The Q&A Archives: Growing Scented Geraniums

Question: What is the easiest scented geranium to grow in a pot?Are they hard to keep over in doors in winter?

Answer: As a group the scented geraniums are not difficult to grow as houseplants on a asunny window sill. The rose scented is a favorite and seems to be quite vigorous, for example. These plants need a bright location, grow well in a good quality soilless potting mix, need to be watered only when the soil begins to dry out a bit, and can be fertilized during the growing season with an all purpose water soluble fertilizer for houseplants according to the label instruction.

The most common problems in my experience are lack of light, overwatering, and overenthusiastic repotting before they have outgrown the old pot.

The plants can be trimmed back and pinched as needed to encourage bushiness, this is usually done as a routine thing each spring because they tend to get leggy during the shorter winter days, and then occasionally if needed during the summer. They can be summered outside if you like, set them in a partial shade, dappled light or morning sun location. (Full sun all day is usually too much for them.)

Many of the scented geraniums tend to stay on the small side and the blooms are not too exciting as a rule, so the decorative appearance of the foliage can be important in your selection process. Cuttings are easily rooted and many people enjoy collecting and sharing the various types. These plants are so much fun, why not try one or two and see how it works for you.

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