Ten Faithfully Fragrant Annuals, Perennials and Shrubs
I would guess that most gardeners cherish having fragrance in their gardens. Afterall, just about the first thing a kid will do when a flower grabs their attention is smell it. Kids intrinsically know something we often forget as we grow older – flowers “should” smell good. Now, not all flowers, even in their wild habitat, are fragrant. However, there are a wealth of plants with fabulous fragrance that you can introduce to your garden to add an extra dimension of sensory joy to how you experience your outdoor space. Here are ten plants that will deliver a fragrant bonus to your garden.
Rockin’® ‘Golden Delicious’ Salvia
The leaves of this lovely, durable plant have the fragrance of sweet pineapple when crushed. Plants with fun foliage are always popular because they offer color and style all season. ‘Golden Delicious’ is a large plant that makes a bright filler in the landscape or thriller in extra-large container recipes. When you grow it in full sun, its foliage will be radiant yellow. In more shade, it will be closer to chartreuse. It is heat and humidity tolerant and more disease resistant than similarly colored coleus. Fire engine red flowers are a bonus in fall if you garden where the growing season is long.
3-4’ tall. Part sun to sun. Grown as an annual but perennial in zones 8-11.
Snow Princess® Lobularia
If there's one plant that should be on everyone's fragrant plants list, it's Snow Princess, which is highly and obviously fragrant. It’s a unique breakthrough in the genus for heat tolerance and extended season performance. No really--it blooms through the summer in the Deep South. This sterile sweet alyssum is extremely vigorous and because it puts no energy into setting seed, it has an incredibly long bloom time. It makes a great hanging basket or window box and is a perfect edging for garden beds.
4-8” tall. Part sun to sun. Annual.
Luscious® Citrus Blend™ Lantana
We’ve improved on a classic favorite by adding more flowers on densely branched plants with Luscious Citrus Blend. Watch as the hummingbirds and butterflies come calling when its clusters of tubular, brilliant red, orange and yellow patterned flowers are on display. Plant one in your window box so you can see the show up close. Luscious lantana are fantastic sun, heat and drought tolerant flowers with a sweet fragrance. They are perfect for large containers and landscapes. Since they are selected to have no or few seeds, they’ll bloom continuously all season without deadheading.
20-30” tall. Sun. Grown as an annual except in zones 9-11.
There are hostas, and then there is ‘Etched Glass’—bringing style and refinement to your hosta garden. This sport of ‘Stained Glass’ has wider margins and thicker leaves than its parent. Very wide, dark green margins contrast with a bright, brilliant yellow margin. Between the margin and the centers is a light green pattern. Margins have puckering when the plant is mature. Very large and fragrant, near-white flowers appear in late summer.
18” tall. Part shade to shade. Perennial in zones 3-9.
Funshine® Abelia grandiflora
Color, color, color! That’s why we selected Funshine abelia. New in garden centers this year, this is one of the brightest abelias on the market. It’s a shining beacon of bright golden and orange foliage from spring through frost. Come summer, sweetly perfumed, bell-shaped, lilac colored blossoms appear on the stems, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. Its great qualities aren’t purely aesthetic: abelia thrives even in shaded conditions, blooms for months, and is unbothered by deer and rabbits.
Pugster® Amethyst Buddleia
Meet Pugster Amethyst butterfly bush, a dwarf variety with full-sized, notably fragrant blossoms. Reaching just 2' tall and wide at maturity, it bears the same large flowers that you'd typically see on much larger cultivars. It blooms non-stop from early summer through frost with amethyst-toned flowers, each with a tiny yellow-orange eye in the center. Thanks to thick, sturdy stems, the Pugster series offers vastly improved hardiness and winter survival over other types of dwarf butterfly bush.
20-24” tall. Sun. Hardy in zones 5-9.
Temple of Bloom® Heptacodium
Hang on to your hat - Temple of Bloom seven-son flower is going to blow your mind! Temple of Bloom is a beautiful, easy to grow, small tree which simply can't be matched for year-round beauty. In spring, the handsome leaves emerge with dramatically deep veins that make the plant stand out in the landscape. As the season progresses, the leaves grow larger and develop a long, twisted tip. Come August, when everything else is winding down, Temple of Bloom seven-son flower is just coming into its own, as it becomes covered in big clusters of fragrant white flowers that hummingbirds and other pollinators flock to. They last for weeks before gracefully falling to the ground to reveal vivid red, fan-like bracts, which make it look like the plant is blooming again in a completely different color. As winter comes and the leaves drop, the tree's elegant frame is revealed, along with amazing light tan peeling bark.
Scentara® Double Blue Syringa
Tie your shoes tight - the fragrance of this lilac will knock your socks off! There are about 15 different species of lilacs found in nature, and Syringa hyacinthiflora is the queen of them all when it comes to fragrance. And that's what makes Scentara®Double Blue the most fragrant Proven Winners lilac yet! The cool purple blossoms take on a blue tone in the spring sunshine, each one full of petals for a delicate seashell-like effect. This very heavy bloomer exhibits excellent disease resistant and a handsome, appealing shape that will look right at home in your landscape.
Want to learn more? Here are some additional resources about fragrant plants.
Watch this video on 10 great fragrant shrubs.
Browse more fragrant plants in our plant library.
Check out our Pinterest board featuring fragrant plants.