How to Cut Citronella Geraniums


Citronella geraniums are a fragrant geranium with a lemon scent. They are also referred to as "mosquito shoo" geraniums because of the citronella scent, although their effectiveness in deterring mosquitoes has not been scientifically proven. These plants are easy to maintain and a once-a-year trimming is usually all that is needed to keep them tidy. The cuttings from a citronella geranium can be used to propagate the plant if desired.

Step 1

Measure the plant. Cut back approximately one-third of the height. The best time to do this is in September, just before the plant slows down for winter and you bring it indoors.

Step 2

Position the shears at a 45-degree angle to the branch you want to cut, just above a "node" or where a leaf extends from a stem, and snip.

Step 3

Repeat this cutting across the top of the entire plant. The top should now be flat, almost like a hedge.

Step 4

Remove the bottom leaves from some cuttings and place them in small pots filled with rooting medium if you would like to propagate your plant.

Step 5

Place the freshly-trimmed plant in a sunny location, and it will start to re-grow in a few days.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Small pruning shears or secateurs
  • Small pots (optional)
  • Rooting medium for cuttings (optional)


  • "Daily News;" In the Garden Scented or Not, Geraniums are Easy to Love; Joshua Siskin; January 13, 2007.
  • Geranium Information
  • Winter Care for Geraniums

Who Can Help

  • How to Root Plant Cuttings
Keywords: citronella geranium cutting, mosquito shoo geranium, trim a citronella geranium

About this Author

Catherine Chant is an award-winning writer from New England and a former computer consultant/web manager. Her young adult time travel romance WISHING YOU WERE HERE was a finalist in the 2008 Golden Heart contest, sponsored by Romance Writers of America.