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A picture of a Citronella Pelargonium

Citronella Pelargonium

Pelargonium citronellum

Also known as

Lemon-Scent Pelargonium, Citrus Pelargonium

Photo by kizzyb (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








1 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Citronella Pelargonium

A photo of Citronella Pelargonium
A photo of Citronella Pelargonium
A photo of Citronella Pelargonium
A photo of Citronella Pelargonium
A photo of Citronella Pelargonium

Citronella Pelargonium Overview

Pelargonium citronellum is a strongly scented herb that releases a lemony fresh scent when touched. This low maintenance, evergreen plant is easy to grow and makes for an interesting garden subject with its attractive, scented leaves and clusters of pink-purple flowers during the spring and summer. Lemon-Scent Pelargonium is perfect for growing in containers, especially close to windows and entrances where the lemon scent can be enjoyed often. Due to its natural insecticidal properties it repels pests, making it a wonderful companion plant. This plant does best in full sun, well-draining soil that is kept moist throughout the year. If you are situated in a region where winter temperatures regularly drop below minus figures, Pelargonium citronellum will need some winter protection. You can easily take cuttings to overwinter on windowsills or in heated greenhouses. Regular light pruning will help keep this beautiful plant looking at its best and prevent it from getting too leggy. It is often grown as a culinary herb or to infuse iced teas and desserts. You could also try drying the scented leaves to be used as potpourri.

Common problems with Citronella Pelargonium

How to harvest Citronella Pelargonium

Leaves can be harvested for potpourri and can be picked as needed. Plants can be cut in late summer and distilled for oil.

How to propagate Citronella Pelargonium


Take softwood or herbaceous cuttings and use rooting hormone powder. Place cuttings in river sand and keep damp. Should root in 2-4 weeks. Transplant when a strong root-ball has formed.


Sow seeds shallowly in late summer to early autumn in a light, well-drained potting mix. Water gently but thoroughly with a fine rose spray. Place in light shade. Germination takes 2-3 weeks.

Special features of Citronella Pelargonium

Repels harmful insects

This plant can be used as a companion plant to repel pests, as the lemon scent has natural insecticidal properties, although it has not been proven whether it is effective or not.

Pot plant

Pelargonium citronellum makes a good pot plant provided it is planted in well-draining soil and receives at least 6 hours of sunlight.

Drought resistant

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Citronella Pelargonium

Potpourrii and to repel garden pests


Leaves can be used as a culinary herb, to flavour pudding, infused to make tea or used fresh in desserts, punch, and vinegar.

Other uses


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