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Pelargonium Seeds

Preparation (Optional)

Remove the outer coating of the seed.  The only part it plays in nature is for dispersal and to ‘drive’ the seed into the ground once it has landed.  To do this, use a pair of tweezers and careful peel off the outer coating, which should reveal a tan coloured, oval seed.  This step is not 100% necessary and will only speed up germination by a few weeks.

Sowing

Surface sow on a good quality compost, to which has been added some extra sand.  Gently water in with a fungicide (optional), a hand sprayer is best as this helps bed the seeds in.  Seal in a plastic bag and place somewhere warm and bright.  Now the very important bit:  the seeds will only germinate if there is a clear difference of 10 C (18 F) between day and night temperatures.  So this means that a propagator is not always the best place to germinate these, a windowsill is perhaps better.  I germinate mine in a greenhouse in the late spring (once the heating is OFF), this way I get the required difference.   Prepared seeds will take 1 – 21 days to germinate; unprepared will take 3 – 8 weeks.  The failure to observe the temperature differences required is probably the single most common cause of failure with Pelargonium seeds.

After-care

When large enough to handle, pot up into individual pots and grow on.  There is a wealth of information on the web about regimes for species Pelargonium and I do not have space to go into them here.  If you need further information, email me at bob_b@bsquared.demon.co.uk and I will be glad to help.