We’ve all heard of the intense spherical blooms and attention-grabbing foliage of geraniums (often called zonal geraniums). Nonetheless, many don’t know there’s a completely distinct group of geraniums within the genus Pelargonium that aren’t identified for his or her blooms.
As an alternative of acclaim for large, showy flowers, the scented geraniums are prized for his or her aromatic foliage. Apple, mint, strawberry, rose, and coconut are only a few of the scents on this distinctive group of crops!
Scented geraniums are tender perennials which might be hardy to USDA Zones 9 to 10. Most want full solar, however some (just like the mint-scented geraniums) will thrive partially shade. They’re significantly warmth and drought-tolerant and like sandy or loamy soil. They make wonderful container crops, spreading border crops, and even houseplants!
Scented geraniums are extraordinarily simple to propagate from cuttings, even for the novice gardener. By taking cuttings within the fall and maintaining the cuttings inside over winter, you possibly can have scented geraniums in your backyard every season! I’m very strict about saving cuttings to overwinter inside so I can get pleasure from this foliage within the backyard or in a fresh-cut flower bouquet.
Most scented geraniums are native to Southern Africa, the place they develop as perennial in rocky, dry areas, however others have been found in Australia, jap Africa, New Zealand, the Center East, and numerous islands like Madagascar.
Wanting to be taught extra about scented geraniums? On this article, I’ll focus on 17 completely different varieties/species of scented pelargoniums in your dwelling and backyard.
‘Attar of Roses’ P. capitatum
Of the scented geranium varieties, ‘Attar of Roses’ appears to be the most well-liked and essentially the most extensively cultivated (and accessible for buy). Due to its robust, attractive “rose” scent, this scented geranium’s important oil was used as an alternative choice to the true and dear Attar of Roses, an important oil comprised of Damask or centifolia rose petals that was extensively utilized in perfumery.
The leaves of ‘Attar of Roses’ scented geranium are vivid inexperienced and softly textured if you rub your fingers throughout them. The flowers are pink. This selection can develop as excessive as 2 ½ ft tall and is helpful as greenery in a reduce flower association. I like to make use of this selection in bouquets, personally!
‘Candy Mimosa’ P. hybrida
‘Candy Mimosa’ scented geranium has doubtless the biggest flowers of all of the scented geraniums. This selection has charming shell-pink flowers with coral to crimson brushing or stripping on a number of the petals. The scent is sort of a combination of lemon and rose.
The foliage of ‘Candy Mimosa’ scented geranium is darkish inexperienced, lobed, and barely fuzzy. This selection can attain about 18 inches in top and makes an ideal standalone container plant.
‘Lemona’ P. crispum
‘Lemona’ scented geranium has closely fringed, tough, darkish inexperienced leaves with a candy lemon perfume. The flowers are comparatively massive for a scented geranium with lavender–pink petals and raspberry-pink marks in the direction of the middle of the flower.
‘Lemona’ will attain about 1 ½ ft tall and is comparatively leafy and compact, which makes this selection wonderful for patio pots. Use the leaves as a culinary herb or garnish to a dish to impart a crisp lemon taste.
‘Orange Fizz’ P. citriodorum
‘Orange Fizz’ scented geranium has closely textured leaves (described as leathery) which might be a lighter shade of inexperienced than many different scented geraniums. The flowers are massive, with a big raspberry-pink to maroon patch on the higher petals. The leaves have a pleasant citrus scent.
‘Orange Fizz’ can attain as much as 2 ft tall. Use this scented geranium in a pot or to line a pathway within the backyard.
‘Citronella’ P. citrosum
Broadly cultivated and bought at plant nurseries and large field shops as “Mosquito Plant,” the ‘Citronella’ scented geranium is touted to repel bugs just like the mosquito (though this declare has been confirmed false).
Regardless, the leaves have a pointy citrusy scent. The “citronella” odor is the results of the citronellal, a lemon-scented element discovered in lots of lemon-scented crops like lemongrass and lemon balm.
No matter its effectiveness towards fending off pesky pests, ‘Citronella’ has very finely reduce, lacy, gentle inexperienced leaves. The plant is productive and reaches a top of two to 4 ft tall. Use it in a patio pot or for landscaping. The flowers usually are not as prevalent however are white to pale pink with pink markings.
‘Chocolate Peppermint’ P. tomentosum
‘Chocolate Peppermint’ scented geranium has a pure peppermint scent with attention-grabbing leaves that gave rise to the usage of the phrase “chocolate” in its identify. The leaves are delicate, lobed, and light-weight inexperienced with a darkish chocolate-colored or maroon heart.
‘Chocolate Peppermint’ flowers are pale pink with darkish pink markings. This selection isn’t overly floriferous. Fairly than ‘Chocolate Peppermint’ regarded purely as P. tomentosum, some say this selection was really developed from a cross between the ‘Peppermint’ scented geranium (P. tomentosum) and ‘Large Oak’ scented geranium (P. quercifolium).
‘Gray Girl Plymouth’ P. graveolens
‘Gray Girl Plymouth’ scented geranium boasts a skinny white line across the edges of its very finely reduce leaves. The leaves are shaded within the colour of sage inexperienced. Flowers of ‘Gray Girl Plymouth’ will be pink or lavender. The leaves are scented like a rose with barely fruity overtones. Many hybrids have been produced utilizing P. graveolens.
‘Gray Girl Plymouth’ is touted to be an ideal houseplant due to its compact, mannerly measurement. It not often grows previous 18 inches. Its fairly shut relative, ‘Girl Plymouth,’ has extra white across the edges however doesn’t have as robust of a scent to its leaves.
‘Peppermint’ P. tomentosum
Leaves of the ‘Peppermint’ scented geranium are often simple to tell apart from others due to their peppermint scent and delicate, wooly texture. The maple-shaped leaves virtually glow on account of all of the little white hairs overlaying the floor of the leaves.
‘Peppermint’ scented geranium and the opposite mint-scented geraniums get pleasure from a dappled or shady half within the backyard in comparison with most of the different scented geraniums, which require full solar. The plant is 1 to 2 ft tall and is greatest grown in containers or as a floor cowl close to a backyard path.
‘Mabel Gray’ P. citronellum
It appears that evidently there was a lot debate about ‘Mabel Gray’ scented geranium when it got here to classification. Within the Nineteen Eighties, this selection was lastly distinguished as its personal species relatively than a mere hybrid. The scent of ‘Mabel Gray’ is claimed to be “extra lemony than lemon”.
The leaves of this selection are very distinct in comparison with the maple-shaped or finely-cut leaves of different scented geraniums. I’d describe ‘Mabel Gray’ as having finely-lobed hemp-shaped leaves which might be tough to the contact and a shade of sunshine boring inexperienced.
The flowers are lavender with carmine splotches and bigger than many scented geranium varieties. This selection could possibly be strained “as a normal”, which suggests educated into extra of a tree-like behavior.
‘Strawberry’ or ‘Girl Scarborough’ P. x scarboroviae
‘Strawberry’ scented geranium has pale inexperienced, spherical, crinkled-edged leaves that emit a candy strawberry-citrus perfume. The flowers vary from pink to gentle pink, with darker pink marks on the higher petals. This species is claimed to be “exceptionally showy” for a scented geranium.
The ‘Strawberry’ geranium is appropriate for hanging baskets or the panorama and reaches 1 to 2 ft in top. One other identify for this selection is ‘Countess of Scarborough’.
‘Skeleton Rose’ or ‘Dr. Livingston’ P. radens
The lacy, “rasp-leaved” foliage of ‘Skeleton Rose’ scented geranium sounds and appears identical to it’s written. The leaves are very finely-cut, like a “skeleton” of a leaf. The foliage smells of lemony rose. And the citronellal content material is claimed to be 100 occasions increased than ‘Citrosa’, the “Citronella Plant” that was initially thought to repel mosquitoes.
‘Skeleton Rose’ or ‘Dr. Livingston’ scented geranium is sort of mannerly when pinched, and lots of gardeners comment that it offers lots of curiosity within the backyard. It isn’t as free-flowering as different scented geraniums. The flowers are pale-pinkish with deep raspberry streaks on the higher petals.
‘Apple’ P. odoratissimum
‘Apple’ scented geranium is a spread that has been round for fairly a while (and there are numerous different apple-scented varieties, too). The stems are lengthy with a trailing behavior. Because of this, ‘Apple’ scented geranium could be an ideal candidate for a dangling basket.
Within the panorama, it’s best grown as a border plant and is sort of mannerly in development behavior, solely reaching about 18 inches throughout.
‘Apple’ scented geranium has wavy-edged leaves which might be very true inexperienced (referred to as pea-green by some). The flowers are white. This selection will readily cross-pollinate with others within the backyard and subsequently is the ancestor of many different scented geranium varieties with apple or nutmeg-scented foliage.
‘French Lace’ or ‘Variegated Prince Rupert’ P. x crispum
The leaves of ‘French Lace’ are small, tri-lobed, and crinkly in look. What distinguishes ‘French Lace’ from different crispum varieties is the cream variegation of the leaves alongside the margins. This scented geranium emits a nice lemony scent. The flowers are small and lavender in colour.
‘French Lace’ scented geranium is greatest used as a container plant. This selection, particularly, could be very delicate to chill, damp circumstances. Pinching the plant may even make it extra compact and comely, as generally it may be fairly lanky in development. ‘French Lace’ would make a superb houseplant.
‘Truthful Ellen’ or Oak-Leaved P. quercifolium
The leaves of ‘Truthful Ellen’ scented geranium are formed like oak leaves, extra oval in form than different scented geranium leaves due to the numerous dentations. The middle of the inexperienced leaf has a singular maroon heart and maroon shading to a number of the veins.
The perfume of the leaves is described as a “woodsy-lemon scent” or almond-scented. The blooms are lavender with a carmine heart. ‘Truthful Ellen’ is extra floriferous than many different scented geraniums.
Different oak-leaved varieties are ‘Large Oak’ and ‘Village Oak.’ It seems that ‘Truthful Ellen’ could typically be thought of synonymous with ‘Village Oak,’ though true ‘Village Oak’ geraniums are stated to be a little bit extra self-contained in development than ‘Truthful Ellen.’
The oak-leaved scented geraniums seem to supply combined feelings in scents. Some varieties emit fragrances that aren’t as pleasing to sure individuals, as talked about within the famend horticulturist Louise Beebe Wilder’s e-book, The Aromatic Backyard.
Nutmeg Scented Geranium P. x fragrans
The nutmeg-scented geranium has a number of the most charming leaves. Personally, I really feel this selection could be very productive. The leaves are very delicate, with light waves alongside the perimeters. They’re a cool grey-green colour that smells like–you guessed it–candy and spicy nutmeg. The flowers are small and white with crimson veins.
Some say this selection has been bought beneath many names, together with ‘Cody’, ‘Logee’, and ‘Previous Spice’. The nutmeg-scented geranium is a superb candidate for an indoor or patio pot, reaching as much as 12 inches tall in top.
Fragrans–scented geranium is believed to have the apple-scented geranium in its parentage, so you could choose up a slight trace of crisp apple with the nutmeg odor.
‘Snowflake Rose’ P. x capitatum
One other rose-scented selection is the ‘Snowflake Rose.’ The leaves are distinctive in that they’re rounder with splotches, streaks, or flecks of white. Scientists consider that the flecking is because of a virus as a result of generally the crops will revert to plain inexperienced leaves after a time.
When propagating, be certain to pick out cuttings with leaves which have essentially the most coloring to retain the streaking and flecking in your new crops.
‘Snowflake Rose’ scented geranium is especially helpful as a dangling basket plant or within the panorama as a sprawling groundcover as a result of it will probably unfold as a lot as 4 ft. The plant doesn’t often attain greater than 20 inches excessive, so it’s a low-growing floor cowl. It isn’t as appropriate as a houseplant on account of its spreading nature.
As with most of the scented geraniums, this selection will be complicated to obtain or determine as a result of different names like ‘Scheidts Ice Crystal Rose’ or ‘Each’s Snowflake Rose’ are related to it. Look particularly for Pelargonium ‘Snowflake’ to get this one!
Coconut-Scented Geranium P. grossulariodes
Nearly all scented geraniums are thought of herbaceous perennials of their pure habitat besides the coconut-scented geranium, which is an annual.
This species can be distinctive as a result of it will probably face up to extraordinarily excessive temperatures (120 levels F) however may even thrive within the shady spots of the backyard.
The coconut-scented geranium grows low and has a spreading nature. The leaves are small and spherical or kidney-shaped. The colour of the leaves is deep inexperienced. The flowers vary in colour from pink to lavender. The scent of the foliage is described as both “coconut” or rose-mint-lemon-clove.
It is very important be aware that most of the scented geraniums on this article and all through the world have been used as culinary accents in numerous dishes and drinks, however the coconut-scented geranium is taken into account an abortifacient and will be very harmful. Don’t ingest this plant.
As you possibly can see, the Pelargonium genus is filled with surprises relating to shapes, colours, and smells! This once-popular backyard plant deserves a spot in your backyard, and I actually can’t consider extra individuals don’t find out about these aromatic geraniums.
Scented geraniums are simple to propagate, drought tolerant, and make nice potted crops or houseplants, relying on the range. The most important query is, which scent will you select in your backyard?