Difference Between Zonal and Seed Geraniums

Zonal and Seed Geraniums share many of the same traits, they can grow to different sizes, colors, textures, and even develop completely new varieties. Both of these geraniums are good for one’s garden though the difference is mostly based on the choice of one and their garden’s plants.

Below are some key differences between these two varieties.

Zonal vs Seed Geraniums

The main difference between zonal and seed geraniums is the way that they are propagated. Zonal geraniums are propagated from cuttings. Seed geraniums are grown from seeds. Also, zonal geraniums produce bigger flowers and leaves than seed variations.

Zonal vs Seed Geraniums

Zonal geraniums got their name because of the dark zone surface on their leaves. These dark zones patterns look purplish-bronze or dark green.

These marks are circular. The leaves of them are quite different, they are round or kidney-shaped. Cuttings are used in zonal geraniums so the plant is exactly the copy of the mother plant.

Seed geraniums produce small flowers and the leaves are small in size as well. Though the flowers are clustered and very colorful.

Seed geraniums are seeds, which are annually grown and their lifespan is not more than a year. Also, the plant grows another set of seeds below it which later becomes flowers for the coming year.

Comparison Table Between Zonal and Seed Geraniums

Parameters of ComparisonZonal GeraniumsSeed Geraniums
Propagated throughZonal geraniums are propagated through the cutting of other plants.Seed geraniums are propagated through seeds.
CostZonal geraniums are more expensive.Seed geraniums are less expensive comparatively.
SizeThey grow taller and bigger.They grow small in size.
Growth RateThe growth rate is faster than seed geraniums.The growth rate is slower compared to zonal geraniums.
LifespanUp to a year and a half.Not more than a year.

What are Zonal Geraniums?

A Zonal geranium is artificially vegetated and grown by taking a cutting from the previous generation. They begin regenerating at the end of the season.

Mostly they are just known as geraniums as they are easily recognized in the market. Mostly, the term refers to a plant known as Pelargonium x-hortorum, in botanical terms.

The flowers which grow resemble spheres and the colors are of all types. They bloom in almost every color including blooms in shades of pink, lavender, yellow, orange, and red, except blue. Indeed, sometimes they grow in bi-colors.

And some have double petal counts as well. You will see a lot of variety in zonal geraniums, that is the best part of them.

The zonal geraniums thrive in full sun, well-drained soil, and organic matter, they need regular care. The flowers and leaves grow large in size and a slow-release bloom booster fertilizer also help them bloom for a long time.

Though one needs to make sure that mold doesn’t form around the plants or it will destroy them and keep spreading as well. Mostly this needs to be taken care of after rain as flowers start to develop mold after prolonged rains.

What are Seed Geraniums?

There are many benefits of planting geranium seeds. These plants can be used in small containers and are great for mass planting.

These plants can be purchased in packs of 100 or more and can be planted in soil that’s at least 75 degrees F. You can also keep the geranium seeds in a mist or brown paper bag.

It may take anywhere from three to four weeks to germinate the seed, so make sure to watch for signs of geranium plant growth. Once they start to sprout, you can move them into a jar with a label.

Seed Geraniums are easy to grow and require little maintenance. They can grow to between 30 and 45cm (1/2″) high.

Although they are not drought-tolerant, seed Geraniums can thrive in hot, sunny areas. They can survive dry conditions once established, but prolonged drought can slow their growth.

Some varieties are even resistant! Whether you’re growing these beauties in containers or as a border plant, they will always look great.

Seed Geraniums need at least six hours of sunlight per day and should be planted two to three inches apart in potting mix. To prevent geranium seeds from rotting, lightly sprinkle the potting mixture and vermiculite after planting.

Once they have settled in, you can transplant them into larger containers. Make sure to choose the right container for your Geranium.

Main Differences Between Zonal and Seed Geraniums

  1. Zonal geraniums are propagated through cutting while seed geraniums are propagated through seeds.
  2. Zonal geraniums grow to be larger in size, while seed geraniums grow to be shorter and compact.
  3. Zonal geraniums are more expensive than seed geraniums.
  4. Zonal geraniums are faster to grow as compared to seed geraniums.
  5. Zonal geraniums are preferred over seed geraniums.
  6. Zonal geraniums can grow up to 1.5 feet while its seed geraniums can only grow up to 1 foot.
Difference Between Zonal and Seed Geraniums


Both zonal and seed geraniums make great choices for gardens.

Zonal geraniums have flowers that resemble spheres on sturdy stems. Although the blooms can come in almost any color, you won’t find true blue geraniums.

Modern hybrids offer a wide variety of color combinations, including bicolor mixtures and petals with contrasting whiskers, spots, or whiskers. Some blossoms have double petals and pointed petals.

Zonal varieties are best if you plan to grow them in a larger container. They won’t take up too much space.

While seed geraniums are smaller in size, the leaves are larger. Seed geraniums are also cheaper than zonal varieties, so make sure to measure the plant before you buy.


  1. https://journals.ashs.org/hortsci/view/journals/hortsci/25/1/article-p82.xml
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jeh/article-abstract/12/3/150/79319
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