print font size How to grow geraniums from seed so they grow beautifully
If you buy new seedlings from supermarkets every year, overwinter your original plants or possibly propagate them by cuttings, it can easily happen that you are disappointed in the summer. Your boxes don't look like you'd imagine. Geraniums do not grow very well, they have few leaves and especially flowers, they suffer from various diseases.
But you can change that this year. Grow your own geraniums from seed. It is a bit more demanding, but the result is definitely worth it. You can find them at gardeners' stores or online. Both overhanging pelargonium, which is especially suitable for hanging containers, and upright pelargonium, ideal for boxes.
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Do not underestimate the choice of seeds
They are not seeds like seeds. If you decide to grow geraniums at home, get high-quality seeds. It's better to forget about any old seeds from friends or those found on an advertisement and buy seeds in specialized stores. It is specially treated and the producers guarantee that you will get at least 80 to 90 percent of the seeds. They are not usually cheap, but if you follow the correct sowing procedure and subsequent care, success is guaranteed. You will grow healthy, abundantly leafy and profusely flowering seedlings.
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When is the right time
The ideal time for sowing is January to February. It depends on how bright a place you can provide the plants. With good light conditions, proper fertilization and a temperature of around 20 °C, they bloom already in May. But a bright location is really important for seedlings. If you don't have such a suitable place for them, wait until February to sow them. They will bloom for you later, but for longer.
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Let the seeds pre-germinate
Although you can sow the seeds directly into the substrate, it is better to let them germinate first in a bowl on moist filter paper, covered with foil. They will begin to germinate in 3-7 days. Carefully use tweezers to transfer the sprouted seedlings into the prepared substrate. Store them shallowly with the first cotyledons above the surface.
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Choose the right substrate
For sowing, use the best purchased growing substrate with a low content of nutrients and an additive of peat. Don't worry, in the first period the plants will make do with the supply of nutrients stored in the seeds. However, it is important to prepare the substrate well so that it does not contain mold and fungus germs. You do this by steaming it thoroughly before use, e.g. in a cloth bag in the oven or a sterilization pot at a temperature of about 90 °C for 20 min. And don't forget to disinfect the containers you want to use for sowing. For that you need, for example, an ordinary Savo.
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Choose a suitable location
The most suitable daily temperature throughout the growing period should be around 20 °C. Night time can be a little lower. It is important that the pelargonium seedlings are in a bright place all the time, as close as possible to the window. But make sure that they are at a sufficient distance from the glass, about 8-10 centimeters is enough. Otherwise, they could freeze during frosts, and the sharp midday sun could burn them again. Radiant central heating can be another problem.
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Transplant the young plants
After about 2 months, when the plants already have several green leaves, transplant them into pots with a diameter of about 11 centimeters. This time, use a substrate richer in nutrients, the seedlings have already used up theirs. The one intended for growing geraniums is the most suitable. You'd better steam it too and disinfect the flower pots. In a few weeks you will have bushy bushes with the first flowers. In the third stage, you will transplant the geraniums once more, in boxes. But wait until after the "ice men".
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Don't forget the fertilizer
Since geraniums are very demanding on nutrients, start fertilizing the small plants when they have about 5 true leaves the size of five to ten crowns. You can use any liquid full fertilizer suitable for geraniums. Use a low concentration (0.1%) for small plants, gradually increase it up to 0.4% for older plants. Fertilize at 7-10 day intervals. And don't forget the dressing either. It must be proportionate so that the substrate is neither too dry nor too wet.