20 Best Scented plants

 Scented plants are such a bonus in the garden, with the added benefit that many are attractive to bees and butterflies. Warm days enhance the scent, and it is nice to sit near to or walk around scented plants.  Even if garden space is limited, you can create a wonderful scented area by container planting a few chosen plants close to the house or a patio area.  

 There is a good selection of easy to grow scented plants described in the information below. If you are looking to fill a gap in the border check out the lists below of scented plants and shrubs. There are scented plants for all times of the year and many of the aromatic plants are the most attractive to bees and butterflies. 

 In this group of scented plants there are some of our garden favourites such as Lavender, Roses and Honeysuckle, but there are many more to choose from, including very fragrant shrubs. The shrub Daphne is known for is lovely perfume, but it is not 100% reliable or easy to grow. In contrast, Choisya, is easier to grow, and has the benefit of being evergreen with attractive glossy leaves and tolerant of a wide range of conditions. Equally easy is Philadelphus, common name ' The Mock orange', a deciduous summer flowering shrub which will fill the air around with scent.

Lavender

Lavendar

Lavender is  a summer flowering perennial and illustrated is Lavandula angustifolia often called English lavender. This variety especially L. Hidcote is hardier, especially contrast with L. stoechas the French Lavender, and better scented. There are many shades and sizes of Lavender and varying degrees of hardiness. I like to plant Lavender alongside a path way so that the passer by brushes the lavender releasing its scent. For images of types of lavender and how to make a lavender path.

Lily

Lily

Lily is a showy, powerfully scented bulb flowering in the summer. Not all Lily flowers are scented check out growing advice to pick the best for your garden.

Lilies are well adapted to growing in containers and make a stylish and wonderfully scented statement on a patio. 

Choiysa

Choiysa Aztec pearl

Choiysa is an evergreen shrub with glossy leaves and a rich sweet scent flowering in early summer from mid May onwards. Known as Mexican orange blossom because of its lovely scent it is also easy to grow, generally unfussy about soil conditions. Illustrated is c. Aztec pearl which will grow up to around 2.5m.

Virburnum

Viburnum x carlcephalum

Some Viburnum are highly scented and there are both evergreen and deciduous varieties. Viburnums are easy shrubs to grow which required little or no maintenance. This variety x carlcephalum has dozens of very scented snowball like flowers in early spring,  tips on growing Viburnum

Clematis

clematis montana 'Elizabeth'

This is probably the most well known of the scented Clematis Montana Elizabeth has flowers which are vanilla scented. C. Montana is vigorous,  May flowering and Pruning group 1 which makes it one of the easier Clematis to grow. For tips about growing Clematis including Montana Elizabeth. Developments in breeding Clematis now mean there are many scented varieties and it is worth searching them out.

Wisteria

Wisteria

A mature Wisteria a spectacular plant with long mauve or white raceme flowers, it is eye-catching. Add to that wonderful scent and it is understandable why Wisteria is such a sort after climbing plant. Unfortunately, it is not easy to grow, advise on growing Wisteria and a video on how to prune Wisteria which is important to keep it flowering each year.

Buddleja

Buddleja the butterfly bush

Buddleja  is a scented deciduous shrub, perhaps correct to say more very aromatic than scented and it is its aromatic quality  which draws the butterflies in. It is a summer flowering shrub. There are many varieties and all are easy to grow with only a limited requirement for pruning and reward with scented flowers in late spring and early summer

Sweet Peas

Sweet Pea

Sweet Peas are a highly scented annual, which means they grow, flower and finish in one year. A highly perfumed climbing plant, which adds height and scent to a border. In a good summer Sweet Peas have a long flowering period from June to October. The downside is that sweet peas need a lot of attention. Lots of advice on the growing Sweet Peas

Philadelphus

Philadelphus

An easy to grow shrub with wonderful scented flowers. It is deciduous, and fairly vigorous  growing up to around 2.5m which means it needs a far amount of space in the border. Philadelphus flowers in spring and early summer and makes a great addition to a mixed shrub border. Tips on growing Philadelphus.

Honeysuckle

Lonicera common name honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is a woodland climbing plant with a sweet scent. It is a garden favourite, and as a woodland plant it likes its roots the shade. Some varieties are more scented (and flower at different times) than others more information on the best varieties to grow for summer scent there is also the most wonderfully perfumed Winter flowering Honeysuckle which arguable is the best scented plant of all. 

Monarda

Monarda

Monarda is a herbaceous summer flowering perennial with aromatic leaves and very attractive to bees. It is clump forming, and illustrated is M.Squaw. The only draw back is that it is a relatively short lived perennial, but well worth growing, not least to help the bees its common name is Bee Balm.  

Nepeta

Nepeta Cat Mint

 Nepeta, common name Cat Mint, is a summer flowering scented perennial and a much better plant that it gets credit for. Aromatic, attractive to bees and able to grow almost anywhere it makes a soft blue cloud of colour. Nepeta is ideal in blue colour planting schemes where for example Lavender will not tolerate the conditions. 

Daphne

Daphne odora

A lovely scented shrub, Daphne is ever green or semi evergreen. In good growing conditions Daphne has lovely dark green waxy leaves and a sweet scent. Daphne is fussy about its soil conditions, is slow growing and it needs a sheltered spot. Varieties of Daphne flowers at different times of the year, a popular variety D.Odora flowers from January to March. Growing tips.

Peony

peony

Peony is summer flowering herbaceous perennial which is valued  for it's large saucer like blooms and light scent. A very attractive plant, it can be tricky to establish, and best not moved but outside of that is easy to grow returning reliably each year. for growing advice and good varieties. 

Wallflower

Erysimum-'Berdon.--common-name-wall-flower

One of the strongest scented early spring flowering plants Erysimum,  common name Wallflower really has the sweetest of scents. Wallflowers are easy to grow and combine well with spring bedding. If you haven't previous grown  Wallflowers they really make a lovely scented addition to a border combining well with Tuplips and other spring bulbs.

Witch Hazel

hamamelis common name witch hazel

Hamamelis common name Witch Hazel is a winter flowering shrub/small tree which has a sweet citrus smell. It is deciduous and the flowers form ahead of the leaves. They look great in a woodland setting; Witch Hazel is medium easy to grow.

Scented Narcissus

scented narcissus

Many Spring bulbs are scented and there is a large range of scented Narcissus which have beautiful sweet scent and ideal to cut and bring inside. Some tulips are scented such as T. 'Ballerina' which combine well with Erysiumum shown above. 

Herbs

Thymus

Many herbs are have fragrant leaves and are very attractive to bees and butterflies. Clump of chives and herb gardens are usually buzzing with bees. Whilst not sweetly scented like a Daphne, most herbs are distinctly aromatic, and Herbs many are easy to grow. 

Winter Flowering Honeysuckle

winter flowering Honeysuckle

Winter Flowering Honeysuckle,  Latin name Lonicera fragrantissima  flowers from mid December through to March and has very sweetly scented small white flowers.

Rhododendron luteum

Scented, yellow Rhododendron luteum

There are some scented Rhododendrons, illustrated and one of the most popular is Rhododendron luteum 

Last update 24.09.2019