Scented Geranium Seed........why it's not a good idea

(March 25, 2010)

Enquiry received from Kelly, Coventry:

i have a friend here talkin about plants and he has been trying to get a lemon scented geranium from seed off the net or at garden centres with no joy . we both live in coventry and he wants it as a plant as he has had no joy in searching for it as a seed ???? where can we get seed so i can sow them now , or in a month or 2 time where can we go to a nursery that actually sells \' lemon scented geraniums \'.................

Annie & Guy's Comments:

Hi Kelly and thanks for contacting us.

Firstly, as a matter of interest, the correct name for scented geraniums is scented leaf pelargoniums. There are several groups of pelargoniums(geraniums) and the scented group is an individual classification.

Growing the scented types from seed. It is not recommended that any of the scented group is grown from seed as they are not likely to come true to type, i.e. the seed grows into a cutting and then matures but it isn’t likely to be like the Parent plant that the seed was harvested from. This explains why it is difficult to buy seed. Also, the seed tends to be very fine and dust like and is often difficult to germinate. I am aware that there is a particular person on ebay who regularly sells scented leaf seed but I really do not recommend this route. Also this person is not naming the types correctly and it is due to amateurs such as these that the correct name becomes really messed up.

If your friend is looking for a lemon scented leaf pelargonium it would be usual (and is recommended) to buy in a small plant, such as our Starter size, and then grow on. As it reaches maturity you would then take further cuttings to increase how many you have.

There are many different lemon scenteds, as you will see in our online Catalogue and you might be surprised to know that they do all smell different. The scented leaf group are classified as herbs and as such the leaves have many uses and are used in recipes, cosmetics, herbal preparations, medicinal and as a sensory aid.

It is very common for most amateur growers to refer to pelargoniums as geraniums but the latter is a completely different type of garden plant and would be a perennial which is left to grow in the garden all year round. The geraniums also look entirely different and do not have aromatic leaves.

Scented Leaf Pelargoniums are a highly specialised group of plants and there is a huge worldwide following. They are quite easy to grow as long as a few basic rules are adhered to and the stunning aromatic leaves, with so many different available scents, does indeed make them one of the most versatile plants that you will come across.

I do hope that the above is of help and please do contact us again if you have any further questions. But, please ask your friend NOT to buy seed!!

Best regards



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