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Question on geraniums

Dog Dancer
March 18th, 2010, 02:23 PM
Okay, every year my husband spends literally hundreds of dollars on geraniums. Can they be grown from seed or something in a greenhouse?? I know that sometimes they will overwinter, but we haven't had a lot of success with that, they tend to get mildew even with the heat in the greenhouse and then they don't get a good start in the spring. Help!! Everyone that goes by tells me how lovely the flowers are in the summer, but I hate going broke to get there.

Melinda
March 18th, 2010, 02:38 PM
I bring mine in every year in pots, keep them in the basement (only one window high up) I water slightly every 4 weeks and remove leaves/stems as they die off , in march I bring them up to my bathtub, give them all a good shower, then keep them in my sunroom/porch until mothers day when I put them outside.

Dog Dancer
March 18th, 2010, 02:48 PM
I don't have any indoor windows that I could put them, we normally have about 35 pots with three to four plants in each pot. We're talking serious volume of geraniums here.:laughing:

14+kitties
March 18th, 2010, 03:13 PM
If you don't head the flowers once they are done and allow some to go to seed you can start your own in your greenhouse. It requires a great deal of patience and also timing to get the seed at the right time. Most people don't like the look of dead flowerheads on their plants so they remove them. I will try to remember to grab some seeds out of my greenhouse and take a picture so you know what you are looking for.
When you are doing geraniums from seed you have to start them in mid December in order for them to be big enough for the warm weather. There are some growth activators you can add as well but they can get dicey. I prefer to let nature take it's course.
You may have more success with overwintering if you cut the plant back severely at the start. Cut down to just above the first joint on the main shoots. You can also do cuttings which is what the big greenhouse operations do. Start them in mid Jan to mid Feb. Cut under a joint and remove all but three or four leaves. Dip in root activator which you can get just about anywhere. WM and Canadian Tire carry it. Put this in a mixture of equal parts peat moss and vermiculite and water well. After that water sparingly trying not to get the top leaves wet as that is what causes the mildew. If you can water from the bottom that is ideal. Wm and Canadian Tire have those seed starting kits. They are great for starting cuttings too.
Hope that helps a little.

Dog Dancer
March 18th, 2010, 03:24 PM
Thanks 14+ and Melinda. Seems I've missed the boat for this year doesn't it... Oh well. I will keep these notes though and apply them next year.

Melinda
March 18th, 2010, 03:42 PM
I've done the cuttings...but never the seeding....I'd like to see pics of it too....|*head hung in shame* I'm one of those that hates seeing a yellow leaf of a half dead flower on my gerrainiums *L* I deadhead them every single morning and I have about 30 of them *L*

14+kitties
March 18th, 2010, 07:45 PM
This is the geranium seed. After finding one on a dead flower head you will recognize what they are. But, you have to make sure you don't deadhead or you will never get them. Let the flower die. Look closely and you will see the little white "tail" of the seed emerging from the pod. It's a pretty neat process. It is the dark part that is the seed. The tail and the little curlyque parts are what aid it in travelling in the wind.
Not all heads produce seeds though. Again, after a while you will recognize the pods on the flower. It's very difficult to explain. Just takes practice.
This is one of the only times I am jealous of people who live in warmer climates. Geraniums are actually perennials there. :( So are cyclamen and quite a few others.

Dog Dancer
March 18th, 2010, 09:55 PM
Thank you 14+. I will let a few of the pots he keeps in the back yard go to seed this year and see if I can grab some seeds. I'll also give him the info on how to prune them back. I knew you would have the answers for me. Tks. again.

14+kitties
March 18th, 2010, 10:15 PM
Thank you 14+. I will let a few of the pots he keeps in the back yard go to seed this year and see if I can grab some seeds. I'll also give him the info on how to prune them back. I knew you would have the answers for me. Tks. again.

You are welcome mf. It is difficult to see the white tail in the picture I took but you can see it's shadow. That is what you will notice first until you get used to watching for the seed pods. Actually, you don't have to let all of the flowers go to seed. Just allow maybe one on each plant in an area not seen. You can collect the seed throughout the growing season and keep it in an envelope in the fridge. Not a plastic baggie. It tends to get dampish and the seeds mould. Don't get discouraged if your seeds don't all start for you. They can be difficult without the right conditions. That's why it is sometimes easier to do cuttings.

If you can find the book - Success with Cuttings - Chris and Valerie Wheeler - they do a great job of describing what to do when you are doing cuttings. The book has tons of pictures that guide you through the steps. It's very helpful. They also have Success with Seeds which is an interesting read as well.

Melinda
March 19th, 2010, 07:23 AM
ohhh thank you for posting the pics, now at least I'll know what to watch for!!!

Dog Dancer
March 22nd, 2010, 09:53 PM
Sorry it took me a while to get back here. Thanks for the further info 14+. Hubby immediately went out and bought seeds - :eek: were they ever expensive. 6 seeds for $5.00. Mind you it's cheaper than $3.50 per plant that they want right now. Of course even though he's late with it he had to go ahead and plant a few just to see what happens... I told him we can let the geraniums in the back yard go to seed and keep the front yard looking pretty.

I will look for that book - thanks for the tip.

Tundra_Queen
March 22nd, 2010, 11:58 PM
Hi

I've grown geraniums from seeds and it's not hard, they just take a few months to get big enough to flower.

I have also taken full grown geraniums out of the garden in the fall,,shaken all the dirt off the roots and put them upside in a papgerbag,,close the bag and put them in the basement. They will die back and then pot them up again in say January, seeing as your season starts before mine. I also knew a lady, the one who told me about doing this,,,that pulled them out of the ground and instead of putting them in paper bags, she hung them upside on a clothesline under the basement stairs. She had geraniums her sons gave her in highschool for 25 years! When u repot them give them just a tiny bit of water until they recover so they don't rot.

Debbie

14+kitties
March 23rd, 2010, 08:35 AM
Hi

I've grown geraniums from seeds and it's not hard, they just take a few months to get big enough to flower.

I have also taken full grown geraniums out of the garden in the fall,,shaken all the dirt off the roots and put them upside in a papgerbag,,close the bag and put them in the basement. They will die back and then pot them up again in say January, seeing as your season starts before mine. I also knew a lady, the one who told me about doing this,,,that pulled them out of the ground and instead of putting them in paper bags, she hung them upside on a clothesline under the basement stairs. She had geraniums her sons gave her in highschool for 25 years! When u repot them give them just a tiny bit of water until they recover so they don't rot.

Debbie

Yep, sometimes that method is quite successful. I also know people it has never worked for. Depends on the conditions of the environment. 25 year old geraniums! :eek: Normally they won't last near that long.
Seeds are expensive and can be iffy to grow if taken at the wrong time and also if over watered when growing. That is the number one cause of them not surviving. That's why it's nice to be able to collect your own.

Melinda
March 23rd, 2010, 09:24 AM
my old german neighbour use to pull them from the ground, plop them in sand buckets and shove them under his mobile home for the winter (a bit of heat was blown downwards) and every spring he'd pull them back out, he also kept cabbages and carrots like that also and ate them fresh all winter long...his (geraniums) were also quite old! he's been gone 9 yrs and I still have one of his white ones on the go