Zonal versus Seed Geraniums

What's the difference between zonal and seed geraniums
What is the difference between Zonal and Seed Geraniums?

Zonal and seed geraniums are both upright growing geraniums but they have several distinct differences that you should know before planting in your gardens.

1. Zonal geraniums are propagated by cuttings while seed geraniums are through seeds. Zonal geraniums are genetically advanced plants, propagated with the goal of producing sturdy, stronger zoned leaves and shatter-resistant flowers.

2. Zonal geraniums are faster to grow and flower faster than the seed geraniums.

3. Zonal geraniums are bigger and taller. They also bear bigger flowers and leaves than the seed 2014-04-17 14.34.02variation. Seed geraniums are a compact version of the zonal geranium growing less that one foot with smaller, more numerous flowers.

4. Zonal geraniums have 4-6 inch global flower heads that need to be deadheaded by removing the entire flower stalk down to where it meets the main stem. Seed geraniums natural shed their blooms in a process which is referred to as petal shattering. They will shed their colorful petals in a strong wind or rain storm, leaving the plant flowerless for a bit of time.
All of the geraniums that we grow at Crocker Nurseries are zonal geraniums and we take pride in growing them in our greenhouses producing what we think are the best geraniums on the Cape! We give them space to grow so they are able to be compact and spread out horizontally rather than being tall and leggy. We also only water them from the base with our Ebb and Flood watering system that fills the benches with water and once the plant has taken what is needed, it drains out. Watering from below keeps the water from landing on the geranium leaves and producing leaf spots and potential fungal diseases.
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6 thoughts on “Zonal versus Seed Geraniums”

  1. G. Van GORDEN

    Thank you for info. I pitched both seed n zonal
    Geraniums. Will watch how they compare
    In my garden.

  2. Kathy Carroll

    I bought both seed and mounded ng geraniums today. And I wanted to know he did ffere ce in rhe two. Are mounding and Zonal geraniums the same thing

    1. Crocker Nurseries

      The mounded geraniums could be either Zonal or seed. If there’s a specific name that they came with you can usually check it on google to find out which it is. Zonal usually refers to the stripe that comes on the leaves and also that it is propagated by cuttings as opposed to seed.

  3. I learned from a ‘gardening expert’ that Japanese Beetles will drop off your plant and go into a catatonic state if they eat any part of a geranium–but it must be a zonal geranium. At that point, they said a bird or other creature would come along and eat them. They stated to plant zonals –but to take care not to plant them too close to the flowers/vegetation you’re trying to protect. –thought that was interesting, but here’s my simple question: if i were to take a ‘seeded’ geranium and take a few cuttings and plant; do they become ‘zonal’? …and one more, do all zonals have to have the strip through the leaves?
    thank you!

    1. Crocker Nurseries

      Yes, that is true about geraniums and Japanese Beetles, yet another benefit of geraniums! If you take a cutting of a seeded geranium and get it to root out and grow, it will still have the identical genetics of the seed geranium, so it would still be a seed geranium. Originally, the zonal geraniums all had the striped leaves and this is what they are named for, however as more and more varieties are developed, some of them have lost the stripe in the leaves in favor of a darker green leaf or plain green leaf so you do find ones now that no longer have the stripe.

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