Scent Geraniums are low maintenance plants but as any other, they still needs some care. Important: it is in the plants best interest that it is potted up as soon as possible and if you delay doing this for too long it will suffer and might even die. Al though the leaves are edible the plant is intended for decoration, not for consumption. To enjoy your Scent Geranium the most, follow our tips and guidelines below.
So little care,
so much joy!
Scent Geranium care tips:
These plants are tolerant to drought conditions. Provide a good watering, preferably from below, and then let them dry out fairly well before watering again. Over the winter period reduce the watering, just keep the compost moist.
Scented Geraniums do best in bright light and will require ample direct winter sun if grown indoors. When planted in the garden a few hours of direct sunshine will be enough as full on all day sun is not to their liking.
Try and avoid spots in the garden that become blisteringly hot as they do prefer some light and shade with an average daytime temperature outdoors between 16 – 25 degrees.
Scented Geraniums do not require a lot of fertiliser, however, a regular fortnightly feed, half strength to your usual pot plants, during active growth is recommended.
A Scent Geranium will flourish all year inside the home in pots on windowsills or located in a room where enough natural light is available.
The plants are not picky about temperature but do prefer to be slightly cooler than standard geraniums. A range of 16 – 25 C is ideal, if they sit on a south facing windowsill, net or sheer curtains act as a perfect screen to prevent sunburn. They do prefer to have natural light, though, and do not always do so well if they are too far away from a window. A leggy looking plant is often due to insufficient natural light.
Outdoors your Scent Geranium may be planted directly in the garden, in borders, raised planters, hanging baskets or in containers during frost free months. Be careful with frost, your Scent Geranium will not survive it! If you intend to plant directly in the garden it is advisable to acclimatise your plants gradually to their new location. Over a period of about 4 days increase the length of time outside each day, preferably in a partly sunny spot, and bring them back in by late afternoon or early evening. Regularly check that they haven’t dried out and keep moist but do not over water. By the 5th day they will be acclimatised enough to be planted in to the garden or may be displayed in containers.
Terracotta pots are the most suitable as they naturally drain as scented geraniums do not like to be sitting in wet compost but be careful that they do not dry out completely. Ideally, they do require about 5-6 hours of sunshine a day but will tolerate partial shade and still perform well.
Always prune! Some plants may look as if they have received a haircut and they probably have. These plants are not damaged; in fact, pruning encourages bushy, dense and lush growth. To keep your plant in good shape and to prevent it becoming leggy as it matures you really do need to once in a while….prune. You will not do it any damage by giving it a good trim providing that you do not cut off all of the growing tips and you will be amazed at how good it looks again in a very short space of time.
As your plant grows into a stunning specimen and becomes larger it will require potting on into a bigger pot. This should be one size larger than present as they do like fairly restricted roots. You will most likely need to do this several times during the life of your plant. Alternatively, you can take more cuttings and increase your Collection, or make someone’s day and give them a beautiful scented geranium as a special gift.
Discoloured leaves – mottling, streaking, curling or abnormal colour patterns; possible cause may be a viral infection which is often carried by insect pests. Once infected there isn’t a cure and plants should be destroyed immediately. Prevention – regular watering and fertilisation will keep plants healthy and ward off pests. Discoloured leaves may also be a sign that the plant is ‘hungry’ and is short of food.
Leaf Spot – brown or yellow spots with black edges; good air circulation and cleanliness are essential and will lower the risk of this disease. If you notice any spots on leaves remove and destroy immediately. Once this disease gets a hold on the whole plant the only thing to do is destroy it.
Botrytis/Grey Mould – rotting of stems and leaves; thrives in damp, cold and moist conditions and is a fungal disease. Good air circulation and monitor over watering. Remove any diseased plant parts immediately and destroy.
Geranium Aphids – tiny sap sucking insects which may spread viral diseases; control by knocking them off with a strong stream of water, an application of insecticidal soap especially to the underside of leaves, or alternatively, introduce natural beneficial insects to the area. The latter being easier to do if you house your scenteds in a greenhouse!
Other Pests – mealy bugs, whiteflies, red spider mites; mostly a problem during very dry spells treat as for aphids above.