Info, articles and FAQs

New 2010 Photos of Scented Leaf Pelargoniums grown in pots, containers and raised beds

(August 27, 2010)

Photo supplied by Gill Mason
'Interestingly my husband made the planters for round the house. We have 7 in all. He used the wood from the kitchen ceiling that we took down after we moved here in 1988, and they slide over the planters themselves which are made from galvanised steel with little wooden legs to match the outside. We store the wooden parts in the garage, and it is just the insides that go wholesale into the frost free greenhouse or the plastic tent. And they are a bit of a weight but we manage between us to move them to safety. '
Many thanks Gill for the photo and email, very interesting and inspiring.

August newsletter Gill Mason planters

August newsletter Starters in tunnel 2010

Starter Sized Scented Leaf Pelargoniums
in our polytunnel - late August 2010

Due to the ever rising profile and increasing popularity of the
Scented Leaf Geranium Group
 we have propagated over 8000 SLP's so far during 2010

LATE AUGUST 2010 - we have now already turned our thoughts to the 2011 Season and are busy propagating plants for next year.

From little acorns do oak trees grow..........or Mature Scented Leaf Pelargoniums from Starter Sized plants

Yes, it is very hard to imagine that all of the baby starter sized scented geraniums in the photo will grow in to ravishing beauties, as the photos below demonstrate. 

With a little patience and some TLC a really good sized Scented Leaf will be achieved within one Season.

Once the 'baby' scented geraniums are potted up, fed, watered and provided with good light levels they really do put on quite rapid growth.

 August newsletter raised beds extended view 2010

in front of our

Last year we paved quite a large area on the field as it does have a tendency to hold a lot of water, especially over the winter months.  Also moving trolleys around filled with palnts was quite difficult and tiring. We didn't really want to use such a hard looking material as paving slabs but like everything here at the Nursery cost is always a factor.  To soften the hardness of the slabs we had quite a long series of raised boxes made and they have really worked well.  Mostly they have been planted with perennials and a few shrubs but the triangle ones, as in the photo, have various Scented Leaf Pelargoniums.  It is a very colourful display this year and the scent in the air is quite amazing.

This photo of Lady Plymouth is a very good example of how large some of the scented geraniums are able to grow to.  Approximate height from ground level is 3 feet high, with a similar spread. The following is true of all plants, if they do not have enough space beneath the compost for the roots to grow in to they will not happily put on top growth.  However, if you do not wish the plant to grow too large you may restrict growth by keeping the plant by not providing too much growing in to space.  This is OK as long as you keep a watchful eye on how the plant is reacting to its confinement.  If it doesn't like the restriction it will let you know by starting to look 'poorly' and this is a sure sign that there isn't enough growing space for the roots below the compost and it isn't able to take up enough nutriments or absorb enough water.

Not sure what we mean - have a read through the following on our website:
How to look after Scented Geraniums

 August newsletter raised bed with Lady Plymouth 2010
we all have our own style of planting and my preference is to include Scented Leaf Pelargoniums with other plants.
I really do like the way that the different shades of blue lobelia make the variegated leaves of Lady Plymouth stand out.

Scented Geraniums in the garden borders 

August newsletter SGs in the border 2 2009

Many of the medium to larger sized SLP's are excellent in a mixed planting scheme.  Scilly Mauve, Grace Thomas and Radula are just a few that come to mind.  The advantage of including Scenteds is, of course, the beautiful perfumes that will be carried along on the breeze.

From the feedback that we receive it would appear that quite a few avid followers do tend to keep their Scented Leaf Pelargoniums separate from other types of plants. I do understand why this might be a preference but do believe that there's always room in the mixed garden borders to pop in a 'smellie pellie'. 

Lifting the Scenteds at the end of Summer, late September/early October, can be a problem though as the root systems may be at quite a depth in the soil/compost.

Alternatively, from feedback we receive, many folk do leave the Scented Geraniums in the ground for the plants to be killed off by the first frosts.  You might think is quite a shame but for some people who cannot overwinter their plants inside it is a practical decision.  Our 12 Selection of Starters for £20 is such good value (£1.67 per plant) we can see why this is one of our Top Sellers.  2011 - the 12 Selection of Starters Price will not be increased, it will remain at £20 inc. P & P to all UK destinations.

All types of the Scented Leaf group are excellent in containers; from the smaller types to the very large.  However, as I often say, size really does matter and it is important to grow the individual type in a container that will be large enough for when the plant reaches maturity.  To check how large a particular SLP will grow to refer back to the Catalogue page as the height and spread is provided for each individual type.

We are all guilty of overcrowding our plants and this is something to keep in mind when you pot up the Starter size.  As the photo to the right demonstrates there is just one Hansen's Wild Spice in the 12" container and in its first season it has already filled the pot and ideally needs moving on into a larger one.  You can restrict the growth if you are stuck for space by tipping the plant out and trimming back the roots and repot in to fresh free draining compost.  The comment I would pass is that when I'm emailed with photos of an ailing plant it usually is due to an inappropriate pot or container size in relation to the size of the Scented Geranium.

The advantage of growing Scenteds in containers is that they are easily moved around the garden during the summer months to provide striking displays at strategic points.  Containers are also easy to lift inside to keep frost free over the winter months.


Hansen's Wild Spice in a container

August newsletter Hansens Wild Spice in container 

Hansen's Wild Spice is in a 12" bell pot and although doing well is at the point when it should be moved in to a larger one.
At this point the compost in the container will be quite depleted of nutriments and the roots will have taken up all of the space and have nothing left to grow in to.  If this Scented was in a larger pot there would be a lot more flowers.  The lack of flowers is letting me know that it needs some TLC!

Hanged planter on wall at the side of our house 2009
This is a classic mistake (by me!) of over planting and with the wrong types of Scented Leaf Pelargoniums. This basket is not deep enough, it's only about 6 inches, and just 2 of the smaller growing types would have filled it.  Result was severe overcrowding, especially in the centre of the plants, which resulted in decaying leaf matter to the inner parts.  Insufficient depth of compost could not retain much water fro the roots to take up and slow release granules were soon depleted.

It did look quite nice for a while though!

August newsletter hanging planter 2009

Large container with mixed planting
this photo was quite early in the 2009 Season before the plants filled out.  There are only 3 plants; Begonia centre with Deerwood Lavender Lass and Odoratissmum around the front edge.  I don't plant the back of the pot as it doesn't receive any light.  Within a few weeks the Scenteds had trailed over the pot which was then barely noticeable.

There are quite a few types of trailing or semi'-branching types of Scented Leaf Pelargoniums which are excellent for containers and hanging baskets.

Excellent Tip for 2011 - fragrant hanging baskets

August newsletter mixed planted container 2009

Scilly Mauve in one of our triangular raised boxes
One of my favourite colours in life is deep and vibrant shades of pink and the flowers of Scilly Mauve are stunningl. This large growing Scented Leaf is directly outside of our polytunnel and has been in flower for months.

It is hard to imagine that in South Africa that they consider Scilly Mauve to be a weed! 

August newsletter raised bed with Scilly Mauve 2010

And, finally, not forgetting

Scented Leaf Pelargoniums as inside house plants
Where SLP's are positioned in the home is important as they do require sufficient natural light to thrive.
Here's the link that provides information:
How to grow Scented Leaf Pelargoniums as a house plant 

Lilian Pottinger
Excellent sized SLP for in the home
Apple scent/aroma





Lara Nomad
Large sized SLP but does well in a pot

Strong lemon scent/aroma












Compact growing habit, rosette form
Interesting black pepper scent/aroma


Have a read through the Catalogue descriptions of the individual types for information on growing habits.  Most types are suitable for in the home but it is important that correct care is provided.  Here's another link that is helpful:
How to look after Scented Geraniums


August newsletter Lilian Pottinger in pot

August newsletter Lara Nomad in pot

August newsletter Dichondraefolium 1




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