Growing Scented Geraniums Indoors

Looking for a new and interesting herb for your windowsill? Growing scented geraniums indoors provides color and scent to your living space.

| December 1991/January 1992

Growing scented geraniums indoors perfumes your living space.

Growing scented geraniums indoors perfumes your living space.

Photo By Fotolia/Jillian Alexander

Growing scented geraniums indoors is easy with these helpful tips.

Looking for a new and interesting herb for your windowsill? A plant that’s relatively easy to grow and propagate indoors, that grows lush and green and smells great, and that offers a wide variety of visual qualities and scents to match your decor and preferences? If you haven’t tried growing scented geraniums (Pelargonium spp.), you’re in for a treat.

Scented geraniums aren’t really very new: I remember a rose geranium in Grandma’s cool room when I was a child. What’s unique about these plants is that they mock other scents — rose, lemon, lime, pine, even coconut. Although they do produce small blooms, scented geraniums are grown for their fragrant leaves rather than their flowers, and the variety of leaf shapes and textures and the many shades of green can add abundant interest to your indoor gardening.

Best Varieties for Growing Scented Geraniums Indoors

Better garden centers are now carrying good selections of scented geraniums, or you can purchase them by mail order.

I classify scenteds into six groups according to fragrance: rose, fruit (which includes all the lemons), spice, mint, pine, and pungent. If you have only a small area on a windowsill, you’ll probably want to consider the fruit group. They all have small leaves, they grow more slowly than the others, and the mature plants are smaller. Varieties in the fruit group that are fun to use in dish gardens and topiaries include fingerbowl, ‘Crispum’, golden lemon, ‘French Lace’, lime, and strawberry.

If you have a corner with a southern and western window and some hanging basket room and floor space, you can choose larger varieties from all the groups. Here are the varieties that do well for me indoors.

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