CULTURE: Scented geraniums are well suited for growing in containers, but can also be planted
in the ground. They thrive in sunny location in evenly moist soil. They are occasionally grown
from seed but do better from rooted cuttings. Water them well several hours before taking
cuttings. Cut “slips” 3 to 5 inches long with a very sharp knife or nurseryman’s clippers, sterilized with
alcohol. The best cuttings are from a stem that “snaps.” Cut below an internode at an angle and
remove lower leaves and stipules. Lay the cuttings out for 24 hours to “callus.” This stimulates the
growth of new cells on the wound. Filtered light, a dry atmosphere, and no more than 70oF assures
the best callusing. Placing cuttings in a frost-free refrigerator for 12-to 36 hours assures good
callusing. It is not necessary to use a rooting hormone on geraniums. However, if you are going
to root them in sand or soil, the fungicide contained in rooting compound may prove helpful. Stick the
callused cuttings upright into the soil medium. Put this in a warm place in filtered light. In two weeks
or so the cuttings will develop roots. Certain varieties do better in a rich loam as opposed to
ordinary potting soil: Mint (Tomentosum), apple, apricot, strawberry, Mabel Grey.
Transplant to garden if desired, adding soil amendments if necessary. Remove any leaves as
they yellow. They make excellent standards.
P. graveolens used
EXTRACTION: essential oil by steam distillation from the leaves, stalks and flowers of rose geranium. An absolute and concrete are also produced in Morocoo.
CHARACTERISTIC: The Bourbon oil is a greenish-olive liquid with a rosy-sweet, minty scent, preferred in perfumery work; middle note.
BLENDS WITH: lavender, patchouli, clove, rose, neroli, sandalwood, jasmine, juniper, angelica,
basil, bay, carrot seed, cedarwood, citronella, clary sage, grapefruit, lime, orange, petitgrain, rose, rosemary, bergamot and other citrus oils.
ACTIONS: antidepressant, anti-hemorrhagic, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, cicatrisant, deodorant, diuretic, fungicidal, hemostatic, stimulant (adrenal cortex), styptic, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary
CONSTITUTENTS: citronellol, gernaiol, linalol, isomenthone, menthone, phellandrene, sabinene, limonene
Skin Care: acne, bruises, broken capillaries, burns, congested skin, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, hemorrhoids, lice, mature skin, mosquito repellent, oily complexion, ringworm, ulcers, wounds Circulation: cellulitis, engorgement of breasts, edema, poor circulation.
Respiratory System: sore throat, tonsillitis Genito-urinary and endocrine systems: andrenocortical glands and menopausal problems, PMS, tonic effect on the kidneys and a mild diuretic; balances the secretion of hormones and stimulates the lymphatic system and the pancreas.
Nervous System: nervous tension, neuralgia and stress-related conditions.
Other Uses: fragrance component in cosmetic products including soaps, creams, perfumes. Used as a flavoring agent in most food categories, alcoholic and soft drinks.
SAFETY: non-toxic, non-irritant, generally nonsensitizing. Possibly contact dermatitis in hypersensitive individuals.
Urinary: 6 drops geranium, 4 drops juniper, 3 drops rosemary
Reproductive: 6 drops geranium, 3 drops neroli, 2 drops lavender
Skin: 4 drops geranium, 3 drops rose, 2 drops bergamot
Emotion: 5 drops geranium, 4 drops grapefruit, 2 drops ylang-ylang
COSMETIC USES: Vinegar for the bath: 2 oz rosemary, 2 oz rose petals, 2 oz lavender, 2 oz mint, 2 oz rose geranium leaves, 6 cups apple cider or white vinegar, 1 cup rose water. Mix herbs and flowers together; add vinegar. Bottle and steep in refrigerator for 3-6 weeks. Strain and rebottle. Add a few fresh herb sprigs and the rose water.
A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook, Patricia Telesco, Llewelyn, 1994
Along the Garden Path, Bill and Sylvia Varney, Fredericksburg Herb farm, 1997
Aromatherapy Blends and Remedies, Franzesca Watson, Thorsons, 1995
The Best of Thymes, Marge Clark, Thyme Cookbooks, 1997
Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion, Kitty Morse, 10 Speed Press, 1995
Edible Flowers: a Recipe Collection, Marilyn Lande, Lan-Design Publications (12202 East 203rd
St., Raymore, MO 64083)
Cooking with Flowers, Jenny Leggatt, Fawcett-Columbine, 1987
Flowers in the Kitchen, Susan Belsinger, Interweave Press, 1991
The Complete Geranium, Susan Condor, Clarkson N Potter, 1992
The Culinary Gardener, Peoria Area Herb Guild
Edible Flowers From Garden to Palate, Cathy Wilkinson Barash, Fulcrum, 1993
Growing & Using Scented Geraniums, Mary Peddie & Judy & John Lewis, Storey Publishing,
Flora’s Dictionary, Kathleen Gips, TM Publications, 1990
Today’s Herbal Kitchen, Memphis Herb Society, 1997