Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
A scented geranium species native to southern Africa, rose-scented geranium is grown for its highly fragrant leaves that smell of roses, as the common name suggests. It survives as a low-growing, short-lived perennial subshrub in its native Africa but is most commonly grown as a garden annual. During the growing season, it bears small, attractive flowers of pink with reddish markings. The plants spread and can be planted as a drought-tolerant evergreen groundcover in subtropical or Mediterranean climates. The leaves can be used to flavor cakes and beverages, in the same way as the similarly scented rose geranium, Pelargonium graveolens.
Rose-scented geranium leaves are velvety with long hairs, somewhat fleshy and palm-shaped with serrated edges. They are normally crisp green but can develop reddish hues as they age or if plants become stressed. The small flowers are five-petaled and borne in terminal clusters. Flower color is typically pink with darker markings. Pointy seedheads follow pollination by insects, and plants have been known to self-sow where winters are mild and dry.
Vigorous and easy to grow, rose-scented geranium grows best in full to partial sun and average to fertile soil that drains well. It can be planted in mixed beds and herbal borders or containers. This tender species will only overwinter in areas where winters are dry and temperatures remain above freezing. The scented leaves can be used in potpourri or for baking. This is an easy plant to grow from cuttings: just dip tip cuttings in rooting hormone, place in lightly moist sand and tend in a well-lit, warm spot. Where winters are cold, it can be overwintered indoors as a houseplant in a cool, dry, sunny room or conservatory.
12 - 1
12 - 15
A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
12"-18" / 30.5cm - 45.7cm
24"-28" / 61.0cm - 71.1cm
Southern Africa, South Africa, Western Asia
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Pink, Burgundy, Dark Red
Green, Gray Green
Bedding Plant, Container, Edging, Hanging Basket, Houseplant, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Tropical
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