Geraniums are a popular nursery plant because they can grow in a wide range of environments and make beautiful decorations. If you are interested in growing geraniums, you should also know that you can distill them to create healthy and high-quality essential oils.
The Benefits of Geranium Essential Oil
Surprisingly, geranium essential oil actually has a long history of use stretching back all the way to the ancient Egyptians. The oil has a variety of components, including pinine, geranyl acetate, cintronellol, and geranyl butyrate, which provide you with a wide range of benefits to your physical and mental health, including:
- Stress relief
- Hormonal balance
- Improved circulation
- Decreased menopause symptoms
- Boosted skin health
- Lowered blood pressure
- Bettered dental health
- Alleviated depression symptoms
While geranium essential oil should not be used as the only treatment for these health problems, it can be used as a supplement. You can actually grow geraniums yourself and distill their essential oil using a steaming process that requires:
- Buying a distillation steaming unit
- Placing the plant material in a steaming unit
- Filling the steaming unit with water and increasing the heat
- Allowing the steam to move through the cooling system
- Collecting the essential oil
Obtaining geranium essential oil in this way is preferable to buying it from a store because it will cost you less money and preserve much of the oil's ingredients, including linalyl acetate. This makes the oil healthier, but only if you first grow high-quality geraniums in a nursery setting.
Growing Your Geraniums
The most important part of this process is growing healthy geraniums in a nursery environment. Growing plants in a nursery is preferable, as this will help you control the growing situations more fully. Set the temperature of the nursery to room temperature and follow these growing steps:
- Place your geranium pots (must have holes in the bottom) in your nursery under direct sunlight or sun lamps.
- Fill the pot with nice soil, filling it about three-quarters of the way.
- Dig a small hole in the center of each pot about 12 to 15 inches deep.
- Place your geranium seed in the bottom of the hole.
- Replace the soil in the hole and place an inch or so of compost on top.
- Water your geranium when the soil gets dry, and water until water comes out the bottom of your pot.
- Turn on the sun lamp for five to six hours to give the geranium enough UV light to grow.
- Continue this process until the geranium is full sized.
Once your geraniums are ready to be picked, break off a stem near the bottom of the plant and remove the bottom leaves. Take out the geranium and place this stem in a glass of water to cause it to root. This should take about a month. Once your geranium stem has rooted, re-plant it to grow more geraniums. Do this for each geranium you pick, and you'll never run out of a great source of geranium oil.