Pelargonium graveolens (Rose Geranium)
One of the best known if all of the Pelargonium species is Pelargonium graveolens. (see picture right)
An upright evergreen perennial that will reach around 1m in height with a similar spread, attractive green foliage that is deeply lobed, and of course the rosy pink flowers through late spring and summer.
This is the main species used to produces the fragrant oil used for perfumes, it is the the thick leaves that hold more oil that make it valuable, however it is as the 'Rose scented geranium' a versatile garden plant that it is most widely known.
An excellent plant for a part shaded position where it will flower freely from spring through summer.
Pelargonium graveolens Care
Widely used in the garden border as well as in hanging baskets Pelargonium graveolens has few pests or problems. Pruning is easy as they are a tolerant plant and can be cut back quite hard if required, easily pruned back to maintain shape and size this is also a suitable plant for growing in containers.
A humus rich, moist but well drained soil is essential for good growth. A general purpose slow release fertiliser is widely used, we prefer to use a liquid seaweed fertiliser as well, especially in early spring as new growth commences.
Pelargonium graveolens Propagation
Propagation is from seed or by cuttings. Seed can be sown when fresh into a cold frame, or in spring, germination usually takes 2-3 weeks. Cuttings can be taken any time from spring to mid summer, any later and the cold weather can hold back growth.
The essential oil is extracted commercially and is used widely in aromatherapy, incense, perfume and even in cooking, especially cakes.
Pelargonium Species Include
- Pelargonium sidoides
- Pelargonium hortorum
- Pelargonium peltatum
- Pelargonium citrosum
- Pelargonium graveolens
- Pelargonium caroli henrici (picture above right)
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