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Rose Geranium (Pelargonium roseum Willd.)

Updated on April 26, 2012
Rose geranium (Pelargonium Roseum Willd.)
Rose geranium (Pelargonium Roseum Willd.) | Source

Sometimes this herb is also called Pelargonium graveolens. Despite the double name, it is the same herb - Rose geranium.

(Rose geranium oil is a look-alike of the rose oil and often used as counterfeit. It is hard to tell the difference for untrained buyer because the scent is the same.)

It is called Rose and Geranium, because this plant has both the characteristics in itself - Rose, because of the scent when it blooms and geranium, because it is from the same genus as the common Geraniums (Geraniaceae).

Roots grow to 15 cm in pot or up to 60 cm in soil. It is annual plant, but when dwarfed and domesticated it becomes perennial.

Fresh leaves grow in the whole year if the temperatures are not too low. Blooms actively between June and October.

The plant grows up to 2 meters tall (6-7 feet) in soil, but can be easily domesticated and grow indoors in a pot. It is cultivated mainly by the perfume industry and there are subspecies with various other scents as citrus, mint and coconut. What is more important than its aroma is of course

Health benefits

  • Stops diarrhea
  • Stops dry cough
  • Lowers wound bleeding in anemia
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers blood glucose levels
  • Helps battle spring fever
  • Cleans and sucks pus from acne and badly infected wounds
  • Purifies the air and cleanses from air bacteria if grown indoors.

The leaves have large quantities of polyphenols, vitamin C and precursors of vitamin A.

The leaves also emit phytoncydes in the air and in the immediate vicinity off the plant, most of the bacteria will die.


All upper part of the herb is usable. It must be gathered when blooming between June and September. Leave few young shoots of the plant, it goes blooming again after a month and can be harvested again.

Domesticated Pelargonium can be harvested any time of the year, but it is best when it blooms.

The Rose geranium herb does not need to be dried. It is consumed raw, in salads, in sorbets, added as a flavour for fruit juices, tutti-frutti, cakes and others.

In case you really need to dry it, use young shoots with small-to-medium leaves - with blossoms if possible (blooming is when the etheric oils are at their best quality). They have 0.1-0.3% oils ( Herba Pelargonii rosei).


Not hard at all. Put one rose geranium leaf in a cup and pour boiling water. Cover until it cools and then drink it. Sugar is not mandatory, the sweet scent of Pelargonium roseum is strong enough. You may also consume the leaf. It has very pleasant taste.

Acne pustules and pus wounds

can also be treated with this herb. It cleans the pus and helps heal the wound faster.

Clean the skin around the wound or pustule with warm water (ans mild soap if applicable). Crush pelargonium leaves in a pestle with few drops of olive oil until the mass becomes like a soft bubble gum. Cover the affected area with the green mass and leave for 10 minutes.

Repeat every day. Should see improvement in a week.

Cough medicine

4-5 fresh leaves are minced finely and mixed with minced basil, 4 crushed walnuts and boiled for 5 minutes in 1 pint water (1/2 liter).

The resulting infusion is taken every day before meals. (the preparation is enough for one day and needs to be prepared fresh every day.)

Diabetes aid for type 2

Clean 3 freshly cut leaves from dust (running water is fine) and consume them 30 minutes before meal.

The blood glucose will remain lower and will not spike from the meal. You may still need your medication though.

Don't quit your prescription before consulting your endocrinologist. Diabetes must be monitored and maintained by a professional medic.

Immune system improvement

is also one of the good qualities of the rose geranium.

Mix 200 grams (6 ounces) honey, the juice of 3 freshly squeezed lemons, 20 rose geranium leaves (minced to pulp) and 20 almonds or walnuts.

Have 1 tablespoon of this mix every morning 30 minutes before breakfast.

Cooking pelargonium as a spice.

It is very good for jams and fruit jelly. When making jars with jam, put a cleaned fresh leaf before closing the jar.

Rose geranium will prevent bacteria from ruining your jam and will add more aroma and sweet finish to the jam.


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    • m0rd0r profile imageAUTHOR

      Stoill Barzakov 

      5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Noroc din Bulgaria.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you so much - I never made tea from its leaves, although I knew and completely forgot that some of my older relatives used it in kompot ( or compot as it's called in my country - I am from Romania:)

      Thanks again!

    • m0rd0r profile imageAUTHOR

      Stoill Barzakov 

      5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Absolutely. They reduce blood sugar if you have diabetes (or a relative with diabetes) and can be used for extra aroma in some fruit preparations (We use it in Kompot, see here )

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thank you! I have them right besides the windows, but, unfortunately, my balcony only receives a few hours a day of direct sunlight. It is quite bright though, but I m guessing there should be more direct sunlight on them..Could I still make good tea from the leaves even if they're not bloomed?

    • m0rd0r profile imageAUTHOR

      Stoill Barzakov 

      5 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Geraniums need very bright window to bloom if they are indoors or mixed shadow to full sun if outdoors.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have Rose Geranium as a house plant for 5 years now, it "invaded" my balcony and I have lots now, but it never bloomed - I got the first plant from a friend who also had it for some time and hers never bloomed either - can you tell me if there is something I can do to make it bloom? - Thank you so much!

    • m0rd0r profile imageAUTHOR

      Stoill Barzakov 

      7 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Sorry, my bad. It blooms actively from late spring until the fall. In winter months, only the leaves keep growing if there is enough sunny days.

    • profile image

      Southern Hemisphere 

      7 years ago

      Would you please state what season that herbs flower rather than the months since the seasons are not in the same months all over the world. I have no idea whether June to October is winter/spring or summer/autumn. I'm sure I can find out on another website but I'm sure it would be better if future visitors could see it in one place.

    • m0rd0r profile imageAUTHOR

      Stoill Barzakov 

      8 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Thanks for dropping by Kris, I don't use my Rose geranium for salads, because I prefer salads with tomatoes and basil or cabbage with dill, but you may add Rose geranium blossoms in salads and they add very good aroma. Leaves are too sweet for a salad.

      Hi YogaKat, thanks for dropping by.

    • YogaKat profile image


      8 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Rose geranium is a very useful and beneficial herb - great health benefits. I am looking forward to trying the tea. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kris Heeter profile image

      Kris Heeter 

      8 years ago from Indiana

      Very interesting. I had one of these as a houseplant once (I ended up killing it somehow) but I loved to pick a leaf, rub it and enjoy the scent. I had heard about making tea with scented geraniums but had no idea that they could be used on salads. Thanks for sharing this info!


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