One of the most enjoyable things about a garden is the perfume that the flowers and fragrant plants have. The sensory experience you get from flowers is a healthy experience- both mentally, and physically. There are many wonderful flowers that you can grow to add fragrance to your garden. Here are our top 12 best smelling flowers for your garden!
Petunias aren’t always the most fragrant flowers, as some cultivars have been developed for appearance and growth habit and not for scent. But there are lots and lots of petunias out there, in fact most, that still have their characteristic heavy sweet scent. In the evenings, a flower box of petunias can perfume the air like no other flower. You can find annual petunias in every garden store in the spring, usually sold in pots, or in four or six packs ready for you to plant where ever you want. They grow well in full sun and partial shade. There are mounding types, trailing types, and many colors, patterns, and sizes.
2 -Stock Flowers
Many people think that stock happens to be some of the best smelling flowers out there. Stock is grown commercially for cut flower arrangements too, so along with their wonderful scent, they are long lasting as cut flowers and absolutely lovely. They are also incredibly easy to grow from seed.
3 -Dianthus (Pinks)
There are annual and perennial dianthus varieties. Many of them are extremely sweet scented flowers. They are so sweet smelling, that people often equate them to smelling candy. Hummingbirds and hummingbird moths seem to really love visiting dianthus blooms. Grow all dianthus in full sun, and they don’t mind drying out a bit once in a while.
Tulips are perennials planted as bulbs in the fall usually, where in the spring they emerge as one of the first plants to grow and bloom as winter ends. Tulips are great garden flowers, and also make great cut flowers. You can even force bulbs over the winter to add color and fragrance to your home when nothing is blooming and growing.
Many will tell you that their most favorite fragrant flower is the lilac. Lilacs are grown all over the world as shrubs, and are extremely versatile and long lived. Lilacs bloom in the spring and come in colors of white, pink, purple, and patterned of the three colors. They are grown as heirlooms in many areas, especially in the Midwest of the United States. Lilacs are cut and brought into the home to enjoy their heavy sweet scent, which is short lived but much loved.
Probably the most famous of perfume flowers, roses are classically thought of as the queen of fragrant blooms. Rose scent is added to fashionable perfumes and cleaning products, and has been used in that way for hundreds of years. Roses vary in scent strength, but often are heavily scented as roses are bred to have that classic scent as strong as possible.
The whole lavender plant is heavily scented with its classical lavender scent, but the flowers are highly fragrant. You can pick and harvest the flower spikes, then hang them to dry which locks in the scent for a very long time. You can use these dried lavender spikes to scent closets or drawers, or add to potpourri. You can even add a sprig to the dryer while it’s running to freshen up clothes.
8- Pineapple Sage
All sages are wonderfully spicy in scent, but pineapple sage is an extremely sweet fragrant sage that smells just like what its name implies- pineapple. The spikes of bright red blooms attract hummingbirds, and pineapple sage is wonderfully simple to grow in a container on a patio.
Jasmine, like rose and lilac, is an old time fragrance that’s been around a long time and has been much loved. There are many types of jasmine. In warmer areas, some types of jasmine can be planted in the landscape where they are treated as hardy vines or shrubs. In cooler climates, jasmine is loved in pots. Their characteristic heavily intoxicating scent is unique.
10- Citrus Blooms
Most all citrus types, whether it is oranges or lemons, have heavily scented blooms and sometimes foliage. The scent is special oil that’s actually a predator and pest repellent, but it’s a scent that humans find especially enjoyable. In warm areas, citrus are grown as grove trees, shade trees, or shrubs. In northern climates, dwarf citrus cultivars can be enjoyed in pots that are protected during the winter months.
11- Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet)
This tropical shrub or tree is known for its gigantic, downward facing flowers that fill the air with sweet strong scent in the evenings and night. These blooms are designed to attract pollinators like large moths and even bats at night. Often, white Brugmansia are planted in moon gardens. In tropical climates, Brugmansia can be grown outside where it can reach very large sizes. In cooler climates, many people keep their Brugmansia safe in pots.(Be careful all parts of Angel’s Trumpet are poisonous)
12- Mock Orange
For northern cooler climates, the smell of citrus blooms can be enjoyed in the form of the hardy shrub known as Mock Orange. White blooms scent the air sweetly in the spring. Mock orange has been a valuable landscape shrub for many years, as it’s very tough and can grow in a variety of conditions- from full sun to shade.
We hope you enjoy our top 12 favorite fragrant garden plants, and hope you give them a try in your garden!