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How to plant geranium cannabis seeds

How to plant geranium cannabis seeds

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Growing Geraniums from Seed
March 22, 2015

If you have the right conditions, growing seed geraniums (geraniums from seed) is relatively easy. I set out in 2009 and again in 2010 to describe the process for others. I ended up experiencing almost every failure one could, along with making some really stupid mistakes along the way. Those blogs remain online as an exercise in writer honesty and humility. Since writing those pieces, I’ve gotten my act together again, as we’ve successfully grown seed geraniums for over thirty years.

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Growing geraniums from seed has the advantage of not carrying disease forward as propagating from leaf and stem cuttings can do. With seed geraniums, you’re not limited to just propagating varieties you have, but have the incredible variety of seed geraniums that are available from various seed catalogs. Self grown geraniums can be timed to match ones own transplanting schedule in the garden and flower beds.

And. you may save a few bucks growing your own geraniums from seed over purchasing plants at a garden center or discount store if you avoid the mistakes I made in 2009 and 2010.

We got most of our geranium seed from Stokes Seeds and Twilley Seeds. Stokes left the home garden seed business in 2020 and Twilley has disappointed us in the last few years with poor seed quality. But they do carry our favorite Maverick Red variety (shown above right) and many other varieties of geraniums. Shopping for bargains on geranium seed never seems to work out for us. Inexpensive seed often turns out to be old seed that doesn’t meet our expectations for germination rates.

Despite my comment above about starting geraniums from seed being “relatively easy,” a tip from the late Nancy Bubel’s The New Seed Starter’s Handbook is well taken:

“Geranium seeds can be erratic in germination. Try rolling the seeds in damp paper towels and letting them ‘pre-soak’ in this way for two days before planting in flats.”

The late James Underwood Crockett in Crockett’s Flower Garden echoes Bubel’s advice with another suggestion:

“Geranium seeds have a tough outer surface. If something isn’t done to crack or soften this shell, germination is difficult. Most seed houses sell scarified seeds, which have been scraped to give the seeds a better chance to sprout. If you don’t buy scarified seeds, it’s a good idea to soak them for 24 hours in warm water.”

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We’ve started our geraniums in a couple of different ways over the years. Some years we have direct seeded the geranium seed into small flower pots filled with a sterile potting mix and lightly surrounded the seed with vermiculite to allow some light to reach the seed.

At times, we’ve first germinated the geranium seed on brown (unbleached) coffee filters or unbleached white paper towels. I prefer the coffee filters over paper towels, as the emerging roots don’t stick or grow into the coffee filters as much as they do with paper towels.

The seed is spaced on a damp coffee filter which gets folded over the seed to ensure the seed gets all the moisture it needs. The coffee filter then goes into a Ziplock freezer bag (sandwich bags tend to let out too much moisture) in a warm area.

In just a few days, often less than five, the seeds begin to sprout. Before the sprouts get too big, I very gently lift them from the coffee filter and place the seed in a slight depression in some sterile potting mix in a 3″ pot or a fourpack cell. I then lightly cover, or more accurately, surround the seed with vermiculite to hold in moisture.

One can also successfully start geraniums in fourpack inserts or small flower pots. Starting the seed on coffee filters allows one to just pot up seeds that have germinated.

With flower pots, I use three inch plastic pots, twenty-one of which fit neatly into a heavy duty Perma-Nest plant tray. As with transplanting from paper towels, the seed goes into a small depression in damp potting mix and gets partially covered with vermiculite.

With either the coffee filter or direct seeding method, the bags of seed or trays of pots covered with clear humidity domes go under our plant lights. I germinated our geraniums for years in total darkness until a reader clued me into a seed producer’s fact sheet that suggested one would get better germination with a bit of light on the seed. (My thanks to Mike Bryce for that info.) So instead of hunting for a warm, dark closet to germinate our seed, it now goes into a covered plant tray under our plant lights. The tray rests on a soil heating mat that is thermostatically controlled. Anywhere in the low 70s (70-75° F) should give good results.

Note that using individual 3″ pots allows me to spread out the plants as they begin to put on some size.

When using fresh seed, we generally get a germination rate of around 75-85%. When using older seed we’ve kept frozen in our manual defrost freezer, the germination rate drops off into the 60% range.

As to Bubel and Crockett’s advice on conditioning geranium seed, I do drag our seeds, one at a time, across the narrow dimension of an emery board to try to allow oxygen and moisture to reach the seed and improve germination rates. I’ve not soaked our seed before direct seeding, but the coffee filter method pretty well accomplishes the same thing.

Whichever starting method we use in a year, each small pot of geraniums gets a plant label in it identifying the geranium variety. While plant labels cost a bit, we extend their life by soaking them in bleachwater for a few days after the geraniums have been transplanted into our garden or flower beds. That removes most of the “permanent” marker we use on them.

As soon as the seed pushes out of the vermiculite and is an upright, if tiny, plant, I move them off the soil heating mat. While geraniums may need temperatures in the mid-70s to sprout, once up, they like a bit cooler temperatures.

The plants stay under our plant lights, which are simply 48″ shop lights with 5400-6500° K fluorescent tubes in them. I keep the lights several inches above the top of the tallest plant. If the leaves begin to bleach out, I know my lights are too close to the plants. But from this point on, geraniums are pretty forgiving plants.

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In about a month, one should have some very healthy looking, small geraniums plants. The images left and right taken on February 27, are of our 2015 seed geraniums. The mixed Orbit series and Maverick Reds seeded on January 19 are on the left, and our Summer Showers ivy leaf (trailing) geraniums started on January 29 are on the right.

Other than regular, usually weekly, watering, the geraniums don’t require any special care. The potting mix has all the nutrition they need at this point, so fertilizing isn’t necessary or recommended. I only bottom water our plants, as they’re grown in watertight trays that makes bottom watering easy.

We often experience a real logjam under our plant lights each spring, necessitating a bit of inventiveness to keep all of our plants and transplants growing well. We’re fortunate that our large, old farmhouse has a sunroom with lots of south facing windows. Unfortunately, the builder didn’t duct the room into the heating and air conditioning system, so the room is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But with an oil heater, I can usually begin moving geraniums, onion and brassica transplants, and even some gloxinias to the room in late January or early February.

While the baby geranium plants in the three inch pots initially used are really cute, they rather quickly need more root space. Just two months after seeding the plants, they get moved to 4 and/or 4 1/2 inch flower pots to continue their growth. At this point, sterile soil isn’t necessary to prevent damping off disease, as the plants have developed pretty tough stems. I use commercial potting soil cut with about one-third peat moss for the transplanting. Although I avoid potting soil with fertilizer pellets and perlite in it for seed starting, it’s ideal for plants at this stage of growth.

I did this transplanting, as I often do, outside on a warm spring day. Our nights, however, weren’t warm enough yet to risk moving the plants under our cold frame to begin hardening off. So once again I had to get a little creative on plant space, putting both our standard geraniums and the ivy leaf ones, now in hanging basket pots, on our dining room table in front of a large, east facing bay window.

Plants grown inside under artificial lighting or in a greenhouse need to be hardened off before being transplanted into the garden. Indoors, they’ve not had to face the rigors of bright, hot sunlight, cool nights, UV radiation, and strong winds. If not hardened off, transplants often quickly fail under the harsher outdoor growing conditions.

We harden off our transplants under a homemade cold frame. The frame gets completely closed at night to hold in the warmth of the day, but is opened gradually through days to allow our transplants more and more exposure to the harsher growing conditions outdoors. During this time, stems and leaves toughen, getting the plants ready to survive in the ground.

Those lacking a cold frame could easily employ a sheltered area on a porch, gradually moving the plants each day into more and more sunlight. We like the cold frame, as it allows us to get an early start, being able to put plants under it even while we still experience overnight frosts and light freezes. (Note, we’ve also had times when everything had to come inside for a night or two of freak, late, hard freezes (20° F stuff.)

Our old, wooden cold frame rotted out a few years ago, so I constructed a new one that wouldn’t rot out, made of PVC pipe and fittings. I’m not entirely happy with the new frame, as I made it too tall, allowing it to dissipate too much heat on cold nights. It’s also too light, having blown away in the wind a couple of times. I corrected that problem by cutting open the bottom back PVC pipe and putting a bit of damp concrete in it!

Typically, our geraniums are some of the last of our transplants to go under the cold frame to harden off. The process of exposing them to outdoor growing conditions takes a week or two.

What do we do with our geraniums?

We grow lots and lots of geraniums each year, sometimes forty or more! We do so because we like to put a geranium at each corner of our raised garden beds. We also use them at the ends of rows, replacing the wooden stakes used in planting with something much more attractive.

Geraniums mixed with petunias, vincas, marigolds, and snapdragons almost steal the show from our vegetables, the reason we garden. And while vegetable crops come and go in succession through a growing season, our geraniums and other flowers stay put, gloriously blooming all summer and fall.

If you came to this page looking for my previous comedy of errors geranium blogs, they’re still available as the first two links below.

Here are some other links about growing geraniums that may prove helpful.

  • Mr. Brown Thumb: Seed Scarification, Seed Stratification & Seed Soaking
  • Iowa State University: Growing Geraniums from Seed by Richard Jauron
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Growing Geraniums from Seed by Don Janssen
  • Burpee Seed: Learn about Geraniums
  • San Francisco Chronicle: What Is the Germination Period for Geraniums? by Leslie Rose

We had successfully grown geraniums from seed for years. Then in 2009 and again in 2010, I decided to record the process in blogs. Whether I got too cocky about our previous success or just had bad luck, I don’t know. I made some horrible mistakes those two years, and then and later suffered from getting bad seed.

After being thoroughly humbled about my geranium growing abilities, I became much more careful about our practices, and we returned to growing all the geraniums we could use and give away once again. It’s a good feeling.

We’re now growing a few less geraniums than in the past. Having used them at the corners of our raised beds for years, I think we’ve run into some rotation needs. I’ve begun alternating geraniums and vinca at the corners of our raised beds with good results. That change resulted in lots more geraniums along the sides of our raised beds in years where vincas were the corner anchors.

Even with some new physical challenges from hip and heart surgeries in 2015, gardening proves to be one of my greater joys in life. I hope the Lord allows me to keep doing it and blogging about it for some time to come.

Update: Monday, March 4, 2019

I changed our geranium starting routine a bit this year. Instead of germinating the seed on paper towels or coffee filters, I placed one seed in each of 21 three inch square pots. Seeding to individual pots allowed me to pull the pots off our soil heating mat shortly after each pot had produced a plant.

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The pots were filled, of course, with sterile potting mix. I made a small depression in the center of each pot with my finger and filled it with vermiculite. Then a single seed was pushed into the vermiculite. The tray was covered with a clear humidity dome and placed under our plant lights over a soil heating mat running at about 77° F.

We ended up getting nineteen geraniums out of the twenty-one pots seeded. Another pot, after re-seeding, has put up a sprout.

I moved the geraniums plants to a bookshelf next to south facing windows in our very cool sunroom several days ago. While the image above right shows the leaves of the geraniums facing the camera and away from the windows, that’s because I’d just turned the tray 180°. I have to turn all the trays of plants in the sunroom every few days to promote upright growth.

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How to Grow Geraniums

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 21 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.

This article has been viewed 450,139 times.

Geraniums grow in riotous reds, pretty pinks, wondrous whites, passionate purples. the list goes on. Needless to say, they are the perfect addition to any garden, windowsill, or pot. With a little knowledge, you can grow and care for your own beautiful geraniums.

  • If you live in an area that is really hot a lot of the year, try to find a spot that gets afternoon shade and has relatively moist soil.
  • Avoid placing a saucer under your plant’s pot unless the saucer has pebbles in it.

Pick the right time of year to plant your flowers. The National Gardening Association recommends planting geraniums in spring, after the last hard frost. Depending on the type of geranium, the plant may bloom in midsummer, late summer, or fall, though sometimes the flowers have a mind of their own and they’ll burst into bloom in spring. Regardless, be prepared for their beauty to pop up anytime but winter.

Prepare the garden bed. Geraniums flourish in soil that has been tilled and is loose. Use a tiller or rake to ensure that the soil is loose a good 12 to 15 inches (30.5 to 38.1 cm) down. After loosening the soil, mix in 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) of compost to give the soil as much nutrients as possible.

Give each plant enough space to grow. Depending on the type of geranium, you will want to separate each plant by 6 inches (15.2 cm) to 2 feet (0.6 m) in distance. If you have picked up a larger variety of geranium, you will want to give each plant a good 2 feet (0.6 m) of space to grow.

  • If you choose to grow your geraniums from seeds, sow them directly into the ground. If you do choose to use seeds, know that your plants will take longer to grow and blossom. If you are sowing seeds in a pot, start your pot off indoors while the seeds take root. Once the seeds begin to sprout, you can move the pot outside. If you need to move the plants outside during harsher weather, then start by leaving them outside during the day when it is warmer and bringing them in at night. This is called “hardening off.”
  • Try to avoid putting soil on the stem of the plant, as a buried stem could lead to a rotting plant.
  • For geraniums in pots, make sure that you give them enough water. Water the plants until the water runs out the bottom (hence why you need holes in the bottom of your pot.)

Keep the compost flowing. Each spring, you should add a new layer of compost around your geraniums. Place 2 inches (5.1 cm) of mulch on top of this layer of composted soil. The mulch will help to keep the soil moist, and will also reduce the number of weeds brave enough to grow around your geraniums. [5] X Research source

Keep your plant healthy by removing dead flowers. After the flower has bloomed, remove the dead flowers and parts of the plant so that it can regrow healthy and strong. [6] X Research source Remove leaves and stalks that have died (they will be brown in color) so that your plant does not grow any fungus (which appears on dead parts of plants.)

Separate your plants every three to four years. Once your plants have grown large (and most likely extended their boundaries a good deal,) you should separate the plants. Divide the plants in late spring. To do this, lift the plants (and their roots) out of the ground, separate the plants by the clumps they have grown around their stems, and replant them.

Fertilize with liquid fertilizer such as 20-20-20. [7] X Research source Follow the directions on the fertilizer to know how much to use. Try to keep from getting fertilizer on the plant leaves. Repeat the application once every two weeks during active growing seasons. [8] X Research source

I had the same problem. I stopped watering them for a week and then watered them less regularly and it worked a treat!

Lift the plants from the garden in the fall. Brush off excess dirt from the roots and hang them in a cool cellar. In the spring, cut back the stems 6″ and replant.

There are different types of geraniums. Some are annual flowers, and some are perennials. Therefore, it really depends on which type you get as to how long they will last.

Trim them in the fall. Trim the tops to get them bushy. Trim around the side of the plant to get them taller.

They will die back, but so long as they are well rooted (given at least six weeks to mature in that spot), then they will survive.

Soil that is too dry will cause the yellowing. Remember, the soil should be moist/damp and well-drained. Geraniums do not like wet soil; it can cause root rot, which is the equivalent of drowning the plant. On the other hand, it could be that your plant is too dry. Plants that are too dry will usually turn yellow one leaf at a time as they die off.

Zonal geraniums grow best in rich, well-draining soil that has a pH level of between 5.8 and 6.3, which is slightly less acidic than what other geraniums prefer.

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Geranium plants can be rooted. Break off a stem and remove the bottom leaves. Root in rooting medium as you would other cuttings.

Grow geraniums by themselves in containers or mix them in with other plants to make garden containers. Geranium flowers blend well with lots of other plants.

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About This Article

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 21 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 450,139 times.

To grow geraniums, start by finding a spot where the plant will have 5-6 hours of sunlight a day. If you’re using a pot for your geraniums, make sure it has holes in the bottom so the soil doesn’t get too soggy. Then, time your planting for after the last hard frost if you want to plant your flowers outside. Start by tilling your soil so it’s loose, and mix in 2-4 inches of compost to give it as much nutrients as possible. As you plant, space your flowers 6 inches to 2 feet apart, depending on the variety of geranium you’ve picked. For more tips from our Gardening reviewer, including how to prune your geraniums to keep them healthy and strong, keep reading!

How to grow F1 Hybrid Geraniums from seed

Geranium and pelargonium plants are a quintessential part of summer bedding displays and a quick way to fill empty pots and borders. But if you prefer to sow your own how to overwinter geraniums if you need a few tips.

Geranium seeds take between 18-20 weeks to mature and produce flowers. This is influenced by the time of year the seeds are sown, as well as light levels and temperature.

How to sow geranium seeds

Keep your geranium seeds moist to encourage germination
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Sow your geranium seeds in moist, free-draining seed compost in a seed tray or small pot. Space the seeds out so that each has space to germinate, and cover with a thin layer of compost or vermiculite.

Water gently after sowing with a fine rose or mist spray. Cover the seed container with a sheet of glass or a polythene bag and seal with an elastic band. Turn the glass daily and remove once the seedlings have germinated. Ensure that the compost stays moist, but not wet.

What temperature is best for germinating geranium seeds?

Your geranium seeds need to be kept at the correct temperature to germinate
Image: Geranium ‘Quantum Red’ from Thompson & Morgan

It’s essential that a steady and warm soil temperature of between 70-75F (21-24C) is maintained to germinate geranium seeds. If you have one, use an electric propagator to guarantee the correct environment. Kept at the correct temperature, your seeds will take between 3 and 21 days to germinate. Don’t give up if it takes a little while.

An important factor in the successful germination of geranium seeds is constant moisture during the early stages. If the seed starts to germinate and the delicate young root comes into contact with dry compost, it will probably not survive.

Once the plants have germinated, the temperature can be reduced somewhat. Air temperature is what causes mature geranium plants to flower.

How to transplant your geranium seedlings

Plant your geraniums in swathes for a carpet of bright colours
Image: Geranium ‘Border Supreme’ F2 Hybrid from Thompson & Morgan

There are two stages to transplanting your young geranium seedlings:

  • Prick out your geranium seedlings into boxes as soon as they’re large enough to handle, which may be as early as 7-10 days after sowing.
  • Pot on your geranium seedlings into 3-4in (7.5cm) pots 5-6 weeks after sowing. In each case use a light, well drained potting compost and water them in gently.

How to care for geranium seedlings

After pricking out, maintain an air temperature of 65F (18C) at night and 70F (21C) during the day. Keep at these levels for 1-2 weeks to encourage rooting, and then gradually reduce the temperature down to 55-60F (13-15C) at night, 6-8 weeks after potting.

During the day, the temperature can be allowed to rise to 70-75F (21-24C) – plants will take longer to develop in low temperatures. To get flowers in early July the temperature can be reduced to 65F (18C) after germination (or pricking out if applicable) and two months after sowing reduced again to 45F (7C). It’s impossible to be entirely definite about this timing because varieties vary in their natural rate of maturity, and light levels also play a significant part.

How to care for young geranium plants

Feed your geraniums regularly to keep them covered in blooms
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Give your geranium plants adequate space to ensure good air circulation and healthy growth. There should be enough space between each plant so that the leaves are not touching. This roughly equates to four young plants per square foot of garden bed.

Geraniums need regular feeding whilst growing. Hungry geraniums will start to display stunted growth and yellow leaves. To avoid this, feed regularly with liquid fertiliser 3-4 weeks after transplanting and water your geraniums to keep them moist. Too little water will slow down growth and flowering.

Can you sow geranium seeds in Autumn?

Grow Geranium ‘Maverick Star’ for stunning two toned blush coloured flower
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Recent research has revealed another successful approach to raising geraniums from seed. Now that heating and insulation equipment is more sophisticated, there is an argument for sowing seed in autumn and overwintering the young plants.

If you want to give this method a try, sow seed in October when ambient temperatures are still fairly high. Grow your young plants through the winter and spring, keeping them at around 45F (7C). Autumn sowing saves on fuel compared with January sowing, and produces earlier flowering and healthier plants.

Feed your geranium plants regularly and pay attention to disease control, especially on overwintered plants. Fumigation with a fungicide is preferable to spraying the leaves and stem. Spring-sown plants are best watered using a capillary system but autumn-sown plants should be watered by hand to avoid waterlogged compost in the winter months when growth is slow. If you are overwintering young geranium plants in a heated space, use the warmth to overwinter other tender perennials like fuchsias and begonias. This will make the most of your insulation and fuel.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to sowing your own geranium seed. For even more information about growing and caring for geraniums, check out our geranium hub page which guides you to some of the best online resources available. Share your own geraniums with us on our Facebook page or use the hashtag #YourTMGarden on Instagram.