Scented geraniums prefer a light, well-drained potting soil and at least 5 hours of light per day. If growing your geraniums indoors a south- or west-facing window that lets in lots of light is ideal. However, you can still have beautiful scented geraniums with the help of artificial light.
To maintain a bushy habit, pinch plants regularly to promote lush growth. In general, allow three pairs of leaves to form on a stem before pinching. Smaller leaved varieties may be pinched back more often. Geraniums thrive in relatively humid conditions. When growing inside, consider placing the pot on a bed of gravel in a waterproof tray and fill the tray with water. Set the pot on the gravel above the water to prevent root rot. Good air circulation and frequent removal of dead or damaged leaves will help keep your plants healthy.
Proper watering of plants in containers is important; water in the morning and at the soil level, not on the leaves. As a general rule, the top inch of the potting soil should be allowed to dry before you water. When you water, water enough so that the excess water drains from the bottom of the pot, but don’t leave your plants sitting in water; the roots will suffocate and rot in saturated potting mix.
Feed scented geraniums with an organic fertilizer every two weeks in spring, summer and fall. Do not fertilize the plant in winter.
Scented Geranium – Lady Plymouth pelargonium sp.
Deeply cut, silvery variegated leaves with a rose scent. Gently brush leaves to release scent. Scented geraniums are grown for their fragrant leaves rather than their flowers. Most varieties produce small blooms and the many varieties of leaf shapes and textures add interest whether you are gardening indoors or out.
Best grown in a pot with well-drained soil. Bring indoors in winter when outside temperature drops below 50°F. Plant height 12-30”.
Scented geranium leaves are often found in sachets and potpourri bowls. Leaves placed in a bowl of water will allow the fragrance to waft throughout the house. Lady Plymouth, a rose scented geranium, is often used to make rose flavored honey or rose flavored shortbread. Simply soak the leaves to extract the rose flavor out of the leaves and then use the liquid as a food flavoring.
Lemon and rose scented geraniums can be used in sweet vinegar recipes. Simply add the leaves to the vinegar and store to infuse the flavor. Lemon scented geraniums combine particularly well with lemon verbena, lemon basil and mints. To flavor ice cream or sorbet, include a few leaves inside the tubs and leave in the freezer for a couple of weeks.
The dried leaves of a scented geranium can also make wonderful flavored teas. Simply steep a couple of teaspoons of dried leaves in a cup of hot water or add a few leaves to your pot.