© RHS/Tim Sandall


Scented-leaf pelargoniums

Some pelargoniums are grown principally for their scented leaves, which can smell of rose, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, orange, balsam or apple. Position them near a seat or on a favourite windowsill where the scent can be enjoyed to the full.


These open, dome-shaped, spreading plants have textured leaves that are often variegated with gold or silver and release a fragrance when rubbed. Small flowers are produced in loose clusters. The so-called 'Unique' type pelargoniums combine showier flowers with scented foliage.


These pelargoniums need well-drained soil. A position in full sun helps develop the aromatic oils. In containers, add grit, perlite or vermiculite to the compost to ensure good drainage.


They will not thrive in damp soil and can be disappointing in shade. Like other pelargoniums, they won’t take a frost.

Did you know?

Leaves can be cut for using in pot pourri, fresh or dried, or to flavour sugars and tisanes. Commercially, extracts of Pelargonium capitatum are used to make geranium oil.

Growing guide

Scented-leaf pelargoniums we recommend

Buy pelargoniums from RHSplants.co.uk

Every purchase supports the work of the RHS

Useful advice

Containers: summer selection

Containers: summer selection

Growing plants in containers

Growing plants in containers

Pelargonium rust

Pelargonium rust

Pelargonium viruses

Pelargonium viruses

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.