Fragrant Plants

Some of my favorite fragrant plants for your garden


Fragrant plants are a joy to have in the garden. I find it very relaxing to sit on the porch after a long day of work and just close my eyes and take in the sounds and smells of the garden. Here are some of my tips on how to add fragrant plants to your landscape.

A list of Fragrant Plants

I understand that not all people will enjoy the same scents. You may want to find a good garden center and smell the plants ahead of time before buying them for your own garden. Keep in mind that some plants will emit more of a scent at different times of the day. Scents can also change or become more intense depending on the heat and humidity in the air.

When growing plants specifically for scent, it makes sense (no pun intended) to grow them where you are most active in the yard or where you can smell them from an open window. Annuals and some perennials can be grown in pots or hanging planters where they can be moved, if necessary.

Surrounding your property with a high solid fence or with a wall of evergreens can also help trap scent in your yard, but I realize this may not be a viable option for most people. I just wanted to mention it in case you are crazy about scented plants and want to keep the smell all for yourself.

A list of Fragrant Plants

Most plants give off their scent through their blooms, but many plants have a lovely scent when the leaves are brushed or crushed. I absolutely love the scent of pineapple sage leaves and always try to have a pot of them next to my chair on the porch or patio. I can rub my fingers on the soft leaves and smell them while sipping on iced tea. Just heavenly.

Here are some of my favorite plants for their scents:

  • Citrus Trees, hardiness varies depending on variety (needs to be protected from frost), full sun, well-drained fertile soils
  • Clematis dioscoreifloia ‘Sweet Autumn’ (Many varieties of clematis are fragrant), vine, hardy in zones 4-8, full-sun to partial sun, well-drained fertile soils
  • Daphne x burkwoodii, shrub, hardy in zones 4-7, full sun to partial shade, fertile, well-drained soil that is not allowed to dry out completely
  • Daylily, Hemerocallis (not all varieties have a scent), perennial, hardy in zones 3-9, full sun, well-drained soil, can easily adapt to many soil conditions
  • Flowering Tobacco, Nicotiana elata, annual, full sun to partial shade, well-drained moist soil
  • Grape Hyacinth, Muscari armenii, bulb, full sun to partial shade, well-drained moist soil
  • Honeysuckle, Lonicera, shrub or vine, full sun to partial shade, well-drained moist soil
  • Hosta, perennial, hardy in zones 3-9, some hosta blooms are fragrant, ‘August Lily’ is my favorite variety, although can be hard to find, shade to partial shade, moist, well-drained soil, loves compost

A list of Fragrant Plants

  • Hyacinth, Hyacinthus, bulb, hardy in zones 4-9, full sun to partial sun, loamy well-drained soil
  • Iris, perennial, some are fragrant, hardy in zones 4-9, full sun to partial sun, well-drained soil
  • Lavender, Lavendula, perennial, hardy in zones 5-9 depending on variety, full sun, well-drained soil
  • Lilac, Syringa, shrub, hardy in zones 3-7, full sun to partial sun, well-drained soil
  • Lily-of-the-Valley, Convallaria majalis, bulb, hardy in zones 2-7, full sun to full shade, moist soil
  • Magnolia stellate, shrub or small tree, hardy in zones 4-8, full sun to partial shade, well-drained soil, but will tolerate clay soil
  • Mint, Mentha, annual and perennial, best when grown in a pot since it can spread rapidly, full sun to partial shade, evenly moist, well-drained soil
  • Narcissus, Daffodil, Jonquil, Paperwhite, bulb, many are fragrant, hardy in zones 3-9, full sun to partial sun, well-drained soil
  • Oriental Lilies, Lilium, bulb, hardy in zones 4-9, full-sun, well-drained soil
  • Phlox paniculata, Tall Garden Phlox, perennial, many are fragrant, hardy in zones 2-9, full sun to partial sun, well-drained loamy soil
  • Mockorange, Philadelphus, shrub, may take up to 7 years to bloom, hardy in zones 4-8, full sun to partial sun, well-drained, loamy soil
  • Peony, Paeonia, perennial, hardy in zones 3-8, full sun to partial sun, well-drained loamy soil

A list of Fragrant Plants

  • Rose, Rosa, shrub, many varieties are fragrant, hardy in zones 2-11 depending on variety, full sun, evenly moist, well drained fertile soil (Rugosa roses are my favorite for hardiness and scent in my colder climate)
  • Rosemary, perennial, hardy in zones 6-9, annual in colder climates, full sun, sandy or loamy well-drained soil
  • Sweet Alyssum, Lobularia maritima, annual, ground cover. Full sun to partial shade, likes damp soil
  • Sweet Pea, Lathyris odoratus, annual, full sun, loamy, well-drained soil
  • Thyme, Thymus vulgaris, perennial or small shrub, hardy in zones 5-9, full sun to partial sun, sandy, well-drained soil
  • Wisteria sinensis, vine, hardy in zones 5-9, full sun to partial shade, fertile, well-drained soil

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