Pruning Guide for Scented Geraniums

Updated February 21, 2017

Scented geraniums are attractive green leaf plants with small flowers that give off a variety of delightful scents from lemon to chocolate. Pruning back leaves is essential to keep them healthy and beautiful.

Initial Pruning

Soon after planting, pinch back the tips of each branch to a node or place where the branch or leaves meet a stem. Buds will grow from the node and sprout encouraging a bushy, well-established plant. Stop snipping back once the plant has enough offshoots and poses a pleasant shape.

Pruning Leggy Established Plants

Scented geraniums get tall and leggy if not pinched enough. They have four main stems that you can prune. Cut two of them almost to the base of the plant and then take the other two back leaving three leaves on each. Root the removed stems and propagate into new plants.

Pruning in Southern Climates

Scented geraniums keep growing all year in warm climates and require organised pruning. Pinch back regularly to keep shape. Do one severe pruning the end of August and remove stems to only three leaves. Never remove all foliage from a branch because it could die. Prune again the end of November, but not as severely. Never prune in winter because flower buds set when evening temperatures are colder.

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About the Author

Deborah Harding has been writing for over nine years. Beginning with cooking and gardening magazines, Harding then produced a gardening and cooking newsletter and website called Prymethyme Herbs in 1998. Published books include "Kidstuff" and "Green Guide to Herb Gardening." She has a Bachelor of Music from Youngstown State University and sings professionally.