Question: What can you tell me about “scented” geraniums? Do they have a particular scent? I find all geraniums smelly so please explain how these are special.
Answer: Typical bedding geraniums (Pelargonium) do have a distinctive, somewhat medicinal/bitter odor, but those classified as “scented” geraniums offer pleasant, distinctive fragrances. Depending on the variety, these plants might be scented with rose, mint, citrus or spice. Their leaves are used to make scented sugar, potpourri and perfume.
Their care is similar to other Pelargonium cultivars. They prefer full sun, warm temperatures and well-drained soil. They do not require much water and can survive dry periods. They act as perennials in USDA Zone 8 and warmer. In colder zones, they are grown as annuals, or they can be potted and wintered indoors. They are easily propagated by stem cuttings.
Mail-order retail sources of scented geraniums include:
Scented Geraniums of NE
Mountain Valley Growers
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Looking for more scented plants to make your garden a sensory wonderland? Check out Fragrance in Bloom and Fragrant Designs for tips and ideas.