When it comes to choosing plants for your yard, try following your nose! For a garden full of aromatic blooms, here are our favorite fragrant flowers to delight your senses.
Nicotiana spp., grown as an annual
Varieties like wood flowering tobacco are perfect for night gardens: Its jasminelike scent tends to be most noticeable later in the day. Available with pink, lavender, yellow, white, red or green blossoms, it prefers rich, moist, well-draining soil.
Mirabilis jalapa, annual to Zone 10
This fragrant flower opens in late afternoon and remains that way throughout the night, which explains the moniker “beauty of the night.” Four-o’clocks often reseed, so don’t disturb the surrounding soil during spring cultivation.
Jasminum polyanthum, Zones 9 to 10
Jasmine is prized for its sweetly scented flowers and glossy leaves. This climbing container plant grows to 10 feet or more, with pink buds that open into aromatic white blossoms.
Lavandula, Zones 5 to 10
Gardeners love lavender for its attractive flowers, silvery-green foliage, compact habit and calming scent. In mid- to late summer, pale- to deep-purple flowers emerge on sprays 12 to 14 inches tall. Bees and butterflies are attracted to lavender, but deer and rabbits tend to stay away.
Ipomoea alba, grown as an annual
This bewitching vine is related to the morning glory. It boasts trumpet-shaped bright-white flowers and deep-green leaves on stems that extend up to 15 feet. Moonflower grows slowly in cool weather, so be patient. For extra-large blooms, look for the Giant White cultivar.
- Ball Horticultural Company
If you’re looking for blossoms with an unforgettable fragrance, stock is the plant for you. Many compare
the scent to cloves, and in some species, this sweet scent is noticeable only at night. Because the top-heavy plant can grow up to 3 feet high, stake taller varieties and choose a site that’s protected from the wind.
- W Atlee Burpee & Co
Lobularia maritima, annual
This low-growing plant looks lovely in borders, rock gardens and as a filler in containers. Its tiny blossoms smell delicious and come in white and shades of apricot, pink and lavender. Sweet alyssum blooms for months in full sun to partial shade, but it does best in moderate temperatures. Encourage new growth in fall by cutting it back a bit.
Lathyrus odoratus, annual
Sweet pea is a cinch to grow and provides gardeners with fragrant cut flowers from spring until early autumn, especially when temperatures are on the cooler side. This climbing annual typically reaches between 4 and 12 feet high. Grow it in full sun to partial shade.
Dianthus barbatus, Zones 3 to 9
Each stem of a sweet William will make a complete bouquet! A European native, this perennial beauty has adapted to regions all over North America. When it comes to scent, we like the Electron mix and Magic Cherry particularly well.
Heliotropium arborescens, grown as an annual
Also called “cherry pie,” heliotrope has an intense fruity fragrance. Its compact growth habit, dense foliage and profuse blooms make it a good choice for containers and flower beds alike. Plants grow 1 to 2 feet tall and 12 to 15 inches wide.
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