Scented flowers can add sensory appeal to your garden, which can make it more attractive and alluring. With the current breeding of plants, many new varieties are no longer fragrant. While they might have been bred to be disease-resistant or bloom longer, they are no longer scented.
Gardens are all about color. While green is prominent adding other colors will make your garden have more life and vibrancy. If you are contemplating trying to add some fragrance with color to your garden, there are many great varieties to consider. Bloom times may vary depending on where you live, so keep that in mind.
Here are some of our favorite picks:
Bee Balm - Bee Balm is a wildflower, a member of the Mint family, and is native to eastern North America. It is also known as Wild Bergamot. There are annual and perennial varieties of this plant. The unique blooms of Bee Balm are found in pink, purple, red, and white. The foliage on the plant is fragrant and if you rub up against it there is a citrus aroma. The flower blooms in the mid to late summer.
Carolina Jessamine - Carolina Jessamine is a twining, evergreen vine with clusters of fragrant, yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers. The flowers are 1 to 1.5 inches long. It is a perennial and is the state flower of South Carolina. This vine will grow 10-20 feet and can climb trees, fences, or other structures, or will develop into a mound of tangled stems. The entire plant is poisonous and is toxic or lethal to humans and animals. Hardiness zones 7 - 9.
Dianthus - Dianthus are also called pinks and there are annual and perennial varieties of this pretty flower. Most grow 1 to 2 feet tall and the flowers come in pink, red, salmon, white, or even combinations of these colors. Perennial Dianthus stay evergreen all year-round and even the annual varieties will stick around for a few years if they are planted in a spot that they like.
Freesia – Freesia is native to South Africa and comes in a wide array of bright colors. Their beautiful blooms are often overshadowed by their exquisite fragrance which is considered by many gardeners to be superb. Freesia is grown from corms in a similar manner as you would grow Gladiolus.
Honeysuckle – This plant is native to North America and is a hardy twining vine or can be trained into an arching shrub. It is celebrated for its wonderful scent and tubular flowers. Another reason to grow honeysuckle is that it is great for pollinators including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. In North America, hummingbirds are attracted to the long, tubular flowers. They are attracted more to the color of the flower than to its scent.
Lavender – This herb is colorful and fragrant. While recognized for its purple flowers there are also some varieties that are colored pink and blue. The flowers can be dried and are often mixed in potpourri or made into fragrant sachets. It also repels mosquitos and flies. Most are hardy in Zones 5 or 6-9, depending on species.
Nicotiana - This plant was once a staple of American gardens, but its popularity has somewhat waned over the years. It is also known as “flowering tobacco” and is related to the tobacco plant. It is most often grown for its fragrant flowers which are enhanced when cultivated in mass plantings. The flowers are found in pink, red, white, yellow, and yellow-green. Plant it under a window or near your patio where the fragrance can be enjoyed.
Oriental Lilies – Oriental Lilies grow larger than Asiatic Lilies and are fragrant. They also bloom later in the season than Asiatic Lilies. Their flowers are also larger. In recent years, there have been new varieties that come in beautiful bright colors including orange, red, and yellow. They are easy to grow except if you have deer problems.
Roses – When we think of fragrance Roses are one of the most popular flowers to grow in your garden. There are many different types of Roses and they are found in a multitude of colors. They also have a range of scents including spicy, anise, citrus, fruity, and the classic old rose.
Russian Sage – Russian Sage is drought-tolerant and a superb addition to a perennial garden. The plant has feathery gray-green foliage and light blue-lavender flowers that have a lovely fragrance. The flowers will bloom all summer long. The entire plant is fragrant when rubbed or crushed.
Let us know your favorite fragrant and colorful plants!