7 Fragrant Flowers That Make a Garden (Or Bouquet) Smell Amazing
These aromatic blooms will make you want to stop and smell the flowers.
If you're planning an aromatic flower garden or want to choose the best-smelling flowers for your next arrangement, these are the plants to pick. From soothing-scented lavender to sweet-smelling hyacinth, these flowers will waft floral scents around your backyard—and when cut and placed into bouquets, will fill any room with their heady aroma. Before you plant any new varieties, be sure to check out the care tips and hardiness zones (find your zone here), to make sure your new flowers will thrive. Or, when you're choosing blooms for a fragrant bouquet at the grocery store, you can let this list—and your nose!— be your guide. Go ahead, stop and smell the roses (and gardenias, and hyacinths).
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Lily of the valley is known for its delicate white blossoms and sweet scent. When you're choosing flowers for a grocery store bouquet, it will add an interesting shape and enticing smell to the arrangement.
If you're planting lily of the valley in your garden, choose a spot that gets partial shade. It's best to plant it in early spring, and over time, this flower is known to spread out. Just be careful if you have pets: lily of the valley is poisonous for both dogs and cats.
Hardiness Zones: 3-9
When hyacinth is in bloom, you'll often sniff it out before you see it. In the spring, hyacinth can be found in a range of pink, purple, and blue shades at your local florist. Waiting for this bulb to bloom is an act of patience: the bulbs need to be planted in the fall, before the first frost, in well-drained fertile soil in sun or partial shade. Planning to plant your own in the autumn? Follow the Old Farmer's Almanac's tips.
Hardiness Zones: 4-8
Roses have long been recognized as one of the best-smelling flowers in the garden, and with new perfumes and products revitalizing rose and making it a trendy scent again, roses are making a comeback. When buying roses at the florist or grocery store, choosing whatever looks freshest and smells best is an easy rule to follow. When it comes to planting roses, there are endless varieties to choose from, and like rose perfumes, you can pick from classic varieties or modern hybrids. This rose buying guide can help you find one that's right for your garden.
If you're looking for the most fragrant roses, many English roses make the list, including Heritage and Gertrude Jekyll. Some hybrid tea roses, such as Just Joey and Mister Lincoln, are also aromatic.
Hardiness Zones: Depends on variety, but most roses can be grown in zones 7-9
It's no surprise to see lavender land on the best-smelling flowers list—its soothing scent makes it popular for perfumes, soaps, potpourri, and more. In fact, science has even proven the stress-reducing effects of sniffing lavender.
Even if you don't have an outdoor garden, potted lavender is easy to grow on your kitchen counter. And when pulling together a DIY bouquet, consider adding a few sprigs of fresh lavender to amp up the aroma. For the most fragrant lavender possible, look for the hybrid variety Lavandin.
Hardiness Zones: Lavandin grows in zones 5-8
The rich perfume of the gardenia bloom may remind you of wandering through a garden at night—this flower is most often pollinated by moths, so it releases more scent at night to attract them. Gardenias prefer to live where nighttime temperatures are warm (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit), and prefer humidity and moist soil.
Hardiness Zones: 8-11
For a sweet-smelling scent, opt for freesia. Often described as smelling like strawberries or fruit, freesia is lovely in a garden or a bouquet, and comes in vibrant shades of purple, yellow, pink, and red. In zones 9 or warmer, freesia bulbs (called corms) are planted in the fall since they will survive the winter, but in cooler zones, the corms are planted in the spring. If planting in a pot indoors, keep the soil moist and place it near a window that gets good sunlight.
Hardiness Zones: Freesias are winter hardy in zones 9-10.
Similar to gardenia, night-blooming jasmine is most fragrant after dark. Not all types of jasmine are fragrant, but common white jasmine is known for its sweet scent. A growing zine dotted with delicate white flowers, jasmine looks particularly striking when grown on a trellis or pergola.
Hardiness Zones: 7-10.