Pelargonium radens: What it is and its basic care

Pelargonium radens is native to South Africa

There are many plants that are used to create perfumes or to decorate our home. Pretty flowers and sweet scents embellish any decor. Today we will talk about a specific species: Pelargonium radens. Maybe it looks more like a fragrant leaf geranium.

This plant, native to South Africa, it is easy to grow and is widely used in the perfume industry. In this article we will explain what it is, what are its uses and the cultivable hybrids that exist. Plus, we’ll talk a bit about its basic care so you can grow it yourself at home.


What is pelargonium radens?

Pelargonium radens is mainly used for ornamental purposes.

Genre pelargonium is part of the family of Geraniaceae and is composed of more than two hundred different species, of which the Pelargonium radens. All are succulents, herbaceous plants and also shrubs whose origin is from South Africa, at least the vast majority. species radenMore precisely, It is mainly found in the Eastern and Southern Cape, South Africa. There it usually grows in gorges and ravines near streams. It is also common to find these flowers on the slopes of the mountains, among the bushes.

Its scientific name comes from the Greek. In this language, the word “Pelargos” is translated as “stork”, referring to the similarity that its fruits have with this animal. As for the “radens”, this word refers to the rough leaves of this plant. Another name by which the raden pelargoniums it is “fragrant leaf geranium.”

It should be noted that the Pelargonium radens it is a perennial plant whose growth is quite fast, reaching a height of up to one and a half meters. Its leaves are triangular in shape and, if pressed, they are quite aromatic. They are divided into fine toothed green lobes.

The flowering season of this vegetable begins in early spring and lasts until autumn. Thus, its beautiful purple and pink flowers can be enjoyed throughout the summer season. These are small and grouped in clusters. The seeds they have are small and brown.


As with many plant species today, There are several cultivable hybrids of Pelargonium radens, such as the following:

  • Dancer Candy: It is distinguished by its aroma of roses. The flowers of this hybrid are not as marked as those of other species.
  • Crowfoot: This variety has an aroma of roses and mint.
  • Dr Livingstone: Also known as Skeleton Rose. It has a scent of roses, but its leaves are less dissected than in other varieties of pelargonium.
  • Radula: Another rose-scented hybrid. It is generally considered to be a synonym or a clone of the original species, i.e. of the Pelargonium radians.
  • Red Flowering Rose: It may be a hybrid between the Pradens and another species whose aroma is rose. The main feature of this variety is that the flowers have a pink and reddish color.
  • Pelargonium x asperum: It is a hybrid between Pelargonium radens Yes Pelargonium capitatum, also rose-scented. It is the variety most used in perfumery. Of course, it should not be confused with the Pelargonium asperumwhich also has a very sweet smell.


Traditionally, the leaves of Pelargonium radens They were used to flavor certain foods. such as jellies and herbal teas. An essential oil can also be extracted from both the flowers and the leaves which can be used as a food additive and flavoring agent. It is often called geranium oil or rose geranium oil. It is important to note that only small amounts of this seasoning should be used.

While it is true that it can be used at the culinary level, the most common use of this plant is ornamental, especially for interiors. It is usually grown in borders, pots, flower beds and planters. They are truly spectacular on terraces, balconies and patios. But we can also plant this variety of pelargonium on the ground in our garden. Whatever the case, it must be given all the necessary care so that it can enjoy its beautiful flowers and sweet scents.

Pelargonium radens: Care

Pelargonium radens is widely used in the perfume industry.

Now that we know a little more about the Pelargonium radens, we are going to comment on the care that this beautiful plant requires. Fortunately, he’s not a very demanding person, and what’s more It is very resistant to the most common pests and diseases. Below we will list all the aspects that we must take into account for its cultivation:

  • Location: Ideally, place this plant in full sun. While it is true that it can live perfectly in partial shade, it is important to note that it will flower less.
  • Temperature: It prefers warm temperatures, typical of South Africa. However, it can withstand frosts down to three degrees below zero.
  • Usually I: It is vital for the plant that the soil is not calcareous. It is best to use a mixture of clay, coarse sand and forest soil. As for transplanting in a pot, it should be carried out annually, more precisely, in early spring.
  • Irrigation: To properly maintain this vegetable, it is essential to water it every day in summer and a little less in spring. The rest of the year, just water whenever the soil dries out.
  • Pass: When fertilizing, it is best done with organic matter, such as compost or manure. This task should be done in early spring or late winter.
  • Cut: The ideal time to prune this plant is when the flowering season is over, in the fall. Of course, the size should be light.
  • The reproduction: If we want to cultivate more specimens of Pelargonium radens, it can be propagated by sowing its seeds in the fall. Another option is to reproduce it by cuttings. To do this, place them in a sandy substrate in autumn, spring or summer and wait for them to take root.

As you can see, growing this beautiful plant is not complicated. If we give it the basic care it needs, we can enjoy its fragrance and its beautiful flowers throughout the summer.

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