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Scented Geranium Care

Scented Geranium Care

Scented geraniums are very popular garden plants because they are drought tolerant. The oil extracted from this plant has many uses. This article explains the classification of this flower, some care tips for growing it, and instructions on how to make geranium oil.
Gardenerdy Staff
Scented geraniums are very attractive, small, and colorful flowers. They are also known as scented pelargoniums. Pelargoniums are a group of plants with more than 200 species, involving both scented and scentless plants. Butterflies, birds, and bees are most attracted to these flowers.

The scientific classification of these flowers is as follows:
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Order: Geraniales
  • Family: Geraniaceae
  • Genus: Pelargonium
Certain factors are essential to grow healthy plants in your garden. The following tips will allow you to enjoy the geraniums all yearlong.

Planting
Planting geraniums is an easy task as you can grow them indoors as well as outdoors. If they're planted in cold places, they should be protected against the frost. If they are potted, you can always place the pots indoors during the winter. They are available in various bright colors such as pink, white, red, magenta, and orange. If you choose to plant them indoors, make sure that they get sufficient sunlight. A window sill is the best place for them.

Soil
Well-drained soil should be used for growing these. All-purpose soil not only holds the water but also drains it at the same time. The soil should consist of sufficient nutrients. Composts can also boost the blossoms.

Fertilizers
When grown in pots, the geraniums have to be provided with proper fertilization as the scented kind are heavy feeders. They should be fertilized at least once a month, or after every two weeks. The proper method of fertilization is to mix the fertilizer with some water and pour it in the pot so that it dissolves into the soil. For proper care, make sure that the pH level of the soil is more than 5.5. Nitrogen is a necessity for this plant. If not present, it could result in the plant turning yellow.

Water
Water the geraniums early in the day. Do not water the leaves, water the plant using a pitcher or a can. Ensure that the plant remains dry between watering intervals. Too much water will make the roots rot. Geraniums can last for a long time without needing to be watered. If you happen to over-water them, just remove the plant from the pot and let it dry in the sun for an hour until some of the water dries, and then plant it back. In summer, check the pots twice or thrice a day to prevent the plant from drying out.

Make Scented Geranium Oil

The most common method of extracting geranium oil is by steam distillation. Essential oils are used in cosmetics, perfumes, aromatherapy, and also during spa massages.

Things you will need:
  • Scented geranium leaves
  • 8 oz. of olive oil or sesame oil
  • Wide-mouth glass jar
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Bottle and cork stopper
Method:

Take a wide-mouthed glass jar and fill it with the fresh geranium leaves. Add olive oil to the jar. See to it that every leaf is drenched and covered with the oil. Keep a note of the date of this process. Place the jar on a newspaper or in a bowl to avoid staining. Keep this mixture in a sunny spot for at least 14 to 15 days. After this, take a thick cloth suitable to drain the oil and place it on the mouth of the bowl. Then pour the oil from the jar slowly onto the cloth covering the bowl. Let this oil sit for two days, to allow the moisture in the leaves to get collected at the bottom. You can also add 1 or 2 drops of color to it and stir it. After the oil has drained, pour it into a glass bottle and close with a cork lid. You can write the ingredients on a piece of paper and stick it on the bottle. This can make a great gift.

These bright and low-maintenance plants are must-haves in every garden. Caring for these plants in a proper manner will surely bring fragrance to your garden.