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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 :)
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)
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.
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!