Starting Geraniums


Geraniums add lush foliage and brightly colored blossoms to any backyard or indoor garden. Their versatility helps make them one of the most popular flower plants for gardeners, according to North Carolina State University. Outdoors, they're generally hardy up to USDA hardiness Zone 4, but indoor plants can be grown anywhere. Though most garden stores and nurseries sell started geranium plants, starting your own geraniums at home from seed can save you money.

Step 1

Place an inch of gravel on the bottom of a gallon-size pot or larger if you're growing the geraniums as a houseplant. If you're planning on transplanting the geraniums outdoors, use a seed tray or a quart-sized pot.

Step 2

Fill the pot or seed tray with commercially prepared potting soil. If no potting soil is on hand, formulate your own. Iowa State University recommends mixing equal parts of vermiculite--sand is an acceptable substitute if vermiculite isn't available--with peat moss.

Step 3

Water the soil thoroughly to moisten it. Wait 2 to 3 hours to allow any excess water to drain to the bottom of the pot.

Step 4

Plant the geranium seeds. Bury each seed 1/8 inch under the soil surface at a rate of one seed per pot or seed tray compartment.

Step 5

Moisten the soil surface again, then cover the pot or seed tray with plastic wrap. This traps the moisture inside the pot and helps keep the soil consistently moist.

Step 6

Place the pot or seed tray near a sunny window but out of direct sunlight. The ideal temperature for starting geraniums is approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants will start growing within one week, according to Iowa State University.

Step 7

Transplant the seedlings outdoors if you don't plan on growing them as houseplants. Seedlings are ready for transplanting once they're 2 to 3 inches tall. Geranium plants thrive in full sun and in well-drained soil, according to the University of Rhode Island.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never reuse potting soil that was previously used to start seeds. Such soil may contain bacteria or fungi that may kill the germinating geraniums.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Gravel
  • Potting mix
  • Geranium seeds
  • Plastic wrap


  • "Geraniums: The Complete Encyclopedia"; Faye Brawner; 2003
  • Iowa State University: Growing Geraniums From Seed
  • University of Rhode Island: Growing Geraniums
  • North Carolina State University: Geranium Culture for Home Gardeners
Keywords: starting geranium plants, planting geranium seeds, growing geraniums

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.