Years ago, I had a collection of scented geranium plants which I adored. Tiny white flowers floated over bright green lacy leaves, and each gave off it’s own refreshing scent: fresh apples, ginger, roses. It was delightful! This was so long ago I can’t remember what happened to them, (they probably got shuffled along in one of my many moves), but I’m determined to start growing them again.
Gardeners who are reading this might be shaking their heads saying, “A scented geranium is not a geranium but a Pelargonium” and yes, that’s true (distinguished by their petal structure), but for search engine purposes, I utilized the more colloquial name in my title and will refer to them as scented Pelargoniums from here on out. 😉
Native to Africa, these plants require warm, sunny weather and unless you live in a Zone 8 or higher, must be brought indoors and placed in a sunny location during the colder months. There are now over 100 different kinds of scented pelargoniums and are categorized by their scent (the oil glands on the backsides of the leaves are responsible for giving off their lovely aromas). Scents include: chocolate mint, nutmeg, pineapple, rose, lemon, cinnamon, apple, and apricot, among others. Needing only minimal care-some pinching back to encourage bushier growth, a blast from the hose to knock of pests-they are easy to grow and can even be replicated from cuttings to share with friends. The leaves are often used in perfumes, potpourri, to flavor sugars, and in scented poundcake recipes like this one HERE, yum! There is an abundance of resources for these plants on the web, including online mail order companies from which to order from, but for great selection, I really liked Mountain Valley Growers. By the way, if anyone makes that poundcake recipe, be sure to send me a piece, OK?
Mountain Valley Growers has a great selection
Many scented pelargonium flowers range in pale to deep pink/red tones.
White Flower Farm also has a few varieties in stock