How to Grow Scented Geranium

Overview

Scented geraniums, from the genus Pelargonium, may give off an exciting aroma of apricot, rose, apple, mint, lemon or chocolate peppermint, to name a few. Unlike many geranium species, the scented varieties tend to produce fewer and smaller flowers. However, the leaves of a scented geranium may be more colorful, and the scent alone is reason enough to grow the plant. The leaves can be used in teas or in salads to add a refreshing flavor.

Step 1

Grow scented geranium plants from seed or cuttings. If growing from cuttings, use a rooting hormone, and do not cover the plants, as they have a tendency to rot.

Step 2

Place scented geranium plants in bright light indoors or outdoors in bright light to part shade. Be sure to check the specific needs of the variety you are growing, since some prefer cooler temperatures.

Step 3

Water regularly, but let the soil dry out between waterings.

Step 4

Give plants all-purpose fertilizer in the spring. If you wish to encourage flower growth, potassium-rich fertilizers may help.

Step 5

Prune plants by pinching back the stem tips in autumn to improve the plants' shapes. Geraniums have a tendency to trail. Remove faded blossoms or leaves to encourage new growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not overwater geraniums, as they are susceptible to root rot. They are also susceptible to whitefly infestation, so check on any cuttings before you bring them inside or into a new garden space. Most varieties are not tolerant of frosts but can be overwintered indoors in Zones 7 and lower. In Zones 8 and above, scented geraniums are often grown as perennials.

Things You'll Need

  • Rooting hormone
  • Fresh cuttings
  • Soil mixture
  • Pots

References

  • Scented Geranium FAQ
  • Pelargoniums
  • Guide to Houseplants
Keywords: scented, geranium, Pelargonium

About this Author

Amy Hengst is a freelance writer, blogger, and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area, with expertise in technology, education, and gardening. She's written about computer networking, IT Security, and also maintains a regular blog about computer ergonomics and alternative health. When not writing, she's out taking photographs or zooming by on her bicycle.