Q: Geranium flower seeds are so expensive to purchase, and since I have some geraniums in bloom right now, (soon to get a frost, up here in canada) I would appreciate if any one could tell me what to look for in collecting the seed, when is it ready for picking, and when the seed should be started for plants for the following year.
Shirley from Edmonton
A: If you've been deadheading your plants, stop pinching off the dead blooms so that you can prepare to collect the seeds. Because the pods of some geraniums are botanically designed to "launch" their seeds, a great way to collect geranium seeds is to tie a cloth bag around the flower to catch the seeds as they fall. Let the blooms die off naturally, and don't worry about frost. In most varieties, seeds are small, dark brown and oval in shape. Sow them indoors in early February and they should be ready to bloom around 12-16 weeks later. Seeds may need to be cold treated or nicked to encourage germination. Provide 12-14 hours of light per day and daytime temperatures of 70-75°F (60-65°F at night). Geraniums can also be propagated from stem cuttings.
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By Jackie, from Oregon (Guest Post)02/05/2008
You didn't mention how fascinating geranium seeds are! They have a sharp point on one end, and a tiny spiral appendage comes out of the other -- as it dries it unfolds white hairs above the corkscrew-like spiral so it can blow around on the wind ("launch" as you said) -- BUT, when it hits the ground, it does something amazing -- the heavier sharp end sticks in the dirt and the changing moisture content of the air causes the top to unwind and SCREW it into the ground!
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