The plants that we commonly call ‘Scented Geraniums’ are actually Pelargonium species. Whatever the name, these scented leafed plants bring fragrance to the garden as well as attractive flowers. The variety of fragrant foliage includes Lemon, Mint, Cinnamon, and Apple and a collector could add a dozen more to the garden with ease.
It is the foliage of these plants that are scented, as soon as you brush against then, or rub them between your fingers, the oils that are released give of the fragrance. These are an evergreen shabby plant, and are easy to grow.
Scented Geraniums do vary in leaf shape, flower colour and size, as well as fragrance. However growing conditions for all are very similar.
How to Grow Scented Geraniums
You will need a well drained humus rich soil to successfully grow these fragrant plants.
Position will vary, most can take full sun to part shade, a few varieties prefer more shade than others.
Generally flowering is better where they get good sun.
They make excellent plants for beside pathways where you will brush against then and realise the scent, they are also well suited to growing in containers. Even a sunny position in a courtyard or an a balcony will do.
Choose a position where the plants will get around 6 hours sun a day. In warmer climates, try for a position with some shade from the hottest part of the day.
- Dig over the area to be planted adding some well rotted compost.
- Water in well with a liquid seaweed fertiliser.
- Mulch around the plants to maintain a cool root run and help retain some moisture.
- Water regularly through the first summer.
On Going Care
Check the soil for moisture, is it is dry, its time to water.
Use a general purpose fertiliser in spring and again early summer to promote good growth.’
Spent flower heads can be removed at any time, as can any dead or damaged growth.
Tip pruning from an early age will promote a bushy growth habit. In early autumn you can prune scented geraniums back by 1/3 to 1/2.
The offcuts can be used to strike cutting for new plants.
Scented Geranium Varieties.
The plant we call the Lemon Scented Geranium has the botanical name of Pelargonium crispum. Other varieties include :
- Apple – Pelargonium quercifolium
- Cinnamon – Pelargonium ‘Ardwyk’ Cinnamon
- Mint – Pelargonium album
- Orange – Pelargonium x citriodorum
- Peppermint – Pelargonium tomentosum
- Rose – Pelargonium graveolens
- Old Spice – Pelargonium fragrans ‘Logees’
- Lemon – Pelargonium crispum