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Variety: Geranium F1 'Palladium Red'
No. of Seeds: 16
Germination Temp: 15 - 18C
Ideal Plant Spacing: For this variety ideal plant spacing is 40cm apart, or 3 in a large container.
Sow Seeds from: Feb - April
Zonal Pelargoniums, more often called Geraniums, are relatively easy to grow from seed and are ideal for summer bedding and as seasonal patio plants. Geranium seeds, including those of the popular F1 bedding varieties, are best lightly sown in trays or boxes under glass from January to March.
It takes around 16 to 18 weeks from sowing to flowering, so time your sowing times to correspond with preferred flowering times. Drainage is important in order to prevent moisture build-up, which can cause damping off, so use a free draining seed compost and sprinkle seeds evenly over the surface. Lightly cover with sifted seed compost to a depth of around 1mm and cover the trays with polythene or glass.
Stand the trays in water to absorb moisture rather than watering overhead. When the compost is obviously wet, move the trays to a warm, light and airy position. When the seeds have germinated, remove the covering and transplant to modular trays using a free draining seed compost and then water in.
The germination period should take around 5 days with temperatures at around 22-24C. After 5-6 weeks the plants will be ready to be transplanted again into 7.5cm pots. Use a well drained potting compost and water the plants in.
Harden off the plants by reducing the temperature or by placing them into cold frames 10 days prior to planting out. The plants will be ready for planting into beds or pots from the end of May after any last frosts.
Growing in beds or containers
If growing geraniums for bedding then ensure the beds are situated in a sunny position and are well prepared at least 4 weeks in advance, incorporating plenty of organic matter. Again drainage is important for geraniums so ensure the soil drains freely. Use a trowel and plant from the pots to the bedding areas at a distance of 30cm apart. Water the plants after transplanting.
Geraniums will grow equally well in large containers but must be kept well-watered during dry conditions. Fill containers with quality peat based potting compost and add some slow release fertiliser to give them a boost. Space plants at around 20-30cm apart. Place the containers in a sunny position and water well after planting.
Geraniums in beds, borders and containers will all benefit from a regular liquid feed at least once per week, after 3-4 weeks from planting and throughout the growing season. They do like plenty of light and will flower profusely in sunny positions. Remove dead heads and dying leaves regularly and keep the planted areas free from weeds.
Most bedding type geraniums are trouble free but Pelargonium Rust can sometimes be a problem. It is most often noticed during prolonged damp spells during the late summer months and can be controlled by either removing affected leaves or in severe cases, by spraying with a fungicide.
In persistent rainy conditions, flowers that become weather damaged may develop a botrytis mould so should be removed when any signs appear, to prevent further spreading of the disease.
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