How to Grow Scented Geraniums for Profit


Scented geraniums (Pelargonium) or not really geraniums. They are native to dry, warm areas of the planet such as Australia and the Middle East. The outstanding feature is the scented foliage that produces a pleasant scent when crushed or rubbed with your fingers. The scent may be of strawberries, apples, spices or roses, depending on the variety. There are hundreds of different varieties of scented geraniums, and not all scented geraniums produce a pleasant smell. Scented geraniums are readily propagated from leaf, root or stem cuttings and can be grown for profit.

Step 1

Contact your local county agricultural extension office and your state office of the United States Department of Agriculture. This is important because there are licensing and inspections involved when you are growing and selling an agricultural product. In fact, most businesses will not buy from you if you do not carry the necessary licenses for selling agricultural products in your state. Also, these agencies will have lot of good information about raising nursery plants for profit.

Step 2

Decide on your target market for selling scented geraniums. You may sell directly to the public with your own storefront, at farmers markets or roadside sales. There are also opportunities to sell scented geraniums to retail or wholesale nurseries, florists or department stores. Establishing your market early in the process prevents over or under production of your product which can lead to loss of profit.

Step 3

Collect a variety of scented geraniums to use as stock plants. These are the plants you will take cuttings from to produce the plants you will sell. You can buy your stock plants from mail order companies, the Internet or local plant nurseries. Another alternative is to buy young starter plants already rooted from a plant wholesaler and grow them out for selling at a later date. Keep good records along the way so you know how much cost is involved in the production process.

Step 4

Obtain appropriate-sized containers and potting soil for growing the scented geraniums. You will need a shaded location for your growing operation, so you may need a shade house or a heated greenhouse for production, depending on your climate. Scented geraniums will struggle in full sun and die in freezing temperatures. Also, rooting and raising the plants is labor-intensive and you need protection from the elements while you work.

Step 5

Deliver the scented geranium plants to the selling location in a van or other vehicle where they are protected. Scented geraniums have brittle stems and break easily in high wind. Price the scented geraniums by taking into account all your costs and marking up the price to include a profit.

Things You'll Need

  • Scented geraniums
  • Growing containers
  • Potting soil
  • Water soluble plant fertilizer
  • Record keeping system


  • Herb Society: Pelargoniums
  • UNL: Growing Scented Geraniums
  • Oregon State: Starting a Nursery Business

Who Can Help

  • USDA : County Extension Office Locations
  • USDA: Agencies and Offices
Keywords: scented geraniums, greenhouse business, pelargonium production

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.