5 Fragrant Plants to Add to Your Garden

Some plants may smell like a sweet, flowery field of deliciousness while others may make your nose wrinkle at just a sniff. Especially when trying to create an impressive garden of the perfect assortment of plants and flowers in your yard, smell becomes an important factor on the designing board. And whether you’re aware of it or not, some smells can be very off-putting. So here are some easy-to-grow plants to check out for adding extra rich scents to your garden and creating the perfect assortment:

  1. Peonies are known for their distinct fragrance, but did you know not every peony is fragrant? For the most scent, try these varieties: Festiva Maxima (tall with white blooms, full sun, needs staking), Sarah Bernhardt (pink, very double flowers with strong stems. Very large plants, needs staking) and Karl Rosenfield (cherry red, ruffled blooms, reliable in full sun. Staking may be required)

  1. Bee Balm works double duty with its fragrant leaves and flowers that come in pink, red and purple. Varieties can top out anywhere between 24 inches and 4 feet. Place Bee Balm in full sun where it can have moist, well-drained soil. Once it's established it can be quite drought-tolerant. The leaves and flowers smell like bergamot (citrusy and fruity), and draw in all the pollinators you can think of.

  1. Variegated Iris isn’t the only scented iris, but it does have pretty variegated foliage that makes it lovely even when it isn’t in bloom. The flowers smell like grape jelly beans, so plant a bunch of them right next to a walkway or patio so you can catch a whiff on the go. They are hardy in zones 4-9 and they grow up to 3 feet tall. They are also tolerant of most soil conditions in full to part sun.

  1. Nicotiana is an annual that can be easily started from seed or purchased each spring from a garden center. The sweet, rich scent is worth it! They are hardy in zones 10-11, and varieties grow from 1 to 5 feet tall. They prefer full sun to part shade and average, well-drained soil.

  1. Lavender is probably the first plant people think of when they consider adding fragrance to their yard. It’s a doubly-scented plant in that the foliage smells nearly as good as the flowers. Grow lavender in well-draining soil in full sun, hardy in zones 5-8. It can get up to 2 feet tall.