From time immemorial, geraniums have been one of the most popular plants. The flowers of these plants are known to be an excellent essential oil, and have been used in aromatherapy for many years now. These plants can be grown from cuttings, but they can also be grown from their seeds. Plants grown from the latter have excellent disease-resistant properties, can tolerate high temperatures, grow quite fast, and are free-flowing.
Collecting Geranium Seeds
Once the flowers fertilize, the petals start falling off. The style then thickens and lengthens rapidly to form the rostrum, a sac-like structure which contains the seeds. There are five segments of the rostrum, and each of them contains a seed each. When the rostrum dries completely, the seeds come out, and each of them is attached to a mericarp. You should collect them when they are ripe enough, but they should not eject from the rostrum. When the rostrum becomes slightly dark, and they start lifting from the mericarps, it's an indication that they are ripe enough. In most plants, the seeds ripen all at once, but there are some species where they unevenly ripen. So, while collecting them from such plants, you may need time to collect enough of them. You need to store them in a paper bag till you want to plant them.
How to Grow Geraniums From Seeds?
This is not that tough, but you need to be patient as they take a long time to mature. You need to sow the seeds around the middle of February, and after about two weeks, flowering starts. You can also opt to plant a series of them like Multibloom, Maverick, Orbit, and Elite, as their characteristics are similar, but the flower colors are different.
The best soil conditions for the growth of these plants are Redi-earth and Jiffy mix. A serious problem during this period includes damping-off, which is caused by fungus and can destroy the seeds. So, make sure that the containers are clean, and adequate drainage has been provided, so as to prevent the growth of fungus. If you are thinking of planting them in a used container, make sure that you have washed and disinfected it.
For planting them, you need to fill a container with soil, about an inch from the top, and firm it up. Water the container and sow the seeds, ensuring that each of them is about 3 inches from each other. Once you have sown them, water them by either submerging the container in water and then letting the water to drain, or you can also use a soft spray.
Make sure that you maintain uniform moisture levels throughout the germination period. For this, you can cover it with a plastic doom or a food wrap, and keep the container in bright light, but away from direct sunlight. The ideal temperature during germination period should be between 70 - 75° F. Within the next 7 to 10 days, the seeds would begin to germinate. As soon as they start germinating, make sure that you remove the plastic covering. The small saplings should be placed near a sunny window, or you can also opt to place them under a fluorescent light. Once the saplings show signs of leaf growth, you can transplant each of them to an individual container.
Scented geranium is a popular variety among these species, as it is easy to maintain. These plants grow to about one to three feet in height, and can be easily grown in hanging baskets, planters, and pots. While planting them, make sure that you provide the plant with full sunshine during spring, winter, and fall; however, in the summer, half a day of sunshine would be enough. While watering, ensure that you water the plant thoroughly and make the soil wet. If the temperature outside falls below 32º F, you should place the plant inside your house, or else it would die.
These plants can grow in the wild as well and are usually grown from perennial geranium seeds. Wild flowers are found in clusters, and the plants grow to about 12 to 24 inches in height. When the wild flowers mature and form seeds, they can be collected and planted in your backyard. Their attractive flowers and foliage make this variety one of the most sought-after among all types.
Thus, you can opt to grow them in your backyard, or collect some from the wild. From wherever you collect them, make sure that you take good care of them.