43 Most Fragrant Flowers to Grow in Your Garden

Fragrance in the garden engages our senses, heightens our garden experience, and deepens our connection to our natural surroundings. Fragrant flowers also serve as a plant superpower, attracting specialized pollinators to each perfumed bloom. Here, we’ll explore top-performing fragrant flowers to incorporate into the garden for lovely scents year-round. Join garden expert Katherine Rowe in collecting fragrant flowers to delight your garden.

A vibrant display of Annual Phlox blooms in shades of pink, white, and lavender. The delicate petals gracefully unfurl, contrasting against lush green leaves. Basking in the sun, these colorful flowers create a lively garden spectacle.


Fragrance in the garden engages the senses, adding further dimension to the sights and sounds of colorful plants, exciting textures, and buzzing pollinators. Whether creating a themed fragrance garden, a sensory garden, an evening garden, or simply enlivening an existing space, adding flowers with high fragrance immerses us in a space and enhances our connection with nature.

Experiencing fragrance becomes part of how we enjoy a garden, part of its ability to transport us, to set the mood, and to create a memory. Dewy summer mornings and evenings become heightened with the scent of the garden. Many plants are most fragrant at these times of day, depending on the schedules of the specific pollinators they aim to attract.

Floral fragrance also adds to a garden’s multi-season appeal. Plan for aromatic blooms throughout the year, even in winter – when fragrance is delightful as little else is blooming. With so many gorgeous, fragrant flowering plants, it’s easy to incorporate scent, whether intensely sweet or just a hint, in the garden this season.

Sweet Alyssum

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Sweet Alyssum Seeds


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Column Blend Stock Seeds


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Indian Peace Pipe Nicotiana Seeds


White peonies featuring yellow centers bloom gracefully over rich green foliage, exuding elegance. Behind them, a backdrop of deep purple flowers adds a contrasting allure, creating a harmonious and visually captivating floral arrangement.
Ensure peony crowns are at soil level to promote proper water absorption.
botanical-name botanical name Paeonia officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-10

The dreamy peony flower is among the most scrumptiously gorgeous in the garden. Grow these beauties in a pot or container for up-close appreciation. Peonies bloom once a season, from late spring to early summer, so place them in an area where you can appreciate them (and their fragrance!) often.

Peonies carry a light scent with sweet floral and citrus notes; some varieties are more fragrant than others. The classic ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ features huge, scented blooms in pure white. ‘Seashell’ brings large baby pink flowers on tall, sturdy stems, and ‘Festiva Maxima’ is a hardy performer with large, double white blooms and splashes of crimson. ‘Festiva Maxima’ is highly fragrant and excellent to try in warmer climates.

Place peonies in full sun, giving some afternoon protection from direct rays. At planting, make sure to plant peonies with their crowns level with the soil line (not too low or high). Level crowns are essential for water absorption and blooming.

‘Scentimental’ Rose

A close-up of a 'Scentimental' rose, its velvety petals softly glowing in the sunlight. Delicate leaves cradle the flower, adding a verdant contrast to the vibrant streaks of red that adorn the rose's soft, inviting petals.
This is a cold-hardy rose that boasts ruffly petals in varied colors and patterns.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘WEKpaplet’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

A swirl of burgundy, white, red, and cream, ‘Scentimental’ brings a melee of color to each rose flower. Ruffly petals are strikingly striped or blended in varying colors and patterns. Old-fashioned, fully-double rose blooms meet contemporary coloration for a standout in the garden.

‘Scentimental’ lives up to its name with its strong, spicy fragrance. An All-America Selections winner, ‘Scentimental’ is a repeat bloomer that brings color and scent all season long (try drying the petals for potpourri to enjoy them all year).

‘Scentimental’ is disease-resistant and cold-hardy. New growth emerges red and transitions to dark green with a quilted leaf texture. It produces showy rose hips that persist through the cold season. Enjoy the winter interest and leave hips as a food source for birds and wildlife.

Common Jasmine

Several delicate white common jasmine flowers bloom gracefully, emanating a sweet fragrance. Their pristine petals contrast beautifully against the lush green backdrop of surrounding leaves, creating a serene and picturesque scene.
The common Jasmine blooms abundantly from spring to fall.
botanical-name botanical name Jasminum officinale
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 20-30’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Jasmine is the quintessential fragrant flower in the garden. A vigorous evergreen vine, jasmine produces loads of characteristic star-shaped pink to white flowers from spring to fall.

Because of its vigor, and since blooms form on new growth, prune jasmine heavily in the fall after it finishes flowering. Cultivars like Jasminum officinale var. grandiflora have the same form and fragrance as the species but with a less vigorous growth habit.

Admire jasmine on a wall or arbor, or grow it in a container. In cold climates (below zone 7), containers are a great way to enjoy the vine while bringing it indoors to overwinter. Keep it in a cool spot for its winter break but in a warm, sunny to partial shade location for best blooming. 

Sweet Alyssum

Clusters of sweet alyssum flowers, pure white in color, basking in the warm sunlight, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty. The delicate petals seem to glow as they soak up the sun's rays.
This petite annual thrives in full to partial sun with well-drained soil.
botanical-name botanical name Lobularia maritima
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-10”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Sweet alyssum is a petite annual covered in white pincushion blooms in spring and fall. Its sweet fragrance and numerous flowers attract pollinators, and the drifts of snow white it creates in the garden make it a fantastic border or filler planting.

Use sweet alyssum in pastel color schemes and to brighten up dark compositions. It contrasts highly with reds (like geraniums) and blues and gives a frosty look to white-themed gardens among silvers like dusty miller and variegated white foliage.

Sweet alyssum is an easy-care annual in full to partial sun with well-drained soils. In the heat of summer, plants may turn yellow and fade but resume blooming with cooler temperatures. Sweet alyssum reseeds. Leave plants in place over the fall and winter, and pluck them in the spring to reveal seedlings.


Daffodil flowers featuring pale yellow petals and striking vivid yellow centers, capture the essence of spring's hues. Delicate, vibrant blossoms contrast against the backdrop of long, dark green leaves, adding an elegant touch to the scene.
Daffodil flowers last up to a week with a cheerful fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Narcissus spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8-30”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Daffodils are among the showiest spring bulbs, bursting into the garden in late winter and early spring. With trumpet blooms and cups of yellow, white, apricot, and pink, daffodils are a classic cool season showstopper.

Plant daffodil bulbs in the fall for a showy springtime display. Fragrant varieties include the bright yellow, early-season bloomer ‘Tete-a-tete,’ the mid-spring white orchid blooms of ‘Thalia,’ and the double sunshine yellow blooms of ‘Double Cheerfulness’ in mid to late spring.

Cluster bulbs in groupings three to six inches apart and four to six inches deep. “Force” daffodil bulbs (and others like hyacinths and tulips) indoors to have them bloom earlier than they would in the winter landscape.


A close-up of a cluster of purple daphne flowers, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully. Surrounding them, verdant leaves adorned with shimmering dewdrops create a captivating contrast, highlighting the beauty of nature's intricate details.
Plant daphne in shaded areas with well-drained, moist soil.
botanical-name botanical name Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-4′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-9

Noted for its deliciously sweet fragrance in the winter garden, Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ has glossy green leaves tinged with a creamy white margin. Small pink bloom clusters appear in winter, followed by blue or red berries. 

Daphne is a broadleaf evergreen to grow for all-season interest. Daphne delights in the winter garden with unparalleled flowery perfume. Plant it near a walkway or entrance where garden visitors enjoy the heady fragrance.

Plant daphne in full to partial shade in moist, very well-drained soils. It can dry out between waterings and is somewhat salt tolerant. Daphne does well as a container plant, in a woodland setting, and as a foundation plant.

‘The Poet’s Wife’ Rose

A vibrant 'The Poet’s Wife' rose displays delicate petals transitioning from yellow to white, capturing attention with its intricate beauty. Its surroundings boast deep green leaves, while other blossoms in the backdrop add to the scene's enchanting charm.
This is an English shrub rose that offers rich, sunshine-yellow blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘AUSwhirl’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-11

The fragrance may be as delicious as the full-bodied blooms on this English shrub rose. ‘The Poet’s Wife’ is an Austin introduction, encompassing the breeder’s signature romantic rose flower, high fragrance, and attractive shrub form.

Blooms are a rich, sunshine yellow, fading to paler shades over time. The rich fragrance is built to match – with a hint of lemon – and becomes sweeter and stronger as the bloom matures.

This yellow rose embodies happiness in the garden. Arching canes hold the gorgeous flowers among shiny, rich leaves in a rounded shrub form. Look to ‘The Poet’s Wife’ to brighten the garden amongst other plants or in a border.

Fragrant Tea Olive

A fragrant tea olive plant, its deep green leaves catching the light. Clusters of delicate orange flowers peek out, adding a burst of color and charm to the scene.
This plant can be cultivated in containers for indoor enjoyment during winter.
botanical-name botanical name Osmanthus fragrans
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10-20’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

Osmanthus fragrans, or fragrant tea olive, is a broadleaf evergreen shrub with deep green leaves and a dense, stately form. Diminutive white blooms appear in fall through spring with unmatched fragrance – a delightful perfume that permeates the cool season garden.

Osmanthus fragrans aurantiacus is unique, with deep yellow and orange flowers and the same intensely sweet fragrance of the species. This osmanthus lends a warm, tropical look to the garden.

Fragrant tea olive is a staple in Southern gardens, where it grows in well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade (preferring afternoon sun protection). Osmanthus is a tough shrub tolerant of clay soils and periods of drought. In cold winter climates, grow fragrant tea olive in a container to enjoy its fragrance and form, keeping it indoors in a cool, bright spot over the winter.


A cluster of purple heliotrope flowers blooms gracefully, their delicate petals unfurling in a radiant display. The blurred backdrop hints at lush green foliage, providing a serene contrast to the vivid floral spectacle in the foreground.
The heliotrope needs protection from intense heat and high humidity to prevent powdery mildew.
botanical-name botanical name Heliotropium arborescens
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12-18″
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

The sweet fragrance of heliotrope, deep purple blooms, and dark green leaves make this old-fashioned annual a favorite garden. Pads of star-shaped blossoms in purple-blue, lavender, or white cover compact plants from spring until frost.

Heliotrope is low maintenance, though it blooms best in sunny garden locations with protection from direct afternoon sun in hot summer climates. Intense heat stresses heliotrope, and high humidity leads to powdery mildew. 

Ensure good air circulation and mulch roots for protection. Take care not to overwater, as heliotrope prefers rich, consistently moist soils (not too wet or dry). With that, enjoy the garden’s carefree lilac blooms and vanilla scent (also evocative of cherries or grapes).


A close-up of green sweetbox buds, delicately poised against a backdrop of glossy leaves. Illuminated by sunlight, the buds exude freshness and tranquility, inviting viewers into a serene natural scene.
Fragrant sweetbox features compact dark green foliage and vanilla-scented blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Sarcococca ruscifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade
height height 3-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-9

Fragrant sweetbox boasts shiny, dark green foliage with a compact habit. It produces small, white blooms in March and April, and while not especially showy, the blossoms create a vanilla perfume that drifts through the late winter garden.

Sweetbox requires full shade to part shade, as leaves may scorch in full sun. It’s perfect for shady garden areas that benefit from a broadleaf evergreen backdrop. Situate it in a foundation planting, informal hedge, or near a walkway to experience the winter fragrance. Sweetbox thrives in rich, moist, well-drained soils. Prune for a tidy habit in spring after blooming.

Consider the more cold-hardy Sweetbox species, Sarcococca hookeriana, for colder winter climates. Also available in dwarf varieties, this sweetbox is hardy to zone 6 and can be drought-tolerant once established.


Sunlight illuminates clusters of pink viburnum flowers, creating a vivid display of nature's beauty. Against the backdrop, the stems stand out in a striking hue of red, adding depth to the scene.
Winter-blooming Viburnum species offer fragrant and colorful flowers varying from sweet to spicy.
botanical-name botanical name Viburnum x bodnantense
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5 to 8

Viburnum species provide fragrant and colorful blooms in each garden season, including winter. From sweet to spicy, their perfume varies depending on species and variety

Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’ is an exceptionally fragrant winter-flowering variety that blooms from fall to spring in mild climates and late winter/early spring in colder climates. Flowers from white to light to deep pink emerge on branches before leaves.

Viburnum x burkwoodii bears a profusion of spicy-scented white bloom clusters in early spring. Look for ‘Mohawk’ for improved disease resistance and handsome form. Viburnum carlesii, or Korean spice viburnum, is showy with snowball clusters of pink blossoms that mature to white. In spring, the sweet scents of vanilla and spice fill the air.

Viburnum tend to be low-maintenance, easy-care shrubs, preferring average soils that are neither too moist nor too damp. Place winter-blooming viburnum in a protected spot to preserve blooms during freezing periods. 


Vibrant yellow primroses bask in the golden sunlight, casting a warm glow. Lush green leaves provide a verdant backdrop, accentuating the brilliance of the blossoms against the natural setting.
Early blooming primroses are perfect for borders and containers.
botanical-name botanical name Primula spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade
height height 6-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-8

These cheery perennials are among the first to bloom in late winter and early spring. Bloom times range from February through May, and some last into the summer, depending on the climate. In many colors and shapes, primrose features clusters of tiny flowers that rise above rosettes of dark, ruffled leaves. 

Bold colors of blue, green, orange, red, and pink make primrose an early standout in the garden. With a sweet, subtle fragrance and low-growing habit, primrose makes excellent border plantings in garden beds, along walkways, and in container arrangements. 

Primrose prefers organically rich, moist, well-drained soils depending on the variety. Primroses typically don’t tolerate wet feet, though consistent moisture is ideal, especially for woodland varieties. Once established, primrose needs little care except dividing if groups become crowded.

Winter Aconite

Yellow winter aconite flowers bloom, their delicate petals unfurling in the crisp air of early spring. Each flower boasts tender leaves nestled beneath, adding depth to the vibrant floral display.
Prepare winter aconite tubers by soaking them overnight before planting in the fall.
botanical-name botanical name Eranthis hyemalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-6”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

Winter aconite bulbs bring a little burst of cheer to the winter garden. Bight yellow, cupped flowers face upward and look like buttercups on petite stems. Leaves can shoot up among late winter snow, yielding a profusion of pin-cushion blooms.

Winter aconite brightens containers, walkways, garden borders, and woodland and rock gardens. Plant en masse for a vibrant winter carpet and a mild honey scent.

Winter aconite makes the most significant impact when planted close together (two to three inches apart and three inches deep). Soak tubers overnight before fall planting. Winter aconite is dormant in summer and fall but still requires some moisture during dormancy.

Witch Hazel

A close-up reveals the delicate yellow flowers on a witch hazel branch, their intricate petals catching the light. In the blurred background, more branches adorned with similar blossoms create a captivating tapestry of nature's beauty.
The witch hazel is a lovely garden specimen known for its long bloom period.
botanical-name botanical name Hamamelis spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 15-30’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Witch hazel has a long history in the landscape with centuries-old medicinal uses, a spicy fragrance, showy flowers, and vibrant fall color. A lovely garden specimen, witch hazel has arching stems and fringey orange, yellow, coral, and red blooms that emerge in winter before the leaves.

Witch hazels are long bloomers with persistent flowers for eight or more weeks from late winter to spring (depending on variety and climate). They boast a light, citrusy fragrance that’s divine indoors with just a few clipped branches.

Hamamelis virginiana is hardy in zones 3-8 and a native woodland witch hazel in the Eastern United States. It blooms in October and November and may bloom into winter. Hamamelis vernalis is another U.S. native, smaller in stature but profusely fragrant with January blooms. H. vernalis is hardy in zones 4-8.


Two delicate green stems of a snowdrop plant stand tall, adorned with elegant white flowers, each petal a pristine emblem of purity. Bathed in warm sunlight, they sway gently.
These bloom early in late winter with white bell-shaped flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Galanthus spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4-12”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-7

Snowdrops bring a cluster of precious white, bell-shaped blooms to the late winter landscape. Often popping up through frosty ground, snowdrops bloom as early as January and reliably in February or March.

Snowdrops carry a light, fresh scent. Perfumeries use the flower’s essence to bring crisp spring floral notes to a fragrance.

Plant snowdrops in the fall for late winter blooming, placing them two to three inches apart and four inches deep. Water regularly when snowdrops are in bloom. Snowdrops are ideal for woodlands, naturalized garden settings, rock gardens, and along pathways. Plants spread independently, so divide bulbs when groups become crowded.


A close-up of delicate pink pieris flowers surrounded by green leaves. The bell-shaped flowers gracefully droop downwards, adding a touch of elegance to the composition and highlighting their natural beauty and intricate details.
Promote bud setting for the next season by pruning pieris after blooms fade.
botanical-name botanical name Pieris japonica
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Pieris is a broadleaf evergreen that forms pendulous beads of flower buds in late summer. These buds persist through winter until they open in late winter/early spring, giving lovely winter interest.

Pieris (commonly called “lily-of-the-valley bush”) is unique with its hanging flowers, rosette leaves, and burgundy new growth, making it a versatile multi-season garden shrub. The pendulous flowers boast a delicately sweet scent when open.  

Pieris thrive in acidic, well-drained soils suited to companion plants of azalea and camellia. They grow in sun to dappled shade but need protection from the heat of direct afternoon rays. Prune pieris as blooms fade to promote setting buds for the following season.

Meyer Lemon

A Meyer lemon tree stands adorned with ripe yellow lemons dangling amidst a backdrop of lush, deep green foliage. The citrus fruits promise a tangy burst of flavor with every pluck.
The Meyer lemon trees require protection from frost in cold climates.
botanical-name botanical name Citrus x meyeri ‘Improved’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

Meyer lemon trees produce sweet lemons in abundance. Rich green evergreen foliage is attractive, and twice-a-year blooms are the real showstopper before fruits. Deliciously sweet-smelling clusters of white blossoms appear year-round. Best planted in late winter, Meyer lemon trees bring a showy, fragrant culinary plant to the garden.

Meyer lemons are more cold-hardy than other lemons but don’t tolerate frost. In cold climates, grow them in containers for overwintering indoors in a sunny location. Mist the leaves often to increase humidity.

Meyer lemon trees are a hybrid between a lemon and a sweet orange or mandarin, making the yellow-orange fruits sweeter and less acidic than other varieties. The shrubby form of the Meyer lemon makes it easier to grow in containers and prune than other fruit trees.


A close-up captures the delicate beauty of a pristine white gardenia flower, its petals unfurling gracefully. Surrounding the flower, glossy leaves form a lush green backdrop, accentuating the flower's purity and elegance.
Highly fragrant gardenias bloom in late spring to early summer.
botanical-name botanical name Gardenia jasminoides
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 4-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

If you catch the sweet fragrance of a gardenia, it may become ingrained in your memory forever. Highly aromatic white blossoms pop against the evergreen shrubs with dark green, glossy leaves. Flowers fade to creamy white or yellow.

Best suited for gardens in the American South, gardenias grow well in containers in colder climates. Bring gardenias indoors to overwinter, trying a spot near a bright window. Gardenias are finicky if conditions aren’t quite right, especially inside, so move the plant outdoors as temperatures warm.

Gardenias, available in an array of varieties for size and flowering, generally bloom in late spring and early summer (year-round in warm climates). They require acidic, well-drained, consistently moist soils to thrive.


A close-up of purple stock flowers reveals delicate petals unfurling gracefully, showcasing their exquisite beauty in full bloom. The rich hue of the blooms adds a touch of elegance to any floral arrangement.
This plant thrives in cool climates as a tender perennial.
botanical-name botanical name Matthiola incana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Stock is an old-fashioned garden plant with fragrant, jewel-tone flowers on stiff, upright stems. A cool-season bloomer, stock features single or double blooms in white, red, purple, cream, and copper, among other hues. They make a lovely cut flower with a scent to savor.

Stock thrives in cool temperatures and doesn’t withstand hot summers. It will bloom from spring through frost as a tender perennial in cool climates but only as a cool-season annual in warmer zones. Still, its fragrance is worth even a season of delight. 

Stock grows easily from seed. It does best in highly organic and well-draining soils, though it can withstand occasional wet soils.


White nicotiana flowers, delicate and pure, bloom gracefully. Among them, green leaves contrast with the soft hues, while purple nicotiana flowers add a dash of royal elegance to the botanical scene.
The star-shaped trumpet flowers of nicotiana attract pollinators with their jasmine-like fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Nicotiana alata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

The star-shaped trumpet flowers of nicotiana make it a standout garden annual. In deep red, pink, lime green, and creamy white, tubular blooms dazzle from summer through frost. Its jasmine-like fragrance attracts butterflies and other pollinators to the garden.

For best blooming and vigor, nicotiana needs soils rich in organic matter with even moisture and good drainage. In hot summer climates, give nicotiana protection from direct afternoon sun.

Nicotiana is a nightshade best grown away from other nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes to reduce disease transmission. Tobacco mosaic virus is easily spread and can cause stunted growth and or die-back.

Angel’s Trumpet

Angel's trumpet plant in close-up, showcasing its green leaves and delicate pink tubular flowers, creating a captivating contrast. As the light touches them, the flowers glow softly, lending an ethereal charm to the scene.
Highly fragrant Angel’s Trumpet boasts pendulous trumpet flowers in various colors.
botanical-name botanical name Brugmansia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6-36’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Brugmansia’s size and enormous, pendulous trumpet flowers make it a specimen in the garden. Commonly called angel’s trumpet, the highly fragrant flowers draw pollinators, including bats, hummingbirds, and moths. Blooms range in color from creamy white to apricot to yellow and appear in summer through frost.

Look to Brugmansia ‘Sunset,’ a showstopper with creamy white margins along its large green leaves for container growing. Pale yellow flowers mature to pale peach. Plants reach five feet tall.

A tropical shrub, brugmansia overwinters in the mulched garden bed where hardy or indoors in containers. It needs rich, moist, well-drained soil to thrive and does best with morning sun and dappled afternoon light. Angel’s trumpet is salt tolerant and withstands light frost and drought. Angel’s trumpet is a toxic plant and should not be consumed by humans or other animals.


A single magnolia flower, with its delicate white petals, stands out in close-up, radiating purity and elegance. Nestled among green leaves, it exudes tranquility and beauty, inviting contemplation of nature's serene grace.
The magnolias offer diverse fragrant blooms in spring and summer.
botanical-name botanical name Magnolia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 15-80’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-12

Depending on the species and cultivar, magnolias enliven the spring and summer garden with lightly fragrant white, pink, yellow, and purple flowers. The classic Magnolia grandiflora, or Southern magnolia, is a handsome tree with citrus-scented, creamy white blooms and broad evergreen leaves. The deep, glossy leaves get a bronze, velvety underside in winter. Dwarf cultivars like ‘Little Gem’ and ‘Teddy Bear’ make growing magnolias possible in smaller spaces or containers, at least to start.

Magnolia stellata (star magnolia) is among the first to bloom in early spring when strappy, starburst petals in white open on silvery branches before foliage emerges. Sweetbay magnolia, Magnolia virginiana, is a graceful native with multi trunks, glossy leaves with silvery undersides, and small, white blooms in spring and summer. All parts of the plant are fragrant, with a vanilla-citrus-spice scent.

Let’s not forget Magnolia figo, or banana shrub, with its spring blossoms that smell like a cross between melon fruits and bananas.

Generally, magnolias thrive in full sun to partial shade and tolerate a variety of soils, preferring those rich in organic matter and well-draining. They provide multiseason interest through flowers, seeds, bark, and foliage.


Vibrant lilac flowers soak up the golden sunlight, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully. Lush leaves form a tranquil scene, enhancing the ethereal beauty of the blossoms in their radiant display.
This treasured, fragrant spring bloomer comes in many cultivars.
botanical-name botanical name Syringa vulgaris
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8-16’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

With their heavenly scent and fluffy lavender blooms, lilacs bring a sweet welcome to spring. When their classic panicle bloom clusters emerge, they light up the landscape. Blossoms produce nectar that is attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.

With hundreds of lilac cultivars, lilacs have single or double blooms from creamy white to rose to purple. They are highly aromatic:  their intense fragrance quickly fills an intimate space. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage re-flowering in successive seasons. Snip a fresh bloom or two to enjoy the scent and color indoors.

Lilacs need cold winters to set buds and don’t do as well in climates with high heat and humidity. In southern zones, try those bred for improved heat tolerance. Look for cultivars Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’ or Syringa hyacinthiflora.

Evergreen Wisteria

An evergreen wisteria plant basks in the warm sunlight, its vibrant purple blooms catching the eye amidst a sea of lush green leaves. The contrast between the delicate flowers and the verdant foliage creates a captivating natural tableau.
The evergreen wisteria thrives on arbors or in containers for its sweet fragrance.
botanical-name botanical name Callerya reticulata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12-15’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

Evergreen wisteria is not a true wisteria, though it bears the same woody, vining growth habit and flowering. It’s much more tame than wisteria and won’t ramble into treetops. The vine is a broadleaf evergreen with long, reddish-purple racemes (hanging bunches of blooms) in summer into fall.

Evergreen wisteria is ideal for an arbor or trellis, where it is hardy and grows well in containers where tender. Overwinter containers indoors or in a sheltered environment. Grow evergreen wisteria where you’ll experience its sweet, cedary fragrance up close.

Dark green, glossy leaves give the vine a graceful look year-round. Stems and bark are coppery red, adding to multi-season appeal even when the showy flowers aren’t blooming. Fruits emerge as long pods post-bloom. To prevent reseeding and to promote flowering, trim off seed pods.


Pink freesia flowers bloom gracefully, their delicate petals unfurling in the sunlight. Lush green leaves provide a backdrop, accentuating the vibrant hue of the blossoms and adding depth to the floral arrangement.
Colorful freesias thrive in warm climates as perennials or as annuals elsewhere.
botanical-name botanical name Freesia spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-1.5’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-10

Freesia delights the garden in a rainbow of colors with a big fragrance to match. Bladed plants reach around one foot tall, with stems that rise to hold five to ten blooms. Flowers are funnel-shaped, in creamy white, yellow, pink, purple-blue (and seemingly everything in between), with an intense, sweet fragrance.

Freesias make lovely, long-lasting cut flowers. These Mediterranean bulbs are perennial in warm climates (zones 9-10) and grow as annuals elsewhere. Plant corms in the spring for an aromatic summer display, and plant successional corms 7-14 days apart for a burst of blooms all season.

In areas with cold winters, store corms indoors in a cool, dry spot. Wait until flowers and foliage fade to lift corms for fall storage. Or, overwinter plants in containers indoors. Freesia grow as houseplants in sunny locations in pots with well-drained soils.

Summersweet Clethra

Pink feathery flowers of summersweet clethra gleam in the radiant sunlight, their delicate petals shimmering with a soft blush hue. Rich leaves embrace them, forming a verdant backdrop that enhances their natural beauty in the garden.
This is a unique flowering shrub that thrives in consistently moist soils.
botanical-name botanical name Clethra alnifolia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 5-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Clethra is one of those unique flowering shrubs that deserves a place in the garden. It’s native to eastern North America and fills the garden with all-season interest, from its highly fragrant bloom clusters to seed pods to fall color.

Hummingbirds and other pollinators love summersweet’s pinky-white blooms and spicy, peppery scent. It produces high-quality pollen, nectar, and flowers when other plants take a break – during the high summer heat from July to August. 

This native shrub withstands a variety of soil conditions, from moist (and sometimes wet) to periods of drought once established. Avoid hot, dry sites for clethra; it grows best in consistently moist soils that are well-draining, in full sun to partial shade, or with afternoon sun protection.


A close-up showcases plumeria flowers in full bloom, their delicate petals boasting a spectrum from sunny yellow to pure white. Surrounding the blooms are green leaves, enhancing the floral display's natural allure.
These are small trees or shrubs with succulent branches.
botanical-name botanical name Plumeria spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height Up to 30′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

Plumeria carries one of those sweet fragrances evocative of tropical nights. Its exotic scent is reminiscent of jasmine, gardenia, and citrus. The fragrance is most intense at night when it attracts night-pollinating insects like sphinx moths. 

Plumeria grows in tropical regions as small trees or stalky shrubs. Succulent silvery branches give way to thick, broad leaves and waxy blooms that last from summer through fall. Flower color ranges from white to magenta, depending on the variety.

For most of us, tropical plumeria needs to overwinter indoors. Grow it in a container and bring it indoors when temperatures fall into the 40℉ range (4 degrees Celsius). Container-grown plumeria needs a coarse, well-draining potting mix with consistent moisture. Place it in a sunny location where you can enjoy its essence all summer.

Ginger Lily

A ginger lily plant displaying elegant white flowers contrasts against its elongated leaves. The blurred background hints at a verdant setting, accentuating the plant's natural beauty amidst lush foliage.
Tall stalks of ginger lilies bear butterfly-like blooms in white or yellow.
botanical-name botanical name Hedychium spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Ginger lilies form tall, leafy stalks topped with whirling blooms and a sweet summer fragrance. Flowers in crisp white, buttery yellow, or orange emerge in clusters. Each blossom resembles a butterfly in petal arrangement and with long stamens.

Use ginger lily as a bold tropical backdrop to other flowering perennials. It spreads by rhizomes, so control it by cutting and digging roots if the spread and density become too much. Easily divide ginger lily through the same method – pulling or digging rhizomes to transplant. 

Ginger lilies are tough plants where hardy and grow as annuals or container plantings in cold climates. They do best in moist, organically rich soils with good drainage and full sun.


A close-up of feverfew flowers, showcasing delicate white petals encircling yellow centers, capturing the essence of purity and warmth. Bathed in sunlight, they exude natural beauty and tranquility, inviting admiration and serenity.
Harvest feverfew blossoms at various stages of flowering to use in floral arrangements.
botanical-name botanical name Tanacetum parthenium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1-3′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Feverfew is an old garden favorite with bushels of petite daisy-like flowers, aromatic foliage, and herbal uses. Blooms cover the mounding plants from early summer through frost. Foliage is feathery with a high fragrance.

Sun-loving feverfew is easy to grow in moist, well-drained soils. It self-seeds hardily, so pull any unwanted volunteers and deadhead spent blooms to prevent unwanted seeding. Deadheading also proliferates flowering. Use feverfew in naturalized areas where it can reseed freely or in borders and rock gardens.

Clip feverfew throughout the flowering season to enjoy in floral arrangements and to bring its fresh, camphor scent indoors.

Mock Orange

Delicate white mock orange flowers, their petals unfurling gracefully.  Surrounding them are lush green leaves, forming a vibrant backdrop that accentuates the purity and elegance of the blooms.
Resembling orange blossoms, this shrub’s flowers attract butterflies and moths.
botanical-name botanical name Philadelphus spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4-8′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Mock orange flowers resemble orange blossoms with their bright white, four-petaled blooms. Over 40 species of Philadelphus are grown from Europe to Asia to North and Central America for their high fragrance. Blooms cover the multi-stemmed plants in late spring and early summer.

Mock oranges grow in a variety of soils as long as they have good drainage. Ideal soils are rich in organic matter and evenly moist. Deadhead spent blooms for increased flowering in successional years (on new growth). Prune stems to the ground if needed to rejuvenate the plant’s form.

While deciduous, mock oranges offer multi-season interest, with leaves turning a striking yellow in the fall. The masses of white flowers in spring and summer are a butterfly and moth favorite

Garden Phlox

A cluster of garden phlox blooms in vibrant purple and soft white shades, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully amidst lush green foliage. In the background, a variety of verdant plants provide a backdrop to the vibrant display.
Control powdery mildew in garden phlox by ensuring adequate spacing between plants.
botanical-name botanical name Phlox paniculata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-4’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Garden phlox is a lovely staple of the perennial bed, brightening the summer garden with tall domes of pink flowers. Garden phlox is a showy and fragrant native perennial, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds with its flowers from summer until frost. Cultivars boast deep pink, red, magenta, purple-blue, and bicolor blooms.

Phlox paniculata is prone to powdery mildew, so ensure plenty of air circulation and plant spacing. Think stems if crowding becomes an issue, and hold off on overhead watering to prevent foliar disease. Many cultivars feature improved disease resistance and intense fragrance, like ‘David,’ ‘Midsummer White,’ and ‘Cinderella.’

Phlox needs organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade for best growth. Deadhead spent blooms to encourage reblooming (and cultivars won’t come true from seed). Cut back stems and remove any dropped plant material in late fall to prevent mildew diseases in the coming seasons.


Purple clusters of candytuft flowers bask in the warm sunlight, their delicate petals opening up to soak in the rays. In the background, a rich greenery creates a blurred canvas, enhancing the vibrant display of nature's beauty.
The candytuft is a compact perennial groundcover that prefers well-drained soil.
botanical-name botanical name Iberis sempervirens
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 0.5-1’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

This little perennial groundcover delights in spring as a pincushion of pure white bloom clusters packed with sweet fragrance. Candytuft lives up to its name, and the bees and butterflies agree, as flowers cover the plant all spring.

Candytuft mounds and spreads up to 18 inches. It needs well-drained soils to thrive and tolerates dry periods (but not excessive moisture). Give winter protection in cold climates by adding extra leaf litter or mulch. In warm climates, candytuft is evergreen or semi-evergreen.

Candytuft is sweet in borders, along walkways, near seating areas, and in rock and cottage gardens. After candytufts finish flowering, cut back plants by one-third to rejuvenate growth.

‘Bliss ParfumaⓇ’ Rose

 A close-up captures the delicate beauty of a 'Bliss Parfuma' rose, its soft pink petals ruffled elegantly. In the background, lush green foliage provides a blurred yet vibrant contrast.
This is a disease-resistant rose ideal for containers and garden borders.
botanical-name botanical name Rosa ‘KORmarzau’
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Bliss’ is one of those irresistibly delicious roses with romantic cupped blooms loaded with petals and a light, fruity fragrance. Clusters of flowers bloom in spring through frost in shades of creamy pink with apricot centers. 

The ParfumaⓇ series by Kordes combines romantic-style blooms with exceptional fragrance and plant vigor. Cold-hardy and disease-resistant, ‘Bliss’ grows as a compact shrub. Its tidy form makes it an excellent choice for containers and garden borders.

‘Bliss’ makes a beautiful cut flower with picture-perfect ruffled petals. This floribunda rose makes a good container plant, performing best in sunny garden locations with good soil drainage.


Vivid purple lilies, their petals gracefully unfurled, catch the eye with a delicate allure. Yellow stamens, nestled amidst the petals, add a contrast, evoking a sense of nature's intricate beauty in full bloom.
Divide lily bulbs to boost production as they grow.
botanical-name botanical name Lilium spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height Varies
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Lilies herald the summer season with their gorgeous trumpet blooms and rich, sweet fragrance. They make beautiful statements in the landscape amongst other perennials or as massed plantings, and their striking blooms are as bold as their fragrance. Lilies’ floral perfume is most intense on summer mornings and evenings to draw in pollinators.

Available in many species and cultivars, from trumpet lilies to Asiatic lilies to tiger lilies, the main feature is prominent, symmetrical blooms that emerge perpendicular to the stem. Mirrored trumpet or spidery flowers number between two to fifteen per plant, depending on plant variety, size, and vigor.  Lilium longiflorum (Easter lily), Lilium lancifolium (tiger lily), and Lilium superbum (Turk’s-cap lily) are among the most highly fragrant.

Lilies emerge with new growth in the spring, growing and flowering through the summer months until yellowing and dying back in the fall. Each growing season allows root systems to strengthen for robust flowering plants, followed by a period of energy storage and dormancy. Divide bulbs as they grow to produce more lilies.

Some species of lily are invasive in varying parts of North America. Check with your local extension office before planting if you’re unsure whether or not the variety you want to grow is invasive or not.


Brown ceramic pots hold hyacinths, their blossoms painted in shades of purple, white, and pink. The delicate flowers peek out from amidst the elongated green leaves, creating a charming botanical display.
The hyacinth plant blooms in spring with colorful wands and fragrant scents.
botanical-name botanical name Hyacinthus orientalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8-12″
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

Hyacinth ushers in spring with blooming wands of color and fragrance. Flowers emerge on a single stem above bladed foliage in white, pink, lavender, gold, or blue, rich in hue and sweet scent. 

Garden hyacinths are perennial bulbs that grow best in full to part sun in rich, well-drained soils. They make gorgeous woodland plantings, naturalizing under the tree canopies in dappled sun. Easily divide bulbs to reduce crowding and expand the colony.

Pair hyacinth with other spring bloomers like daffodils and tulips. Bring fragrance inside with a single snip – one bloom makes a bold, aromatic impact! Hyacinths have a clever trick up their pretty little sleeves: after flowering, seeds ripen and attract ants, who carry them into their burrows for food. This subsurface travel allows seeds to germinate.

Lily of the Valley

A cluster of lily of the valley plants with glossy, green leaves forming a backdrop for delicate, white, bell-shaped flowers. These fragrant blossoms dangle gracefully, exuding elegance and purity in a lush garden setting.
Bell-shaped white blooms of Lily of the valley thrive in shaded gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Convallaria majalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial to full shade
height height 6-10″
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

Lily of the valley dots the shade garden with white bell-shaped blooms in spring and summer. Plants reach only 10 inches tall but are lush with broad green leaves. Delicate, nodding flowers are fragrant and emerge in pendulous clusters amongst the leaves.

Lily of the valley is lovely in the woodland border or under shrubs, thriving in dappled sun and shade. Use it as a ground cover in mass plantings for impact. The plant spreads slowly by rhizomes, though they are dense and eventually overtake the roots of other plants if not divided.

Lily of the valley grows best in cool climates without high heat and humidity. All parts of the plants are toxic, so make sure to grow them out of the range of curious children and animals. They are also an invasive species and should be researched before planting.


Dianthus flowers, featuring pink petals edged in delicate white, bloom amidst green leaves. Their charming hues evoke a sense of tranquility and beauty, captivating observers with their elegant and intricate details.
This flowering ground cover has blue-green foliage and ruffly blooms.
botanical-name botanical name Dianthus plumarius
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 0.5-2’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

Also known as “pinks,” D. plumarius is among the most fragrant dianthus genera. Pinks delight the garden with striking bloom color and scent –  a spicy clove – from spring through fall.

A fine-bladed groundcover, dianthus forms a carpet of blue-green foliage with stems of ruffly, fringy blooms in white, red, pink, or bicolor. In full bloom, the flowers cover the foliage in a wave of color. Use dianthus as a path or border planting in rock and cottage gardens along edges.

Pinks need well-drained soil to thrive. They’ll tolerate dry periods once established and prefer to dry out between waterings. They’ll struggle with excessive moisture and experience crown rot or fungal diseases. Otherwise, Dianthus plumarius is a low-maintenance perennial with plenty to offer hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees in the way of pollen and nectar. 

Star Jasmine

Delicate white star jasmines, small and petite, bloom gracefully in the sunlight, their petals gently unfurling to reveal their fragrant beauty. Surrounding the blooms, green leaves add contrast and depth to the scene.
This plant thrives in southern climates and tolerates partial shade.
botanical-name botanical name Trachelospermum jasminoides
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 2’-30’ trained as a groundcover or vertically
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Star jasmine isn’t a true jasmine but resembles the woody vine in habit, flower, and fragrance. Loads of star-shaped, creamy white flowers cover dark green, glossy leaves on twining stems in spring. Bloom clusters continue to emerge sporadically throughout summer and fall.

Star jasmine grows vigorously in southern climates, thriving in partial shade and the dappled light of tree canopy. In colder climates, grow it as an annual specimen or overwinter it indoors in containers. Look for more cold-tolerant varieties (e.g., Trachelospermum jasminoides ‘Madison’) for borderline hardy areas like USDA zone 7.

Train star jasmine along trellises, walls, and arbors or as a groundcover (where hardy) where it will sprawl laterally with regular pruning. Prune the vine heavily to direct growth. 

Star jasmine tolerates periods of moisture and dryness, though ideal soils are moist and well-draining. It handles deep shade, and the bright white flowers brighten dark areas. The sweet fragrance is unmistakable and a welcome sign of warming temperatures.  

American Wisteria

A close-up of delicate purple American wisteria flowers adorning a slender branch, their petals unfurling gracefully against a backdrop of verdant foliage. Each bloom exudes a subtle fragrance, inviting admiration for its ethereal beauty and intricate botanical structure.
The American wisteria requires regular pruning for flowering and caution due to toxic seeds.
botanical-name botanical name Wisteria frutescens
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 15-40’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

American wisteria is a native, high-climbing vine that grows vigorously in its hardy range (though less aggressively than the invasive Chinese wisteria) with the same beautiful blooms and foliage. Graceful, pendulous purple blossoms and pinnate leaves intertwine on long, woody stems.

Blooms emerge prolifically in spring with sporadic flowering in the summer, and their sweet, light fragrance drifts through the landscape. Drooping blooms reach up to eight inches long in lavender blue, pink, burgundy, and white. Numerous cultivars exist for bloom color and size.

Blooms appear on new growth, so regular pruning is essential to maintain size and encourage flowering. Seed pods are long and showy, ripening mid-to-late summer. Seeds are toxic to humans and animals if ingested.

American wisteria tolerates sun and partial shade. Train it on walls, pillars, and arbors. Well-drained soils rich in organic matter are best, though the vine withstands some periods of flooding. It attracts numerous pollinators and plays host to several butterfly and moth species.


Sunlight filters through delicate paperwhite flowers, casting a radiant glow on their ivory petals. Tall, verdant stems proudly support the blossoms, creating a serene scene where white blooms embrace yellow centers.
Quick-flowering Paperwhites bloom within weeks of planting in fall for window boxes.
botanical-name botanical name Narcissus tazetta
sun-requirements sun requirements Full to partial sun
height height 16-24”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 8-11

Paperwhites bring a bouquet of cheer to the winter garden. Look for a light and sweet fragrance in cultivars like ‘Inbel,’ ‘Ariel,’ and ‘Nir’ from your local nursery, or order directly from growers. Some varieties smell acrid, depending on the beholder.

Paperwhites are small bulbs that make the most significant impact planted in numbers—scatter bulbs for a naturalized effect in clusters with bulbs two inches apart. Bulbs handle crowding well and present a sea of blooms as a result.

Quick-flowering bulbs bloom within four to six weeks of planting. Plant in the fall for a late winter display. Ideal spots are window boxes, containers, garden beds, and mass plantings.


Lavender flowers, in full bloom, stand tall against a soft, blurred background, exuding tranquility and elegance. In the backdrop, a plethora of lavender blooms adds depth and dimension to the serene setting, painting a picturesque scene of nature's beauty.
The lavender is known for its refreshing fragrance and various uses.
botanical-name botanical name Lavandula spp.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

We love lavender for its refreshing fragrance, purple bloom spikes, silvery foliage, and many uses – from cleansing to culinary. Whether it’s one of the many English, French, Spanish, or Dutch varieties, lavender makes a showy, evergreen focal point.  

Combine lavender with ornamental grasses, echinacea, rudbeckia, yarrow, and other perennials that thrive in dry conditions. This sun-loving Mediterranean plant grows naturally in arid, warm summers and cool winters. If your climate experiences cold winters, look for hardy varieties like Lavendula angustifolia ‘Munstead,’ an early bloomer with a compact habit. 

Lavender grows best in full sun with well-drained soils. Err on the dry side between waterings; lavender tolerates periods of drought.


A close-up of a cluster of yellow cestrum flowers blooms gracefully in the sunlight, their petals gently unfurling. Each flower exhibits a slender tubular shape, inviting pollinators with its delicate allure and sweet nectar.
This attracts hummingbird moths with its intense citrus perfume at night.
botanical-name botanical name Cestrum aurantiacum
sun-requirements sun requirements Partial shade
height height 5-16’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-11

Yellow and orange cestrum is a dreamy tropical night-scented bloomer. While flowers are always fragrant, the floral citrus perfume intensifies in the evening to entice hummingbird moths, among other pollinators.

In spring and throughout the summer, clusters of trumpet flowers emerge vibrant and showy in gold and orange. Cestrum grows large in its native tropical range of South and Central America but reaches an average of five feet in zones with winter freezes. It dies back with frost, but roots overwinter with insulation in colder climates (zones 5 and 6 for cestrum). Provide extra mulch or leaf litter if overwintering outdoors.

Cestrum is a versatile plant that withstands various soil conditions and periods of drought. Grow them as garden specimens or in containers for the fragrant, colorful, tropical infusion.

Chocolate Cosmos

Chocolate cosmos flowers, their deep red hues vivid against a soft focus backdrop. Surrounding foliage, a lush sea of green leaves, adds contrast and depth to the blooms, creating a harmonious botanical composition.
These tender perennials can be grown in cutting gardens or containers.
botanical-name botanical name Cosmos atrosanguineus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-9

This cosmo sounds delicious! A tender, herbaceous perennial, Cosmo atrosanguineus is striking in both flower and fragrance. Velvety brownish-red blooms bear a chocolate scent to match – like a scratch-n’-sniff sticker come to life. 

Chocolate cosmos are tender perennials in their hardiness zones (add extra mulch in winter on the fringes of zones 7-9). In colder climates, grow them as annuals or lift the tubers in late fall when foliage fades. As with dahlias, dig tubers and store them indoors in a damp medium (sand, wood shavings, peat moss) in an open crate or box until temperatures warm in spring. Chocolate cosmos divide easily through their tubers. 

Chocolate cosmos resembles the wildflower version (Cosmos bipinnate) we love in cutting gardens and naturalized spaces. Use them in floral arrangements, in the cottage garden, and in containers for up close chocolatey delight. They grow best in full sun in well-draining soils with average moisture.

Final Thoughts

When we think about fragrance in the garden, our senses heighten. It taps into a world of plant services, where we enjoy a beautiful bloom and a lovely scent that attracts exciting garden visitors (human and pollinator alike!). Fragrance in the garden adds to the immersive experience, deepening our connection with the physical world. For visually impaired visitors, fragrant plants provide an experiential garden opportunity.

With so many wonderfully fragrant flowers available, enjoy selecting perennials, annuals, and tropicals to add to your collection. Don’t forget flowering trees and shrubs. Bring fragrance to the garden year-round with seasonal performers and plants that bring multi-season interest.

A cluster of 'Dalmatian Peach' foxglove blooms elegantly in lush surroundings, showcasing tubular forms. The peach-colored flowers stand out against the backdrop of verdant green foliage, creating a captivating contrast in the garden landscape.


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A close-up of a group of yellow trout lilies growing in a wildflower garden. The flowers are in full bloom, with six recurved petals that are a bright lemon-yellow color and emerge from the leaf litter on a mossy forest floor. Sunlight filters through the trees, casting dappled light on the scene.


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A beautiful display of alyssum flowers and lush leaves creates a picturesque scene. The flowers boast captivating shades of purple and white, blending harmoniously amidst the verdant foliage, offering a delightful spectacle of natural beauty.


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