Geranium Seeds

Grow these popular garden staples from seed.



pelargonium seedlings in peat pellets, february

Photo by: Chris Burrows

Chris Burrows

Mature plants with bushy blooms may be what you envision when you think about fplanting geraniums in your yard. However, if you enjoy growing plants from seed you can start ivy or garden geraniums from seed and later transfer them into your beds or containers. You’ll not only be able to take pride in starting a garden from seed but also enjoy the bounty of their beauty around your garden. Here’s what you need to know to get started.  

Types of Seeds

As noted above, three types of geraniums—ivy, scented and garden or zonal — can be started from seeds found at local nurseries or through online seed retailers. If you aren’t familiar with these types of geraniums, common garden geraniums are characterized by upright, ball-shaped blooms in shades of red, white and pink; ivy geraniums have trailing leaves — much like that of ivy — and less pronounced blooms; and scented-leaf geraniums, as you may guess, are prized for their leaves which may have rose, citronella, mint or a number of other fragrances. 

Beyond their attractive leaves and flowering blooms in the summer, scented geraniums can serve a variety of purposes, making them all the more prized. For example, the mint and chocolate versions may be used in culinary creations where their oils are used to infuse flavor. Additionally, citronella scented-leaf geraniums have a lemon scent, and when the oil of its leaves are rubbed on the skin it can reduce the attractiveness of your flesh to mosquitoes. However, while the seeds of ivy and garden geraniums can be fairly easy to germinate, the fine dust-like seeds of the scented-leaf geranium can be difficult to get to the seedling stage, so they may be best purchased in a more mature state in order for them to thrive in your garden.  

Growing Geraniums from Seeds

For germination to occur, you’ll want to plant the seed in a small container and cover lightly with potting soil. Make sure the soil is moist but don’t overwater. Keep your container in a warm place, such as a sunroom or indoor area, that is approximately 70-75° F. In one to two weeks, you’ll begin to see shoots develop from the seed. As the shoots grow, continue to water and tend to them as needed. When the threat of a frost has passed and warmed days have arrived in your area, transfer your seedling outdoors and plant in the ground or in containers. In three to four months, you’ll have lush, blooming beauties thriving in your garden. 

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