Fragrant Plants

Plants that emit a sweet fragrance are an asset to both the home and the garden. There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh flowers when you walk into a room or when you explore the great outdoors.

Their fragrance is uplifting, mood-enhancing, and joyful. With this in mind, we’ve listed a few of our favourite fragrant plants to provide you with inspiration if you’re unsure which sweet-smelling plants to invest in…

The top fragrant plants are:

  • Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’
  • Rose ‘Sunny Sky’
  • Lavender
  • Philadelphus ‘Manteau d’Hermine’
  • Hoya
  • Syringa ‘Katherine Havemeyer’
  • Trachelospermum Jasminoides
  • Jasmine

What are fragrant plants?

Floral fragrances are equally as pleasing in the winter months as they are in the summer months. Fragrant plants add a whole new dimension to your home, bringing the enjoyment of the outside indoors.

The scent of flowers and foliage can infuse an entire area, bringing it to life, which makes plants a popular choice for living areas, bedrooms, and dining spaces. In the case of the latter, fragrant plants are a common choice for a table centerpiece when hosting friends or family.

How to grow fragrant plants

When it comes to growing fragrant plants in the garden, there are a number of practical considerations to take on board.

It’s important to plant fragrant-flowered plants in an area that is sheltered. This will prolong and intensify the aroma, especially if you decide to plant flowers and shrubs in a courtyard or walled garden.

When growing smaller plants, it’s a good idea to plant them in containers or pots, or at the front of raised beds. For best results, plant them next to the front door, as their scent will drift into the home.

When winter arrives, cut fragrant flowers and place them in a vase indoors. This will allow you to enjoy what your garden has to offer for longer.
Fragrant flowers come in many different shapes and forms, and plants can also be incorporated in the garden for specific purposes, such as in a winter garden or a night-scented garden.

However, finding the most fragrant plants can be tough, especially if you’re not totally sure what to look for. Lavender, hoya, and jasmine are popular choices, but as we’ve detailed below, you need to make the right choices.

Are all lavender plants fragrant?

All in all, there are an astounding 450 different species of lavender, which can make sourcing the most fragrant lavender plants a difficult task. Not all lavender shrubs are scented. Some varieties are used solely as accent plants alone, whilst others are renowned for their relaxing, sleep-inducing scents.

Most lavender (also known as Lavandula) types release a charming perfume, especially when you brush past them. Native to the Mediterranean, this plant was originally used to add scent to baths in Roman times.

The fragrance of course is not the only thing this plant has to offer and many will plant it simply to enjoy its vibrant hue. Variates include many shades, including sky blue, violet, and soft purple. The plants also enjoy a lengthy flowering season, which makes them a favourite among gardeners.

The most fragrant lavender species

Lavandula x intermedia (Lavandin) is a hybrid cross of Lavandula Latifolia and Lavandula Angustifolia. They’re commonly harvested for their high oil yield and are the perfect option for culinary uses and potpourris.

Lavandula angutifolia is a true lavender and is another specie cultivated for its oil use. It’s an ideal option for raised wall beds, walkways, herb and rock gardens. Both of these species are renowned for their powerful fragrances.

Are all jasmine plants fragrant?

Not all jasmine plants boast a fragrance. In fact, the sweetest smelling jasmine (star jasmine) is not true jasmine and instead belongs to the genus Trachelospermum family.

When it comes to planting jasmine shrubs, it’s good to know they thrive in regular garden soil. They do however require a little maintenance and necessitate frequent pinching and shaping in order to control their growth.

Those wishing to invest in a true jasmine plant should look towards Spanish Jasmine (Jasminum Grandiflorum). This impressive vine can grow up to 15 feet in height and boasts an array of rich, green glossy leaves complete with arching branches. These branches are embellished with delicate white flowers. Certain types also showcase bright yellow blooms.

Other popular variants include the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Grand Duke Supreme. Both come in the shape of impressively sized blooms that boast an equally impressive fragrance. For best results, plant them in an area that enjoys the heat during the day and shade in the afternoon.

Are hoya plants fragrant?

This tropical succulent wax flower showcases large, attractive leaves and extremely fragrant flowers when fully grown. It’s a popular plant for beginner gardeners as it is easy to grow. It’s also a great bloomer!

The flower’s scent strength comes down to the growing environment as well as a number of other factors. Many describe the scent using citrus, chocolate, vanilla, lemon, and orange notes. The Hoya Publicayx red button variety boasts a strong lemony citrus scent with just a hint of vanilla fragrance.

A hoya’s scent will vary quite dramatically depending on where it resides. For example, if you grow this plant in a hot, warm, or humid climate, the fragrance is slightly diluted due to the moisture in the air. Cold, dry environments on the other hand maximize this plant’s fragrance.

Plants from the public family boast many flower clusters early in the season. These flowers, when grown in cooler environments have a strong, sweet scent. Again, when grown in humid climates, you’ll need to put your nose close to the flower to smell the fragrance.

Another factor to affect the hoya plant’s scent is the nutrients in the soil. These nutrients can cause some changes in the way the scent is shaped. If there is too much nitrogen, iron, phosphate, or other nutrients in the ground, the scent may get stronger or lighter.


Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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