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Geraniums, Pelargoniums and Erodiums: gerianaceae from seed? Winter sowing?

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Forum: Geraniums, Pelargoniums and ErodiumsReplies: 14, Views: 126
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tabasco
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH
(Zone 6a)

September 13, 2004
2:23 PM

Post #1047137

Hi!---Would like to know from all the g. experts if anyone's had success growing g. from seed. If so, which ones? I am especially interested in 'roxanne', 'purple pillow', maybe 'brookside'--or are these best done from cuttings or division? Thought maybe 'winter sowing' would be a possibility...otherwise, I should probably buy some plants now and get them in...any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. t.

This message was edited Sep 13, 2004 10:27 AM
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


September 14, 2004
5:25 AM

Post #1048490

Tobasco, I am no geranium expert, but I have grown them from seed. As with most plants, cultivars may not come true from seed, however. Maybe one of our geranium experts can tell you which ones to try. Most of the geraniums I started from seed were up to size and blooming the second year...some in the first year. I start my seeds quite early indoors. Seeds will not all germinate at once, so be patient. I should think winter sowing would do well.
sueone
Weymouth, Dorset
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

September 15, 2004
3:41 PM

Post #1050475

I'm no geranium expert either, but I tend to sow most of my perrenials (hardy geraniums included) about now.I've been sowing seeds from about middle August, and will continue to do so until about October. These are mostly kept in an upright cold-frame over winter, and pricked out in Spring. Up till now this has worked well for me.

In fact, I have amongst those I've sown so far, a tray of G. Purple Haze seedlings. I've also just pricked out some G madarense 'guernsey white'.

Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


September 15, 2004
5:07 PM

Post #1050599

I doubt that winter sowing would work here, as such. The seeds would not germinate until spring, at any rate, and would get a late start. I start mine in late winter indoors... around February, then set them out. Our autumn is a fairly short affair. This morning's temp was 34.7F, so summer is definitely over. Seedlings that came up in the last month or so would most likely not survive our winter in a cold frame. The weather in Ohio is different than ours, but the winters colder. I'm not sure when they can expect first freeze.

sueone
Weymouth, Dorset
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

September 16, 2004
7:21 AM

Post #1051836

we're lucky in that I'm near the coast, so it's fairly mild here, only an occassional light frost (is that tempting fate? )
The biggest disapointmant I had with winter sowing one year, is the gales we get here. I went out one morning after a nights of gusting winds, to find my frame that I have all my seeds in had been blown over, and there was seedlings, compost every where, i was in tears, trying to scoop up what I could salvage, which wasn't much.
lesson learnt, i put 2 large breeze-blocks in the bottom, and only sow half of the seeds, so that I have some left in case of disasters.
tabasco
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH
(Zone 6a)

September 16, 2004
12:24 PM

Post #1051937

OK, then, I will give g. seeds a try this fall and see what happens. I read somewhere that they take some patience, so I better get started. Thanks for the info. t.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


September 16, 2004
3:09 PM

Post #1052183

Sueone, I have known such disappointments myself. One year I had a cat that used my flat as a sandbox, and another year, I left a flat on the washer during spin cycle and it fell off. I scooped up all the soil and patted it down... called the whole thing 'Washer Mix'. It seems we both live in coastal areas, but our temps drop lower in th winter. It can freeze hard here, but we often have rain in the winter months. Do your summers get hot?

Tabasco, that sounds like a good plan. By dividing the seed and trying both methods, you are bound to be successful. It just occurred to me that you may be referring to pelargonium rather than hardy geranium... is that the case? If so, they really need an early start and likely won't winter over outside in your cold winters. I start pelargoniums in December indoors in order to get blooms in the same year.

By the way, there are some threads concerning winter sowing here in Dave's Garden... particularly, pop bottle winter sowing. You might use the search to find them.
sueone
Weymouth, Dorset
United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

September 16, 2004
3:52 PM

Post #1052252

No, we don't seem to get a lot of definitions between our seasons any more.
Winters are generally wet, windy and miserable, summers ,dry and not particularly hot.

Apart from last year when we had a heat wave at the end of summer, that was fab.

This summer though has been a bit of a wash out, plenty of rain, and cloudy skies, and a few odd sunny days.

there's always next year.

Alaska is one place that I'd love to visit, we're hoping to go on a trip to iceland and Greenland in the next couple of years.

tabasco, hope they go alright for you.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


September 16, 2004
3:59 PM

Post #1052265

It sounds like you have some really gardening challenges, as I do, Sueone. Our summers are usually quite moist, but this summer was hot and dry. Our usual crops didn't fare so well. We are surrounded by mountains on three sides and Resurrection Bay on the other, so inclement weather gets trapped here. The dry summer meant we had to do lots of watering... not a usual thing here. The seasons do seem to be changing here. The winters are milder, the summers hotter.
tabasco
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH
(Zone 6a)

September 16, 2004
6:24 PM

Post #1052469

Thanks again, sueone and weezin., Yes, I was talking about hardy geraniums and I have looked up the wintersowing techniques on the forum. I tried the 'summer sowing' method the last few months and had some success with other seeds...

Yes, I think everyone's climates have changed in the past several years, and as gardeners we are more sensitive to it than most. Of course, you might say Alaska and Dorset are pretty exotic places weatherwise compared to Cincinnati, and would be subject to most 'interesting' weather changes.

That's not to say that seed starting is helped at all by knocking the tray off washer or having your cat help things along, but that happens here, too! That makes me think I should just buy one h. geranium and divide it!

Happy gardening. t.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


September 17, 2004
6:16 AM

Post #1053324

Tabasco, try the seeds.. it should be fun to experiment. Next spring, contact me, and if my hardy geraniums all winter over, we can do a trade.
psilo
Bolton, Greater Manc
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

October 3, 2004
1:27 PM

Post #1077361

Ey up guess!! who is back fitter and better than ever!!! lol

I have done trials of winter sowing versus spring sowing and I would err on the side of spring sowing every time. Some geraniums will germinate now but many varieties struggle through the winter months and can become weak plants. Spring sown plants soon catch up and grow on much stronger. I store my seed in the fridge over winter and then sow in early March. Many will germinate within 6-8 weeks and can be planted out once big enough.
As for the geraniums you were interested in growing from seed. Rozanne is almost totally sterile and produces virtually no seed. Brookside will not come raliably true from seed but will certainly produce some interesting variations.
Hope this helps :)
tabasco
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 3, 2004
2:09 PM

Post #1077412

Thanks, psilo, for your note and I'm glad you're back on line and feeling better. (I wondered why you were so quiet on my question.) I went ahead and bought a few plants--brookside, splish splash--and put them in.

Could not find any Rozannes this late in the season and no Purple Pillows, either, so I will try in the spring. I already have some Claridge Druce and will collect some seeds and try those in the spring as you advise (also the Brookside).

By the way, I checked your web site before and it is wonderful. Thank you so much for all the info! t.
psilo
Bolton, Greater Manc
United Kingdom
(Zone 8a)

October 3, 2004
4:21 PM

Post #1077544

Hi Tabasco. Brookside and splish splash are great plants though do watch out for brookside as it does grow rather big. As for seeds I wouldnt bother sowing seeds of claridge druce. This geranium germinates EVERYWHERE and you will never be short of plants that you can dig up and move elsewhere lol!
Thanks for the compliments on the website. I have currently been upgrading it but still have a fair amount to do.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


October 3, 2004
9:47 PM

Post #1077968

Psilo! So glad to see you posting. I got some nice plants from the seeds you sent, and I'm looking forward to seeing if they winter over well here. Regardless, I'll be ordering more seed for next spring. I hope you've had good seed collecting this fall. LOL!

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Other Geraniums, Pelargoniums and Erodiums Threads you might be interested in:

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Never grew these before.. Brugie 21 May 3, 2007 2:20 PM
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Overwintering - dumb question, I know AlohaHoya 28 Mar 19, 2007 4:00 PM
Hardy Geranium resource links, info, and pics? tabasco 46 Jul 26, 2007 7:26 PM
Plain ole standard geranium....how cold can i let them get?? sticks_n_stones 12 Mar 30, 2007 2:12 AM


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