Garden Geranium Flowers Closeup. White and pink flowers

Stop and Smell the Geraniums: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing Scented Pelargoniums

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Looking to add some fragrance to your garden? Look no further than scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums. These charming plants offer a wide range of delightful scents and are easy to care for, making them a popular choice for home gardeners. In this complete guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to successfully grow and enjoy these fragrant beauties.

Benefits of Growing Your Own Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

  • Beautiful and fragrant addition to any garden or indoor space
  • Easy to grow and care for
  • Repels mosquitoes and other pests with its scent
  • Can be used in cooking and baking for a unique flavor and aroma
  • Leaves can be dried and used in potpourri or other crafts
  • Has medicinal properties and can be used in herbal remedies

General Information About Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

Plant Family: Geraniaceae
Plant Latin Name: Pelargonium graveolens


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Plant Variations Available

Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are a popular plant with a myriad of gorgeous scents to choose from. With over 200 different varieties, these lovely plants come in a wide array of colors, shapes, and aromas.

One of the most popular scents among the pelargonium family is rose scented geraniums. These beautiful plants are highly sought after for their sweet and delicate fragrance, which is reminiscent of a classic English rose garden. If you’re looking for something a bit more bold, try out the peppermint scented geranium. As the name suggests, this plant smells strongly of refreshing peppermint, making it the perfect addition to any herb garden.

Another popular variety is the lemon-scented geranium, which has a bright and tangy aroma that is perfect for creating a fresh and invigorating atmosphere in any room. There are also more unique varieties such as nutmeg, apple, and even chocolate scented geraniums!

In addition to their lovely aromas, scented geraniums are also renowned for their beauty. Their delicate, textured foliage comes in a wide range of colors, from deep greens to silvers and pinks, making them a stunning addition to any indoor or outdoor space.


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But perhaps best of all, these plants are easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of conditions. They prefer well-draining soil and plenty of bright, indirect light, but can also tolerate some shade. With a bit of care and attention, your scented geraniums will be flourishing and filling your home with their beautiful fragrances in no time!

Germinating Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

Preferred Zones

Are you looking to grow some beautiful and fragrant scented geraniums in your outdoor garden? If so, you’ll want to choose the best zones for optimal growth and enjoyment. Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are a popular addition to any garden or patio, but they do have specific requirements for sun exposure and climate to thrive.

Scented geraniums are native to South Africa, so they prefer warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight. They can grow in a variety of USDA hardiness zones, but they do best in zones 9-11. These zones include areas such as Southern California, Texas, Florida, and Hawaii where the average yearly temperatures stay warm.

In these zones, scented geraniums can grow to their full potential with minimal frost damage. They thrive in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic and high in nutrients. If you live in a zone with cooler temperatures and frosts, you can grow your scented geraniums in containers so that you can move them indoors during the colder months.

It’s important to make sure that your scented geraniums get plenty of sunlight throughout the day. They should be placed in an area where they will receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If your garden or patio doesn’t get much direct sunlight, you may want to consider growing your plants in containers and moving them around to find the best spot.

Scented geraniums are also susceptible to pests and diseases, so it’s important to keep them well-maintained. Make sure to water them regularly, but be careful not to overwater. Too much moisture can lead to root rot, which can be deadly for your plants. You should also keep an eye out for common pests like aphids and spider mites, which can quickly decimate your plants if left unchecked.

In summary, if you live in USDA hardiness zones 9-11, then scented geraniums are a fantastic addition to your outdoor garden. Make sure to provide your plants with plenty of sunlight and well-draining soil. With proper care, your scented geraniums will reward you with vibrant blooms and beautiful fragrance that will enhance any outdoor space.

Sowing Instructions

Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are a popular choice among flower enthusiasts. With their fragrant, colorful blooms, these flowers are a lovely addition to any garden. However, the key to a successful garden is knowing the best methods and procedures for sowing.

Here are some helpful tips for sowing scented geraniums:

  1. Choose a location that is well-drained and receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.
  2. Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or debris and loosening the soil with a garden fork.
  3. Sow the seeds in early spring or early fall, depending on the variety of scented geraniums you are planting.
  4. Sprinkle the seeds on the soil surface and cover with a fine layer of compost or vermiculite.
  5. Water gently to ensure that the soil is moist but not saturated.
  6. Keep the soil moist by watering regularly but avoid over-watering as this can lead to rotting.
  7. Once the seeds have germinated and sprouted, thin them out so that there is approximately 6-8 inches of space between each plant.
  8. Fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks.
  9. Pinch back the stems regularly to encourage bushier growth and more blooms.
  10. Enjoy your beautiful scented geraniums!

Remember, sowing scented geraniums requires patience and care. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy a beautiful and fragrant garden for years to come.

Preparation Advice

Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are delightful plants to grow. With their fragrant leaves and colorful flowers, they make a charming addition to any garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a novice, there are a few things you’ll need in preparation for growing scented geraniums.

First and foremost, you’ll need a good quality soil. Scented geraniums prefer a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. You can make your own soil mix by combining equal parts peat moss, perlite, and compost. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-packaged potting soil from your local garden center.


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Next, you’ll need containers to plant your scented geraniums in. Depending on the size of your plants, you can use anything from small pots to large containers. Just make sure that your containers have drainage holes at the bottom, as scented geraniums don’t like to sit in water.

When it comes to watering, scented geraniums prefer to have their soil kept consistently moist. However, they don’t like to be overwatered or have their roots sit in water. To avoid this, water your plants when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be sure to water the soil directly, avoiding the leaves and flowers.

Lastly, scented geraniums need sunlight in order to thrive. They prefer to be placed in a bright, sunny location, but will also do well in partially shaded areas. If you’re growing your plants indoors, be sure to place them near a window that receives plenty of natural light.

With these basic tips and equipment, you should have no problem growing healthy and happy scented geraniums. Just remember to give them plenty of love and attention, and they’ll reward you with plenty of fragrant blooms!

Germination Tools and Equipment

If you’re looking to start growing scented geraniums (pelargoniums), you’ll need to ensure you have the right tools and equipment to guarantee healthy growth. Germinating these fragrant flowers can be a bit finicky, but with the right setup, you’ll be enjoying their delightful aromas in no time.

Here are some essential tools and equipment you’ll need for germinating healthy scented geraniums:


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  1. Planters: Start with small, individual planters for each seed. Starter trays with drainage holes are a great option, but any planter with drainage holes will do the trick.
  2. Soil: Scented geraniums thrive in well-draining soil, so be sure to select soil that is rich in organic matter and provides good drainage.
  3. Seeds: Of course, you’ll need seeds to get started! Scented geranium seeds are readily available online or at your local nursery.
  4. Watering Can: Ensure you have a watering can on hand to keep your soil moist during the germination period.
  5. Grow Lights: Scented geraniums require ample light in order to grow well. If you’re starting your seeds indoors, consider investing in a grow light to provide sufficient light for your plants.
  6. Fertilizer: Once your scented geraniums have started to grow, they’ll need a little extra boost to keep them healthy. Choose a fertilizer that provides balanced nutrients, and be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
  7. Humidity Dome: A humidity dome can help maintain the ideal level of moisture for your germinating seeds, ensuring they sprout quickly and healthily.

With these tools and equipment, you’ll be well on your way to successfully growing your own fragrant scented geraniums. Happy growing!

Growing Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

Light Requirements

Growing scented geraniums, or pelargoniums, can be a delightful and rewarding experience. One key factor in their success is providing the right amount and type of light.

Scented geraniums prefer bright, indirect sunlight. This means placing them in a location where they receive several hours of light each day but are not exposed to direct sunlight that can scorch their leaves. A south- or west-facing window can be an ideal spot, but be sure to provide some shade during the hottest part of the day.

If your home does not receive enough natural light or if you live in a climate with short days, you may need to supplement with artificial light. LED or fluorescent grow lights are a good choice as they provide a balanced spectrum of light without getting too hot.


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When using artificial light, it’s essential to keep your geraniums within a foot or two of the lamp and provide at least eight hours of light per day. You can also use a timer to ensure consistent and appropriate light exposure.

One important thing to keep in mind is that scented geraniums can become leggy if they don’t receive enough light. Leggy plants have long, weak stems and may be more prone to disease and pest problems. If you notice your geraniums stretching or becoming spindly, move them closer to the light source or increase the amount of time they spend under artificial light.

In summary, growing healthy scented geraniums involves providing bright, indirect sunlight or supplementing with artificial light. Be mindful of your plant’s needs and adjust your lighting as necessary to keep them thriving. Happy growing!

Temperature Requirements

For those wishing to grow scented geraniums (pelargoniums), understanding temperature requirements is crucial to ensure healthy and robust growth.

Generally, scented geraniums prefer a warm and sunny environment, with temperatures ranging from 60-75°F during the day and 55-65°F at night. It’s suggested to house these plants in a greenhouse or indoors with plenty of direct sunlight.

During the winter months, temperatures may drop significantly, leading to reduced growth and potential leaf drop. Therefore, it’s essential to maintain a stable temperature range by utilizing a heating mat or grow light to prevent any unnecessary stress to the plant.

On the flip side, extreme heat can also harm scented geraniums. If the temperature exceeds 85°F, the plant may experience leaf scorch and reduced growth. Thus, it’s advisable to provide adequate shade or move the plant to a cooler area to prevent excessive heat exposure.


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In summary, scented geraniums thrive in moderate temperatures with plenty of direct sunlight. Whether grown indoors or outdoors, ensure stable temperatures range between 60-75°F during the day and 55-65°F at night. Take measures to prevent extreme heat or cold, and your plants will thank you with lush foliage, lovely scents, and perhaps even a few colorful blooms.

My Favorite Tools For Growing Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

When it comes to caring for scented geraniums (pelargoniums), having the right tools and equipment at your disposal can make all the difference. Here are some of the best tools you’ll need to properly care for your scented geraniums and keep them healthy:

  1. Pruning shears: Scented geraniums benefit from regular pruning, which helps to keep them compact and bushy. Pruning shears are essential for this task, as they allow you to make precise cuts without damaging the plant.
  2. Fertilizer: Like all plants, scented geraniums need nutrients to thrive. A good fertilizer will provide your geraniums with the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.
  3. Watering can: Scented geraniums prefer to be kept moist but not waterlogged, so a watering can with a fine spray nozzle is ideal for giving them just the right amount of water.
  4. Potting soil: Scented geraniums prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A good potting soil will provide your geraniums with the ideal growing conditions they need.
  5. Pots: Scented geraniums can be grown in a variety of containers, but pots with drainage holes are essential to prevent waterlogging and root rot.

With these tools and equipment in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to care for your scented geraniums and keep them healthy for years to come!

Preferred Soil Type

To grow healthy scented geraniums, soil is one of the most important factors to consider. These plants require a well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 to 7.5.

One of the best options is a mix of equal parts sand or perlite, peat moss, and loam or compost. This will provide the necessary aeration and drainage that these delicate plants need.

It’s important to note that scented geraniums are sensitive to overwatering, so be sure that the soil does not stay waterlogged. If drainage is an issue, consider adding more sand or perlite to the mix.


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Also, scented geraniums thrive in a nutrient-rich soil. Fertilizing with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer every few months, as well as amending the soil with organic matter or compost, can help maintain soil health, and promote healthy plant growth.

In addition, scented geraniums prefer to be potted in containers that are slightly acidic, with good drainage. When replanting or transferring to larger containers, be careful not to disturb the root systems too much, as they are sensitive and can easily be damaged.

In summary, growing healthy scented geraniums requires a well-draining soil, with a pH level between 6.0 to 7.5. A mix of sand or perlite, peat moss, and compost or loam is an excellent option. Remember to fertilize, amend the soil with organic matter, and avoid overwatering. With the proper soil requirements, scented geraniums can thrive and provide a beautiful aroma for your home or garden.

Watering Requirements

Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are a wonderful addition to any garden. Their delightful fragrance can instantly lift your mood and help you de-stress, making them a popular choice for lovers of aromatherapy. However, like all plants, they require the proper care and attention to thrive.


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When it comes to watering your scented geraniums, there are a few important factors to consider. Firstly, it’s essential to avoid overwatering them. These plants are native to hot, dry regions of Africa, and they do not like to have their roots submerged in water for extended periods. In fact, overwatering can lead to root rot, which can be fatal to your scented geraniums.

To avoid overwatering, it’s important to keep an eye on the soil moisture level. The best way to do this is by sticking your finger into the soil about an inch deep – if it feels dry, then it’s time to water your plant. If it’s still moist, then hold off for a day or two.

In the summer months, you’ll likely need to water your scented geraniums more frequently than in the cooler months. This is because they will be growing more rapidly and using up more water. In general, you should aim to water your plant about once a week, but adjust this based on the weather conditions and the state of the soil.

When watering your scented geraniums, it’s best to do so in the morning or evening when the sun is less intense. This will prevent the water from evaporating too quickly and give your plant time to absorb the moisture it needs. Additionally, it’s best to water your scented geraniums at the base of the plant, rather than from above. This will prevent the leaves from getting wet, which can lead to fungal growth or other issues.

In summary, to keep your scented geraniums happy and healthy, make sure you avoid overwatering, monitor the soil moisture level, and adjust your watering schedule as needed. By following these simple tips, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful, fragrant plant that will bring joy to your home or garden for years to come.

What You Need To Know About Fertilizing Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

Scented geraniums, or pelargoniums, have become a popular choice among gardeners and plant enthusiasts for their beautiful appearance and delightful aroma. In order to grow healthy geraniums, it is important to fertilize them properly.

One of the most important factors when it comes to fertilizing your geraniums is to provide them with the right nutrients at the right time. During the growing season (usually from spring until fall), you should fertilize your geraniums every two to four weeks. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to help promote plant growth and maintain overall health.

It is also important to pay attention to the type of fertilizer you are using. Avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen, as this can cause your geraniums to produce too much foliage at the expense of flowers. Instead, opt for a fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content, which will help your plants produce more vibrant blooms.

Another key aspect of fertilizing geraniums is to make sure they are getting enough water. Geraniums require frequent watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Without enough water, your geraniums may not be able to absorb the nutrients provided by fertilizers, resulting in stunted growth and a lack of blooms.


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Finally, be sure to follow the recommendations provided by the manufacturer of your fertilizer. Over-fertilizing your geraniums can be just as harmful as under-fertilizing them, so be sure to measure out the correct amount of fertilizer and follow the application instructions.

In summary, growing healthy geraniums requires regular fertilization with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, along with ample watering during the growing season. By providing your geraniums with the care and attention they need, you can enjoy beautiful blooms and a delightful fragrance all season long.

My Favorite Fertilizers For Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

When it comes to fertilizing your scented geraniums, there are a few key considerations that you should keep in mind. These beautiful and fragrant plants require specific nutrients in order to thrive, and selecting the right fertilizer can make all the difference when it comes to growing healthy and vibrant geraniums.

First off, it’s important to note that scented geraniums prefer a slightly acidic soil pH (around 6.0 to 6.5). If your soil pH is too high, your geraniums may have trouble absorbing certain nutrients, even if you’re using the right fertilizer. To check your soil pH, you can purchase a simple soil testing kit from your local garden center or online.

Now, onto the fertilizer itself. When selecting a fertilizer for scented geraniums, look for a balanced all-purpose fertilizer that contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). A good NPK ratio for geraniums is 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. This will provide your plants with the essential nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy.

You can also look for specialty fertilizers made specifically for geraniums, which may contain additional micronutrients that are beneficial for these plants. These products may be labeled as “geranium fertilizer” or “bloom booster” fertilizers.

When fertilizing your scented geraniums, it’s important to avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to excessive growth or even burn the roots of your plants. Instead, feed your geraniums every 2-3 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer), and reduce the frequency during the cooler months.

Finally, remember to water your geraniums thoroughly after fertilizing to ensure that the nutrients are absorbed by the roots. With the right fertilizer and care, your scented geraniums will thrive and reward you with their lovely fragrance and stunning blooms!

Harvesting Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

Time To Maturity

Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are a beautiful and fragrant addition to any garden or indoor space. These hardy plants are native to South Africa and typically take around 12-16 weeks to go from sprouting to maturity.

Geraniums are known for their long flowering season, with some varieties producing blooms for up to six months. They require full sunlight or partial shade and well-draining soil to thrive.

When starting geraniums from seed, it is important to remember that they are slow to germinate, typically taking around 14-21 days. Once the seeds have sprouted, they should be kept moist but not overwatered, as this can lead to root rot.

As the plants grow, it is important to pinch back the tips to encourage bushy growth and more flowers. Scented geraniums can grow up to 2-3 feet tall and wide, making them a great choice for a show-stopping centerpiece in your garden or as a fragrant addition to your windowsill.

Overall, the time it takes for scented geraniums to go from sprouting to maturity may vary slightly depending on the conditions they are grown in, but with proper care and a little patience, these beautiful plants will reward you with their sweet aroma and vibrant blooms.

Harvest Instructions

Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are a popular plant among gardeners due to their delightful fragrance and ease of care. If you are looking to harvest and preserve their scent, here is a handy guide to help you get started.

  1. Choose the right time to harvest: The best time to harvest scented geraniums is in the morning when the plants are at their freshest. It is important to avoid harvesting them in the heat of the day or during wet conditions, as this can lead to mold and spoilage. Aim to harvest the blooms and leaves just before they fully open, as this is when they contain the highest concentration of scent.
  2. Prepare for harvesting: Before you start harvesting, make sure your tools are sharp and clean to ensure a clean cut, which will allow the plant to heal quickly. You will need a pair of sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts, as well as a clean container to hold your harvested blooms and leaves.
  3. Harvest the blooms and leaves: To harvest, carefully cut the blooms and leaves close to the stem, taking care not to damage the plant. Small stems can be cut off with the blooms and leaves to make for a more efficient harvest. It is best to store the harvested blooms and leaves in a clean, dry container, and keep them out of direct sunlight.
  4. Preserve the scent: To preserve the scent of your harvested scented geranium blooms and leaves, there are several methods you can use. One option is to place them in a small glass jar, cover them with a carrier oil such as almond oil, and leave them to infuse for a few weeks. This creates a fragrant oil that can be used in aromatherapy or as a natural fragrance.

Another option is to simply place the harvested blooms and leaves in a vase or jar, and enjoy the fragrance in your home for a few days until they dry out. Alternatively, you can dry them in a dehydrator or oven at low temperature to preserve the scent for a longer period of time.

In conclusion, harvesting scented geraniums is a simple and enjoyable process that can be done in just a few easy steps. By following this guide, you can now harvest and preserve the delightful scent of your scented geraniums for long-lasting enjoyment.


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My Favorite Tools For Harvest Time

Harvesting scented geraniums (pelargoniums) is an enjoyable and rewarding activity for gardeners and aromatherapy enthusiasts alike. To make the most of your harvest, it is important to have the right tools and equipment on hand. Here are some suggestions for the best tools and equipment for harvesting scented geraniums:

  1. Pruning shears: A good pair of pruning shears is essential for harvesting scented geraniums. Look for a high-quality, sharp pair that will make clean cuts without damaging the stems.
  2. Harvesting basket: A sturdy basket or container is perfect for collecting your harvest. Choose a basket with a handle for easy transport and make sure it is large enough to hold your harvest without crushing the delicate flowers.
  3. Garden gloves: It’s a good idea to wear gloves when harvesting scented geraniums to protect your hands from the thorns and prickly stems. Look for a lightweight, breathable pair that will allow you to move your hands freely.
  4. Sun hat: If you’re harvesting scented geraniums on a sunny day, it is important to protect your head and face from the sun. A wide-brimmed sun hat will provide shade and keep you cool while you work.
  5. Watering can: After you’ve harvested your scented geraniums, it’s important to give them a good drink of water. A watering can with a gentle spray nozzle will allow you to water your plants without damaging the delicate flowers.

With these tools and equipment, you’ll be well-equipped to harvest scented geraniums with ease and enjoy the aromatic benefits of these lovely plants. Happy harvesting!

End of Season & Overwintering

Scented geraniums, also known as pelargoniums, are a beloved addition to many home gardens. These fragrant plants produce lovely blossoms and lush foliage that add charm and character to your outdoor space.
As the fall season approaches, it’s important to start thinking about end of season care and overwintering of your scented geraniums to ensure they survive the winter and thrive again the following year.

Firstly, it’s essential to prune back the plants. Use clean, sharp shears to trim the stems back by about one-third of their length. This will promote healthy growth in the spring by providing air circulation and light to reach the center of the plant.

Next, reduce watering as the plants will require less moisture in the cooler months. It’s best to water the geraniums only when the soil dries out, and avoid over-watering which can lead to root rot.

When the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to prepare the plants for overwintering. Scented geraniums aren’t frost-hardy and will perish in cold temperatures, so it’s best to bring them indoors before the first frost.

To keep the plants healthy over the winter months, place them in a bright area with plenty of natural light. You can also supplement natural light with a fluorescent bulb, keeping it on for around 12 hours a day. Keep them away from any extreme temperature changes and avoid placing them too close to radiators or heating vents.

It’s important to continue checking the soil regularly and watering only when the soil is dry. If you want to fertilize, do it only sparingly during the winter months as the plant’s growth slows down.

In summary, Pelargoniums or scented geraniums need some TLC as the growing season comes to an end. Through proper pruning, reduced watering, and prep for overwintering, you can ensure that your geraniums will have the opportunity to flourish again in the spring.

Final Thoughts on Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

Congratulations! You have reached the end of our complete guide to germinating, growing, and harvesting scented geraniums. We hope that you have found the information within to be helpful and informative, and that you now have a better understanding of these beautiful plants.

At first glance, growing scented geraniums can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right care and attention, these plants can thrive indoors or outdoors, and will reward you with their delightful fragrance, beautiful foliage, and even their culinary uses.

Remember to choose the right soil mix, provide adequate sunlight, water your plants regularly, and be mindful of any pests or diseases that may arise. With patience and care, your scented geraniums will grow into healthy, vibrant plants that will brighten up any space.

When it comes time to harvest, you can use the leaves in various ways – tea, potpourri, or even as a culinary herb for flavoring dishes. Or, simply enjoy their scent and beauty in your home or garden.

We hope that this guide has given you the knowledge and confidence to grow scented geraniums successfully. May your gardening journey be full of joy and discovery!

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Scented geraniums (pelargoniums)

Q: What is the best time to grow scented geraniums?
A: Scented geraniums can thrive year-round with proper care, but the best time to start growing them is in the spring. This will allow them to establish their roots before the hot summer months.

Q: How often should I water my scented geraniums?
A: Scented geraniums prefer to be kept on the drier side, so it’s important not to overwater them. Check the soil regularly, and water only when the top inch feels dry to the touch. In hot summer months, you may need to water more frequently.

Q: Can scented geraniums be grown indoors?
A: Yes! Scented geraniums can be grown indoors as long as they receive enough sunlight. They prefer bright, direct light, so place them near a windowsill or under grow lights. Make sure to rotate the pot regularly to ensure even growth.

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