It’s no surprise that one of the best things about flowers is their fragrance – they appeal to our sense of smell! This list is dedicated to twelve of the most fragrant flowers you can plant in your yard so you can get even more joy out of your garden.
Sure, flowers are gorgeous creations that can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, and they beautify our yards with their pops of color and texture, but their fragrance is still one of their best qualities!
A fragrant plant can awaken the senses and elevate your mood, which is why so many people prefer planting fragrant flowers over those that don’t omit a strong fragrance.
If you’re one of those people, you’re going to get a lot of planting ideas in this list.
The flowers below all feature a distinctly wonderful fragrance. Plant them together in your garden and you’ll be able to enjoy a sweet-smelling yard come spring and summer.
Plus, you can use them as cut flowers to bring inside and place in vases throughout your home. It’s like nature’s natural fragrance line!
Top 12 Most Fragrant Flowers
We love lilacs around here (hence our name!) so we’re starting this list with this remarkable flower.
Lilacs (grown in Zones 3-9) are quite popular during spring-time. We think the ethereal lilac bush is the throw-back queen of springtime because the large and generous blooms it produces are not only aesthetically beautiful, but they also carry a fresh and sweet fragrance that can’t be rivaled. It’s a unique scent that people remember for decades!
Lilacs can be used as cut flowers, too. Place the large blooms in a decorative vase and you’ll see just how striking this plant really is.
If you’re a fan of vining plants that proceed generous flower blooms, then try growing Wisteria wine.
Known for being a fast grower, Wisteria produces large blooms that omit a strong fragrance and feature lovely shades of purple and lavender.
Wisteria can trail over fences, a trellis, or a pergola, but just make sure you keep an eye on it and prune it properly so it doesn’t overtake your yard – this vine is vigorous and will grow wildly if not well-maintained.
3. Gardenias (Zones 7-10)
Gardenias are some of the prettiest flowers around and they are so fragrant that they’ve inspired countless perfumes on the market.
Their crisp-white color is the perfect contrast against its dark-green foliage so if you’re a fan of white blooms, a gardenia shrub is an excellent option, as long as you love its strong fragrance!
Gardenias produce one of the strongest scents that can come out of a garden, and if that’s what you’re looking for, gardenias won’t disappoint.
They bloom during the Summer months.
4. Lilies and Daylilies (Zones 5-9)
This low-maintenance perennial is one of the most fragrant and striking flowers around.
Daylilies are easy to grow from tubes and they can withstand some serious heat, which is why they thrive in hotted zones.
There are so many varieties and colors to choose from that it’d be difficult to get bored.
They grow well when planted directly in the ground but they can also thrive in containers, which means you can use them as decorative accents on your front porch, patio, or balcony!
For more growing information, head to this post on how to grow lilies.
5. Peonies (Zones 3-9)
Not only are peonies a favorite of brides and event planners, but they’re also some of the easiest perennials to grow and one of the most fragrant!
This hardy perennial shrub can last in the same spot for up to 100 years – talk about impressive.
They take a few years to grow from tubers but if you don’t want to wait that long you can buy them as container plants at your local garden center.
Order a plant support, too, to stabilize the plant as it grows. You’ll avoid a toppling peony plant in the future as the blooms tend to be on the heavy side.
Also, don’t worry about the ants, they won’t harm the plant and there’s no need to kill them off! If you’re interested in growing this fragrant flower yourself, head to this post about How to Grow Peonies.
6. Sweet Peas
Sweet Peas are some of the most fragrant annuals you can grow, and they also make beautiful cut flowers for bouquets and centerpieces.
If you’re looking to experiment with a plant that sprouts and blooms all in the same year, try your hand at some sweet pea seeds!
If you’re new to flower gardening, starting with annuals is a great way to gain experience with seed-starting.
You can’t have a list of top fragrant flowers without mentioning roses.
Roses have some of the most intoxicating aromas, but make sure you choose your varieties wisely. Purchase a rose bush that produces fragrance, as some varieties nowadays do not.
Roses love lots of sunlight and they need to be properly pruned in order to keep producing masses of blooms.
Ask your local garden center for guidance, and if you can’t find a variety you like, try looking online at different plant nurseries.
8. Hyacinth (Zones 4-9)
What’s not to love about hyacinth? This is one of our favorite Spring-blooming flowers because it’s incredibly pretty to look at plus it’s sweetly fragrant. If you crave lots of different colors in your garden, plant some hyacinth bulbs! they’re are many different colors to choose from and they looking stunning in a bed with other Spring-blooming bulbs and plants.
They also look gorgeous in containers all on their own – place them on the patio or front porch and you’ll understand what we mean!
We added another vine to this list and another white flower!
Jasmine is known for its strong, spicy aroma and many gardeners love using it as a vine to cover fences and walls.
Jasmine vine looks beautiful when used to cover an unsightly fence because it features glossy, deep-green foliage and specks of white flowers – it makes for a beautiful backdrop!
We love the bright and unique look of freesias so we’re thankful they’re also some of the most fragrant flowers you can grow.
You’ve no doubt seen plenty of perfumes and lotions modeled after freesias. They’re also a very popular cut flower.
Enjoy freesia blooms in colors of pink, red, yellow, white, lavender, and even different color combinations.
11. Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is a delicate-looking flower but it spreads vigorously, so some people prefer to grow it in containers.
If you don’t mind it spreading in the area, then plant it directly in the ground.
This shade perennial is a Spring bloomer and produces a sweet fragrance that many people love.
This perennial can come back to the garden year after year if properly cared for and maintained.
How could we not include lavender on this list?!
Lavender is celebrated for its soothing and musky fragrance and it’s added to DIY projects like essential oils, homemade soaps, and sleep-improving pillows.
It’s a stunning low-maintenance and drought-tolerant perennial, but if you’re looking for the strongest fragrance, choose an English Lavender variety over French or Spanish Lavender.
Lavender attracts pollinators, too, so they’re extra beneficial to the garden and they keep hummingbirds and butterflies happy when in bloom.
That concludes our list of the top 12 most fragrant flowers for the garden. We hope you leave inspired by these annuals and perennials and hope you’ll add a few of them to your yard this year and in the future!