Kay in Tempe, Arizona, asked: Are scented geraniums really scented?
They sure are! And in many different scents! Flip through geranium web
sites or borrow a good book at the library or, better yet for constant
reference, buy one at a bookstore.
I'm sure scenteds will do well in your area, Kay, though they may want
some shade -- but not full shade -- during the hottest part of the day.
Summers here in eastern Iowa get into the 90s and my G's do fine, even
in the high humidity that I'm sure you don't do battle with. I'd try
leaving a pot in full sun and another in afternoon shade to see which
does the best.
Geraniums, really properly called "pelargoniums," get thirsty in the
heat of summer, but they object to wet feet. I water mine when the soil
feels dry an inch below the surface.
Fertilizer: G's are heavy feeders during the growing season, but DO NOT
overfeed. They'll become lanky, produce more foliage and fewer flowers.
I feed mine about every 2 weeks at half the recommended strength (I use
In autumn, they come inside and left in their pots in a cool room,
getting no fertilizer and just enough water to keep them from
shriveling. They can be pruned back; try rooting the cuttings for a lot
more plants next spring. Keep them in bright light. Some of mine also
grow under lights (the smaller varieties).
I grow the usual pelargoniums plus variegateds and rosebuds. Get most of
mine at local nurseries. Anyone have suggestions for good mail order
Good luck, Kay. And happy growing to everyone!
John G. Adney
Marion, Iowa (next to Cedar Rapids, on the zones 4-5 line)
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