The 5 Best-Smelling Houseplants to Add to Your Collection

Give your scented candles a break and help your home have a pleasant scent with these indoor plants.

There's nothing like walking into your living space and being greeted with a great-smelling aroma. It's even better when you don't have to light a candle and you can let your houseplants do all the work. Stephen McFarlane, regional landscape manager at Sandals Resorts International, grows several types of indoor plants at home, such as night-blooming jasmine, Cuban oregano, and a wax plant. "The biggest consideration when choosing a great-smelling indoor houseplant is the amount of light needed. The more light received, the better for indoor plants with fragrant blooms," he says. Here are five aromatic plant varieties, plus their specific needs in terms of sun exposure, watering, and drainage to keep your green treasures healthy and fragrant.

01 of 05


Kumquat Plant
Getty Images

For a small, slow-growing citrus plant with fragrant flowers, the kumquat is worth a look. "To care for this plant, you should avoid letting it sit in wet soil, and the more light received, the better for the plant," advises McFarlane. "Only water the plant until it runs out the drainage holes when the top 2 to 3 inches [are] dry. You should also avoid growing citrus japonica near a heater or A/C unit and protect them from drafts from windows and doors. Make sure to use a fertilizer recommended for citrus and discontinue use in the winter when it stops growing."

RELATED: Kumquat Is the Sweet-Tart Vitamin C Superhero You're Not Eating

02 of 05

Orange Jessamine

Orange Jessamine Plant
Getty Images

Although not a citrus, orange jessamine has incredibly fragrant flowers, similar to citrus, and takes well to pruning to keep it small and compact. McFarlane recommends full sun exposure and consistent watering, allowing it to dry out slightly between. Use a balanced fertilizer—look for one that's 15-15-15 with a blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—and discontinue use when active growth stops in the winter.

RELATED: 10 Indoor Flowering Plants to Add Color to Your Home

03 of 05

Night-Blooming Jasmine

Night Blooming Jasmine
Getty Images

Given its name, you would probably think this is jasmine, but it's actually a member of the nightshade family. However, the plant does have the most shockingly fragrant flowers—only at night. McFarlane suggests keeping the plant in a full-sun location, allowing it to dry out between watering. "Make sure to fertilize with a half-strength, balanced fertilizer during the growing season and prune after bloom to encourage additional flowering," says McFarlane.

04 of 05

Cuban Oregano

Cuban Oregano
Getty Images

This plant will give the best fragrance if you rub your hand over it or if you place it near a window, allowing the fragrance to flow. "The coleus amboinicus is best in bright light with a well-drained soil," explains McFarlane. "Let the top 2 inches of the soil dry out and err on the side of caution when watering so you do not over-water the plant." Keep it in a small pot and prune it regularly.

05 of 05

Wax Plant

Wax Plant
Getty Images

This is a waxy leaf vine that produces fragrant star-shaped flowers. "Give them bright, indirect light preferably away from harsh afternoon light, but be cautious because, with too little light, they will not bloom," advises McFarlane. "Make sure to water regularly during the growing season, letting the top 2 inches dry between watering. Do not trim off the long tendrils of the plant—this is where new leaves and flower clusters form."

RELATED: 7 Fragrant Flowers That Make a Garden (or Bouquet) Smell Amazing

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles