecided on whether it is a species or a hybrid. It can get to three feet tall and as wide. It is very good at scattering it's seeds everywhere!@ I am always digging up seedlings of this one and moving them to where I want them. It can make a very large clump and can be a bit invasive. They do come in a wide range of colors, sizes and sun/shade requirements.

    This first image is of my "ground cover" type, growing in a planter with Tiger Lilies. It is G. 'Biokova':



    This second image is of 'Johnson's Blue'. This one gets rather leggy so I have moved it to more sun to see if that helps with the problem.



    This is an image of a blue geranium I got from my Dad last summer. I believe it is an improved variety of the 'Johnson's Blue'. The blooms are really huge and very intense. This is a very young plant and I am anxious to see how it does when it matures some.

    http://img4.photobucket.com/albums/1...S_BLUE_IMP.jpg

    I tried all of last summer to get a decent image of my pink flowered Cranesbill, but none of them turned out very well. Will try again this season and perhaps I will get some good images of it.

    My neighbor has a lovely pink flowered ground cover type with finely cut foliage that is just now starting to bloom. I hope to get a few nice shots of it and then try to ID it before I upload it to my album.

    There are "Cranesbill" that grow under nearly every condition, but the one thing they all share is a need for even moisture. One neat thing I have discovered about my tall ones is that they can be cut back rather severely in mid summer (after the Japanese Beetles have reduced them to lace) and they will regrow new foliage and have a short bloom spurt in the fall.

    I haven't been very successful at collecting their seeds, I always seem to miss them. I know I've been hit several times by the small seeds as they have been shot from the seed head!

    The Pelargoniums or "annual" geraniums come in three basic types: zonal, ivy-leaved and the Regal or Martha Washington or Exhibition Geraniums. Ann has bumped up a very good article on growing the "zonal" or bedding type from seed. Cuttings really are much easier though and faster! Of course, they are a bit more expensive to produce. Once you have your "Mother Plants" that expense can be greatly reduced.


    Rebecca

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