Many years ago I came across a lady who introduced me to the Lemon Geranium as a houseplant. I knew the typical varieties that people here in the UK would put outside in pots or their gardens in spring. And I remember these geraniums that way from childhood.
I remember walking into her flat and my nose being assailed by the most wonderful smell of lemon mint. The aroma, I soon discovered, came from the biggest geranium I had ever seen and am still yet to see. The leaves were much bigger than my hand. I instantly fell in love!
From that time onwards I have done my best to have one with me. They make an excellent indoor plant for many reasons. Top most in my opinion, is the aroma you get from lightly touching the leaves. Grown right up against a window they help create a dappled sunlight which can aid plants that, in their natural habitat, live on the forest floor.
You can also use the lemon geranium in baking and cooking as well as for making tea. If you haven’t tried a sponge cake flavoured with the leaves of this plant you are missing out.
Care tips for keeping a Lemon Geranium as a houseplant:
- Lemon Geranium indoors will only thrive if you give it a window to sit in. The window can face any direction, they even love a south facing window sill in full sun.
- Lemon Geraniums are reasonably thirsty plants. They don’t like to dry out between waterings but they don’t want to be sitting in any water for any length of time either. If in a south facing window they’ll need watering about once every three days or so. The leaves will start to droop if they are running out of water.
- Lemon Geranium will live in most soils. Though my tip would be to treat it like a fern. It doesn’t need fast draining soil as it is efficient at using the water within it. A general houseplant soil will do the job well.
- How to propergate:
- Lemon Geranium is one of the easiest plants, in my experience, to propergate. You can do this by leaf or stem cuttings placed in a jar of water and have roots within a couple of weeks and potted up within a month. You can also root divide them successfully.
- In my experience of keeping this plant indoors I have had no problems with pests. They can however get green and white fly. A soapy mixture sprayed on, left for a while, then rinsed off should do the trick. Repeat daily if needed.
And there you have it. The lemon geranium as a houseplant. Once you have one inside you’ll wonder why you never thought of keeping one indoors before.
Interested in learning more? Stay tuned for two simple and tasty recipes you can make with this very versatile, wonderfully scented plant.