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Old 08-01-2008, 01:25 AM   #1
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Citronella geraniums.

does anyone grow citronella geranium plants?

i bought one this past spring when i picked up my tomatoes and peppers for the garden, and it's really an amazing plant.

it's a small, thick, curly leaved bush that has a really pleasent lemony smell. actually, it smells a lot like those ant-mosquito candles, but nicer. the oil that is used in candles is from a grass, not this plant, so technically this is not really citronella.

still, the amazing thing is that it works better than the candles. the aroma that i gives off can be detected upwards of 20 feet away (of course my neighbors smelled it and commented that they have better smelling versions in macedonia ), and i haven't noticed a mosquito by the patio all year.

as soon as i go about 40 feet away from the patio, into my veggie garden, you get swarmed by mosquitos. this thing really works!!!

in fact, i was getting eaten allive one afternoon by the little bloodsuckers, so i brushed my arms and legs against the plant, and rubbed some on my hands and neck. the mosquitos that were swarming just a few minutes before were now gone! a few still came in for an attack, but eventually went away.

i was wondering if anyone has ever grown these, and if so, had success in over-wintering them indoors?

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Old 08-01-2008, 05:14 AM   #2
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I don't know if they are like regular geraniums or need special care (they do sound very neat!) but my mother has been bringing her geramiums in for the winter for years.... well fed and watered in a pot in a window w/ direct sun.
Good luck!
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:58 AM   #3
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They're a variety of scented-leaf geranium & over-winter indoors easily. Just give them good light & - most importantly - don't overwater.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:04 AM   #4
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They do well inside for the winter. An alternative, esp. if you have limited space, is to take cuttings in the fall. They root easily, and will be big and ready to go come spring.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:33 AM   #5
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I love my geraniums but they're not citronella. We buy new ones every Spring. I see them drying out slowly with the extreme heat we have down here in the south. I will bring them in, feed and water them so they can hopefully survive this time around.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:41 AM   #6
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Dina (& others) - DON'T FEED THEM! You just want them to survive indoors; you don't want to encourage new growth that the indoor environment most likely won't be able to support. You're really just trying to get them thru the winter until they can go back outside.

Just give them good light & just enough water to keep them from drying out. More geraniums - both the large flowering types & the scented-leaf types - die from root rot than anything else.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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I can't keep geraniums alive to save my soul. The kind mentioned sounds like a good idea, not because we have mosquitoes or flees or ticks, I know, two of those don't fly or bite, I'm just making a point. Living in a very arid climate alleviates that problem. But I was going to post in here today is anyone knows of a way to rid the flies from my poor dogs' ears. The last few days, they've been riddled with flies on their ears. I put bitter apple spray on yesterday to no avail. I also put Heet sore muscle rub on there which worked a little better but still not perfect. This citronella geranium may work. Today, I'll see if I can track any down like at WM/HD/L
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:46 PM   #8
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BT, where'd you buy that plant?
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:58 PM   #9
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thanks squzie, sparrowgrass, dina, and especially breezy.

lefse, now that you mention it, i used to always complain about all of the flies that were attracted by the food that dw put out for the outdoor cats. i haven't noticed any (or therefore had to beef and moan ) recently. i wonder if it's also from the geranium? lemme know if it works.

jeeks, i got it in saddle brook, at a small family run nursery along north midland ave.
just past bennigan's.
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:36 PM   #10
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Scented-leaf geraniums can become addictive. I left my collection with my mom when I moved to VA from NY because she enjoyed them so much, but as soon as I make room for some, I plan to start again.

The scents these little "Plain Janes" have are astounding: lime, coconut, nutmeg, rose (many variations), lemon, orange - the list is nearly endless. Some do produce attractive little flowers, but the leaf scents are the main draw. They make nice additions to potpourri's & can also be used to scent/flavor sugar & baked goods.
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