Growing Great Geraniums to Distill Their Essential Oil

21 November 2016
 Categories: , Blog

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.