Get a head start when growing geraniums this spring

Iowa State University Extension
Farm Forum

AMES, Iowa – Cindy Haynes, associate professor and extension specialist in horticulture at Iowa State University, offers these tips on how to start geranium seeds before planting them outside.

Seeds need to be started eight weeks before putting them outside. The best temperature to germinate a geranium seed is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A seed germination mix is suitable for this, as the texture is super fine and ensures the seed doesn’t get lost.

“I am often very careful with watering, so I will either water from below or have a really gentle spray on top to make sure I don’t wash away any seeds,” said Haynes.

Germination domes are also an option. These domes have a plastic cover over the top to keep the seeds humid, so you do not have to water as often. They also keep the temperature stable and warm to help with germination.

The earlier the seed is started, the better. Beginning the seeding process in early March is favorable in order to have a decent size sprout to plant in late spring.

Seeds also can be planted outside if you do not plant them as soon as hoped. When planting flower seedlings, be aware of weed seedlings, which take over flower seedlings.

Getting ahead of germination will give a grower the best start to spring gardening. For more information, Haynes can be reached at 515-294-4006 or

The early that geranium seeds are started in the spring, the better. Many options for germination are available.