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Pelargonium graveolens - L'Hér.

Common Name Rose Geranium, Sweet scented geranium
Family Geraniaceae
USDA hardiness 10-11
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Near the Hex river in S.W. Cape province.
Range S. Africa.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Pelargonium graveolens Rose Geranium, Sweet scented geranium

Pelargonium graveolens Rose Geranium, Sweet scented geranium


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Bloom Color: Pink. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Pelargonium graveolens is an evergreen Shrub growing to 1.2 m (4ft) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Plant Habitats

 South Wall. By. West Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

Flowers - raw. Added to salads[183]. The leaves are rose-scented and are used as a flavouring in desserts, jellies, vinegars etc[183, 238]. The fresh leaves are brewed into a tea[183, 238].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antiinflammatory  Antiseptic  Aromatherapy  Astringent  Cancer  Eczema  Sedative

An aromatic, rose-scented herb, the whole plant has relaxant, anti-depressant and antiseptic effects, reduces inflammation and controls bleeding[238]. All parts of the plant are astringent[4]. It is used internally in the treatment of pre-menstrual and menopausal problems, nausea, tonsillitis and poor circulation[238]. Externally, it is used to treat acne, haemorrhoids, eczema, bruises, ringworm and lice[238]. The leaves can be used fresh at any time of the year[238]. The essential oil from the leaves is used in aromatherapy[238] and is also applied locally to cervical cancer[218].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


a pelargonium that was well known since the 17th century for its use in food & beverages, tea, pot pourri & perfume, It is also very popular in Bulgaria where it is used in the production of rose geranium essential oil. An essential oil is obtained from the plant, it has an orange-rose fragrance[46, 104, 171]. This plant is the main constituent of geranium oil, which is used extensively in aromatherapy, skin care and as a food flavouring[238]. The leaves are used in pot-pourri[238].

Special Uses

Dynamic accumulator  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Container, Specimen. Requires a light well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in a sunny position[188, 200]. Plants are not very hardy in Britain, they generally require greenhouse protection but might succeed outdoors when grown in a very sheltered warm spot in the mildest parts of the country[1]. They can also be grown in containers that are placed outdoors in the summer and then brought into the greenhouse or conservatory for the winter[238]. The plants need to be kept fairly dry in the winter[200]. Very tolerant of pruning, they can be cut right down to the base in the autumn when bringing them back indoors, or in the spring to encourage lots of fresh growth[238]. Cultivated for its essential oil in S. France and Spain[171], there are many named varieties[183, 200]. Special Features: Attractive foliage, Fragrant foliage, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers or blooms.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Stored seed should be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best with a minimum temperature of 13°c, germination usually taking place within 2 weeks though it sometimes takes some months[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. If trying them outdoors, plant them out in early summer and consider giving them extra protection during the winter. Cuttings succeed at almost any time in the growing season but early summer is the best time in order for the new plant to become established before winter.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Pelargonium acetosum Shrub0.6 -  LMNDM11 
Pelargonium australeIvy GeraniumPerennial0.3 8-11  LMNDM11 
Pelargonium bowkeri Perennial0.0 -  LMNDM11 
Pelargonium capitatumRose-Scented GeraniumShrub0.6 8-11  LMNDM033
Pelargonium crispumLemon GeraniumShrub0.7 8-11  LMSNDM223
Pelargonium exstipulatumPennyroyal GeraniumShrub1.0 8-11  LMNDM122
Pelargonium fragransNutmeg GeraniumShrub0.3 8-11  LMNDM123
Pelargonium fulgidum Shrub0.7 8-11  LMNDM012
Pelargonium glutinosumPheasant's Foot GeraniumShrub1.5 8-11  LMNDM013
Pelargonium incrassatum Perennial0.3 8-11  LMNDM012
Pelargonium odoratissimumApple GeraniumPerennial0.2 8-11  LMSNDM233
Pelargonium peltatumIvy-Leaved Geranium, Hanging Geranium, Ivy GeraniumShrub1.5 9-10 MLMNDM113
Pelargonium quercifoliumOak-Leaved GeraniumShrub1.5 8-11  LMNDM023
Pelargonium radensRasp-leaf pelargoniumShrub1.0 8-11  LMNDM023
Pelargonium tomentosumPeppermint GeraniumShrub0.5 8-11  LMSDM123
Pelargonium triste Perennial0.5 8-11  LMNDM112
Pelargonium vitifoliumGrapeleaf geraniumShrub1.0 8-11  LMNDM013
Pelargonium zonaleHorseshoe geraniumPerennial1.0 8-11  LMNDM112

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


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Readers comment

Jean Luc THOLLOT   Tue Jan 17 2006

I would like to know where I could buy seeds of Pelargonium graveolens for production of oil. e mail me please: [email protected]

Lia de Ruiter   Fri Jun 30 2006

I have recently acquired a couple of lemon-scented Pelargonium graveolens (at least, that is what the label says. My herbal book says that the name should be Pelargonium crispum. I wonder who's right. These lemon-scented Pelargoniums are an excellent insect repellent. I also have a mint-scented Pelargonium, which has white linings on the leaves. The label on this Pelargonium says: Mintrosa - Lady Diana. It also says that this plant is not for consumption. Perhaps that is because it is treated. I have yet to discover the rose-scented Pelargonium here in the Netherlands...

Mountain Valley Growers Picture of the mint-scented Pelargonium, similar to mine.

Adrian van wyk   Thu Mar 22 2007


Emmy Harris   Mon Oct 8 2007

Where can I buy seeds in South Africa?

Lourens   Tue Dec 18 2007

I really want to produce this plant in South Africa. Will it be possible to supply me with some contact details, or possible contract farming. Regards Lourens

LJ   Sat Apr 12 2008

Goodday all I'm currently farming pelargronium graveolens in south africa. I would like to find out if there is any market/distrabution factory's for this plant.

Willem Buys   Wed Aug 13 2008

I stay in Knysna South Africa. Where can I buy seeds to grow Pelargonium graveolens commercially?

John   Wed Oct 8 2008

You can contact us in South Africa - we have stock of Pelargonium extract (tinctue). We can aslo supply rough cut - suitable for making into a tea. Thanks John [email protected] Medico Herbs South Africa

Pelargonium Sodiodes Pelargonium extract, tincture and powder

Chrmann   Mon Nov 10 2008

How do you make the Pelargonium extrat and how much do you use for a throat,bronchial infection or other illnesses? I like to make my own herbal medicines. I'm allergic to corn. So, the extract must not have any product made from corn.

Ann   Sat Mar 14 2009

Where can I abtain pelargonium graveolens in Essex. England

Susan Kimmerly   Sat Mar 28 2009

Where can I btain pelargonium graveolens in New England, United States?

Joanna   Mon Nov 30 2009

Where can I buy pelargonium graveolens in London. England

LJ   Tue Dec 8 2009

How can we go about to get contract fot this plant oil in South Africa are there any contract available, or buyers of this oils?

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