The Q&A Archives: Geranium Germination

Question: I planted 160 of your Big Red Geraniums and not one germinated. You replaced them and again, none germinated. I bought another variety and none germinated. Marigolds, Pansies, Petunias, Begonias, and Tomatoes all came up in record time. What am I doing wrong?

Answer: Geranium seeds benefit from a pre-chill prior to germinatoin. If you sow seeds in flats in the autumn, you can sink the flats into the ground next to a north-facing wall, cover with plexiglass, and leave them there all winter. Then in the spring take the flats indoors and keep them at 70F - 75F until the seeds sprout. If you start seeds indoors in the spring, give them a pre-chill treatment in the refrigerator. Just sow in trays on the surface of moistened seed starting mix and barely cover with additional mix. Seal each tray in a plastic bag, and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Then remove the plastic and sink the trays into the ground in a shady location outdoors. Keep the soil moist. Germination will take from 3-90 days so don't give up on your seedlings!

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