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Secrets of Successful Geranium Cultivation: A Comprehensive Guide

Here’s a comprehensive guide to Geranium cultivation covering soil requirements, pruning methods, harvesting practices, and varieties suitable for optimal yield.

Shivam Dwivedi
Secrets of Successful Geranium Cultivation: A Comprehensive Guide (Photo Source: Pexels)
Secrets of Successful Geranium Cultivation: A Comprehensive Guide (Photo Source: Pexels)

Geranium, scientifically known as Pelargonium graveolens L. Herit, belongs to the Geraniaceae family. Commonly referred to as Scented Geranium, it holds significant importance in various cultures, with its Indian name being Geranium in Hindi, Pannir soppu or Pannir patre in Kannada, and simply Geranium in Tamil. This aromatic plant is renowned for its essential oil, prized for its intense rose-like fragrance, with geraniol and citronellol being its primary constituents. In this guide, we'll explore the cultivation of geranium, including soil and climate requirements, varieties, propagation techniques, plant protection, pruning methods, and harvesting practices.

Soil and Climate Requirement

Geranium thrives in well-drained soils, making saline or alkaline soils with poor drainage unsuitable for its cultivation. Ideally, it flourishes in mild climates characterized by low humidity, warm winters, and mild summers, with annual rainfall ranging from 100 to 150 cm. Successful cultivation has been observed within altitudes ranging from 1000 to 2100 meters. Varieties such as Algerian and Reunion are particularly suitable for areas with heavy rainfall.

Varieties of Geranium

Several varieties of geranium have been identified, including KKL-1, Sel-8, Hemanti, Bipuli, and Kunti. Algerian and Reunion varieties are recommended for regions experiencing heavy rainfall.


Due to the absence of seed setting, geranium is propagated vegetatively through cuttings. Terminal cuttings of approximately 20 cm in length, comprising about 8 nodes, are taken from healthy plants. After trimming the leaves, the cuttings are treated with a 0.1% Benlate solution and planted in nursery beds at 5 cm spacing. The optimal time for raising the nursery is from November to January. Rooting of cuttings typically takes about 2 months, although mist conditions can expedite the process to around 20 days.

Plant Protection

Geranium plants are susceptible to various pests and diseases, including aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and tobacco budworms. Common preventive measures involve spraying with neem oil or spinosad. Termites and wilt are major concerns, with control methods including the application of Heptachlor to the soil.


While geraniums do not require extensive pruning, deadheading is essential during the blooming season to remove wilted flowers and encourage new growth. Pinching the growing tips of young geraniums can also help shape their growth.

Harvesting and Yield

Geranium is typically ready for harvest approximately 4 months after transplanting, indicated by light green leaves and a shift in fragrance from lemon-like to rose-like. Harvesting involves cutting the green leafy shoots with a sharp sickle and immediately proceeding to distillation. With proper care, geranium plants can yield three harvests per year, with an estimated yield of 15 tonnes of fresh herbage per hectare annually, resulting in approximately 18 kg of oil through distillation.

Cultivating geranium can be a rewarding endeavor for farmers and enthusiasts alike, given its valuable essential oil and various applications in cosmetics and perfumery.

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