Have you ever found a beautiful geranium plant and marveled at the lush leaves, but wondered if they are edible? Well, now you’ll be able to find out!
It is generally safe to eat geranium leaves. If it’s a hardy variety like potted pelargoniums or apple-scented sanguineum then the leaves are not only edible but might also have more potent health benefits.
Edible parts of scented geraniums include their leaves and flowers. In addition to providing decorative flair, their leaves also contribute a pleasant fragrance to meat dishes, salads, and desserts.
When you cut the leaves in the spring, they are very soft and easy to chew. In fact, young leaves can be eaten raw or used to make soup.
Leaf petioles are also edible. Although you may want to avoid the leaves that are close to the stem, as they usually have a fair bitterness to them.
Warning: Older pelargonium leaves lose their pleasant scented fragrance.
Scented geraniums produce flowers in the spring and summer and can be used to make jellies, salads, tea, pie fillings, and puddings. The flowers can also be made into a paste and used as a hair rinse, mouthwash, or antiseptic on minor cuts and abrasions.
The delicate petals of the scented geraniums are edible. Raw they provide a refreshing taste to salads, ice cream toppings or use them to tenderize meat.
How to Use Geranium Leaves in Cooking
Geranium leaves are edible in spring and summer when they’re soft and tender. Just wash off the dirt and give them a good rinse before using it in any recipe. You can use them with or without their petals as a colorful addition to all manner of dishes.
If you’re using the leaves to flavor meat dishes (like chicken or fish), simply pick off the top two rows of leaves from your plant. It’s best to eat your geranium leaves within a week or so, as they start to wilt after this time.
The edible flower petals are also wonderful in salads if you’re making a dressing with vinegar. Just chop them up and mix them in. If it’s just the leaves that you’re using, use several sprigs and make sure to remove any woody parts. Also be careful as they can turn brown very quickly, once removed from the plant.
The dried or fresh leaves of geranium can be made into tea. In the case of dried leaves, use 2 teaspoons, in the case of fresh leaves, use 1/4 cup. Boiling water should be poured over the leaves and allowed to sit for 5 minutes.
Are Geranium Leaves Okay to Feed to my Pet?
No. You should avoid feeding Geranium leaves (or any other part of the flower) to your pet. According to the PDSA, Geraniums (Pelargonium) contain components that are poisonous to dogs and cats.
What do Geranium Leaves Taste Like?
Each variety of geraniums has its own distinctive aroma and flavor; lemon geraniums smell and taste citrusy, rose geraniums smell/taste like roses, while ginger and nutmeg have a flavor reminiscent of their respective spices.
What are the Health Benefits of Eating Geranium Leaves?
In addition to lowering stress levels, geranium also reduces inflammation, strengthens the immune system, eases digestion, and is good for the kidneys, skin, and hair. Antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties also make it useful for healing wounds faster.
So, while geranium leaves are edible, you should be careful with them. As they can cause a certain bitterness after prolonged periods of heating. Like many plants, geraniums are generally considered safe to eat in moderation. However, there is a chance of getting digestive problems from the leaves.