How to Grow Scented Geraniums for Profit
Scented geraniums offer a unique scent and bright colors to outdoor landscaping, window boxes or pots on patios or decks. Most large nurseries and big garden centers purchase their plants from large, commercial producers. Offer your scented geraniums to local shops and nurseries. Sell them at farmers markets, Saturday markets and festivals. Plant unusual varieties, that are not found easily at local shops. Offer a variety of types of arrangements, which include the scented geraniums, as well as single potted scented geraniums.
Things You’ll Need
- Scented geranium seeds
- Seeding trays
- Plastic containers
- Clear plastic wrap
- Commercial containers
- Fancy containers
- Choose your seeds. These plants are found in categories by the scent: rose, mint, spice, fruit and others. Tiny hairs below the leaves hold the beads that set off the scent. Some varieties of scented geraniums to try are Rober’s lemon rose (rose), Joy Lucille (mint), wildwood (pungent), lime (fruit) or old spice (spice).
- Use as many clean seed trays as needed to produce the number of scented geraniums needed. For your first time, start small. After selling your plants the first year, you will know if more are needed the following year.
- Fill the seed trays with a commercial potting mixture that contains half vermiculite and half sphagnum moss. Pour the potting mixture into the seed trays to ½ inch from the top. Tamp down the soil, gently, to make sure air pockets are removed.
- Pour water over the potting mixture and let it drain for a minimum of three hours.
- Plant one seed in each seeding section of the seed tray, ¼ inch deep. Cover the seed hole with potting mixture.
- Put water into the bottom tray of the seeding tray, allowing the soil to suck up the water from the bottom. When the top of the soil is moist, pour out the remaining water. Place the tray bottom back under the seeding tray and let the soil drain. Repeat this process for as many scented geranium plants as you need.
- Place a sheet of clear plastic wrap over each seeding tray to keep the soil moist and the seeds warm. Do not seal it to the tray. There still needs to be ventilation.
- Place the seeding trays in a warm room with natural light, 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the day and about 10 degrees cooler during the night. However, you must not allow the seedlings to get direct sunlight, as the soil may become too warm. Take off all the plastic wrap sheets as soon as the seeds germinate (sprout). Germination will vary from just a few days, up to four weeks.
- Water the seedlings as the top of the potting mixture appears dry. Transplant the seedlings into selling containers when they reach 5 to 7 inches. Feed them with a house plant fertilizer each week, using one part fertilizer to three parts water. After the last frost, harden them off outdoors. This means to increase their outdoor hours each day until they spend an entire 24 hours outside.
Tips & Warnings
Make sure to start your scented geranium seeds early enough to be ready for spring gardeners.
Your first sale may contain only small plants. As the weeks pass and they grow, replant them in larger, fancier containers. Consider hand painting clay pots as an inexpensive means to accomplish this.