New to Scented Leaf Pelargonium? Which individual types to choose to use leaves in recipes.

(July 09, 2012)
(Article written Jan 2010)
We received the following email yesterday and we are asked this type of question quite often.  I don't really like to suggest what types of Scenteds should be chosen, as we all like different things in life and my choice might not be yours.  I appreciate it is difficult with so many to choose from in our Catalogue but if you are a Beginner I would start with perhaps 4 or 5 different scents and, maybe, go for the smaller varieties.  If you are not familiar with growing plants it is imperative that you read through the caring for your Scented Geraniums page.  And, if you still don't quite get the hang of things you are welcome to Contact Us direct and you'll receive a personal reply from me (Annie).
Email recvd. 31.12.09
dear sir/madam,
could you please let me know the four most highly scented geraniums to order?  i should love to use them in cooking/baking so perhaps the four most useful for the kitchen?
many thanks.
happy new year.
Our Reply:

Hello Elaine and many thanks for contacting us.

If you are not familiar with Scented Leaf Pelargoniums it may surprise you to discover that the majority are highly scented, which means that we are all spoilt for choice.

For culinary use I can only say that you are limited by your imagination.  All Scenteds are classified as herbs and as such are edible.  Of course, the pungent types wouldn’t lend themselves to most recipes but all others would.  Basically, if you read through the descriptions on our website all of the different scents are given on each page.  For a quick guide have a look at the Aromatic Scented Geranium Leaves for Cooking and Herbal Uses –

Scent classification is very subjective and what one person will smell, another might receive something completely different.  We have a lot of Recipes on our website and here is the link –

As a starting point and a guide I would recommend the following:

  1. Attar of Roses – excellent in baking sponges and for rose scented sugar. Very popular.
  2. Odoratissmum – apple scent – I have chosen this apple variety as opposed to others that we grow as it is more manageable as a potted house plant.  This variety is a Species originating from South Africa and is one of the earliest recorded Scented types and is known to date back to the 1600’s.
  3. Ardwick Cinnamon – hard to believe that crushing leaves can release such a strong cinnamon scent.  The leaves are very useful in baking and I also finely dice and use in curries.
  4. The citrus based group is probably the hardest to make a choice from as they all have strong scents and there are so many of them.  They all actually have quite different scents with some having a strong lemon, whilst another might have lemon with a lime undertone, there’s orange, grapefruit, lime and many other variations.  One of my favourites is BirdBush Kay Lye as this is a very strong citrus with alternating lemon/lime scents.  Uses are numerous!  This plant is really good for inside as it has an upright and quite stiff growing habit and it’s also very easy to care for.  Flowers are amazing and are prolific over a very long period.
  5. If you like herbal tea any of the above may be infused into hot water.  Tomentosum Peppermint is the one for peppermint tea and the strength of the peppermint scent does take most people by surprise, i.e. bordering on shocked!

I would mention that most of the Scenteds do make quite large plants although they can be trimmed back to keep them manageable.  However, they do require potting on into larger pots as they grow to ensure that they reach a mature size and this way they will provide lots of new growth for you to pick the leaves.  The correct type of gritty compost is very important.  For full caring for your Scented Geranium instructions please do have a good read through our website.  This group of plants are not difficult to look after but like most growing things they do have some basic requirements for them to thrive.  I find from feedback that most problems that arise are through total neglect and not understanding the most basic of growing practices.

Thanks again Elaine for contacting us, we are here to help and please feel free to ask any further questions that you may have.  Our first dispatch date will be w/c 18th January 2010 and it is a good idea to order asap to ensure that your plants will be posted out early.  People do tend to turn their minds to plants after the Christmas break and we tend to see a sharp rise in orders from this time forward.

Best regards  

Annie (& Guy)











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