Family: Geraniaceae

Common Name: ABC's of Scented Geraniums


ABC's of Scented Geraniums (Pelargonium) Rather easy to grow tender perennials with scented leaves.

Plant TypePerennial Tender, Site author's observations
Hardiness Zone8(9)
Sunlightfull, mostly sunny, as much sun as the leaves can tolerate and not burn, cooler zones probably full sun in hotter zones some shade,
Moistureaverage, slightly dry, moist for a few
Soil & Siteaverage, well-drained
Growing Mediaaverage
Temperaturewill tolerate the cooler fall temperatures, will suffer damage from frosts
Flowersborne on an inflorescence called an umbel, 2 to 50 florets per umbel, 5 petals consisting of 1-2 upper and 3 lower, often stippled with deep purple or reddish markings, common colors white, rose and lavender some reds and salmons, scents: many different scents some very strong rose, lemon, peppermint, coconut, spice
Fruitlooks like a cranesbill hence the common name
Leavesshapes: round lobed and finely divided, colors: usually mid-green with grays and silver overtones, some yellows, texture: smooth, rough and hairy, scents: many different scents some very strong rose, lemon, peppermint, scents are located in oil glands art the base of the leaf hairs
DimensionsIn native sites can reach 5-7 feet. Easily kept to size by pruning.
MaintenanceAll scented Geraniums can be overwintered. Most plants will be large. Cut back the plants 50-75% and repot. Grow in a bright cool window, keep evenly moist and prune to maintain size.
Propagationtip cuttings, allow cutting to callus before sticking, should be taken before the plants fallized (hardened by cold weather)
Native Sitemost from South Africa
Author's NotesOver the years I have grown, propagated and overwintered scented Geraniums. I have found most rather easy to grow. Like having a Lavender plant you can never resist rubbing the leaves to release the scent from the oils.
Notes & Reference#32-The Joy of Geraniums (Helen Van Pelt Wilson), #58-Pelargoniums (Diana Miller), #89-Scented Geraniums (Becker and Brawner)
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