Re: [IGS] Seed Propagation of Hardy Geraniums


Dear Dale:

I grow many species of hardy geraniums from seed each year.  They are
easy, particularly if you start them off in the spring.  You should have
good germination (at least 70%) if the seed is plump and undamaged.  Age
does not seem to be a factor in successful germination.  I have held
seed for 10-15 years in a cool, dry place and germinated it with no
problem.

There are many different ways of doing things, but what I do is as
follows:  I use a magnifier on a stand with a light, and I have a pair
of very fine tweezers (the kind that are sold in hardware stores to
remove splinters).  I pick up the seed under the magnifier using the
tweezers, and peel off the outer coat, if it has one.  The outer coat is
like a second skin and is hairy.  Inside, the seed itself is smooth, and
has a fat and a thin end.  I puncture the fat end with one of the points
of the tweezers, just a light nick, really; then I sow the seed in a
sterilized fine potting soil to a depth of approximately 1/8 to 1/4
inch; water with a very fine spray, and put the container in a light,
bright but not sunny location until germination occurs.  If springtime
temperatures are low, or if you are starting seeds inside,  heating
cables which keep the temperature at between 68-70 degrees F are
necessary.

I think Thompson and Morgan gave Geranium pratense 'Striatum' an
additional name 'Splish Splash'.  It really doesn't need it, the old
name was perfectly fine.  It is a lovely plant.  Sometimes the flowers
will have petals of one color only, and the other colors will appear
later in the season. Most of those expensive seeds should germinate!

I have just sown eight flats of seeds while listening to Books on Tape.
January is seed sowing month in Zone 9b.

Regards.

Robin.



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