Favorite Top 10 Scented Plants Perfect in the Garden

This week for Tuesdays in the Garden I’m sharing my favorite top 10 scented plants. Our theme is favorite gardening tips, and though I love to buy beautiful plants, those that are also fragrant top the list. I’ll give you a little bit about why I like them, and some basic facts about their cold hardiness, size and bloom time, so that you can see if they are some that you will want for yourself.

Favorite Top 10 Scented Plants

Top ten favorite scented plants to grow.



Favorite fragrant plants koreanspice viburnum shrub.

This beautiful viburnum was here when we bought this house 13 years ago. I believe it was probably planted by the builder in the mid 80’s when the house was built, because it is huge, running right into a large magnolia tree. The blooms on this one are so fragrant that you can smell them from quite a distance. Beware, a large bouquet brought in the home might be a little too much.

Koreanspice Viburnum
Zone 4 – 7
Full Sun – Part Shade
4 – 6 ft tall — 4 to 7 ft wide
Blooms   March – April 


Scented shrub Mock Orange.

I adore the smell of this mock orange. I planted it a few years ago and admit that I have had some trouble getting a lot of blooms every year, but when it does watch out. The scent is heavenly.

Mock Orange
Zone 5 – 9
Full Sun – Part Shade
4 – 6 ft tall — 4 to 6 ft wide
Blooms May – June 


Fothergilla scented blooms in spring.

This pretty shrub has a subtle honey-like scent. I like the different texture it give the landscape and the leaves have beautiful fall color. Fothergilla major is also on my top 5 shrubs list.

Zone 4 – 8
Full Sun – Part Shade
6 – 10 ft tall — 5 to 9 ft wide
Blooms April – May


Lilac shrub scented bloom.

The lilac needs no introduction, however, I had to add it to the list because for me, there is nothing like the scent of a lilac in spring. Roses smell wonderful, but you can purchase rose essential oil. Lilac oil can only be made synthetically, making their original fragrance that more special.

Zone 3 – 7
Full Sun
8 – 15 ft tall — 6 to 12 ft wide
Blooms April – May


Abelia shrub in bloom in spring.

This is another beautiful shrub that I planted several years ago. Suggested by a trusted nursery owner, Abelia has a nice honeysuckle scent without the invasive nature of the honeysuckle plant. It can get a little rangy and needs to be pruned ever year to keep it looking nice and promote flowering. Abelia blooms on new growth so it is a good idea to get out and prune it back in late winter before new growth begins.

Zone 5 – 9
Full Sun – Part Shade
3 – 6 ft tall — 3 to 6 ft wide
Blooms  in May



Peonia Dr. Alexander Flemming fragrant peony.

Peonies are another plant are known for their fragrance. Not all of them are fragrant, however this variety, Dr Alexander Fleming, is almost as fragrant as it is beautiful. They don’t bloom for a long time, but you can pick some of the flowers in bud, and keep them in the refrigerator for an up coming event. See more about peonies and how to extend their blooms in the article Praiseworthy Peony.

Peony – Dr Alexander Fleming
Zone 3 – 8
Full Sun – Part Shade
2 – 3 ft tall – 2 to 3 ft wide
Blooms May – June


Lily of the valley perennial for fragrance.

These flowers are so dainty and cute. The fragrance, like the lilac is an original that is hard to extract. Though it can be invasive, I look forward to seeing these little beauties every spring. One little sprig will scent the entire room. 

Lily of the Valley
Zone 3 – 8
Part Shade – Full Shade
.5 – 1 ft tall – .5 to 1 ft wide
Blooms April


Daylily Rose Katherine for scented perennial choice.

Like peonies, some daylilies are fragrant, though not all. This one is scented and so pretty I had to add it to the list. It was either given to me, or I purchased it without a tag, so I can only guess at the variety. The variety ‘Rose Katherine,’ comes close in description. Other favorite scented daylilies include ‘Hyperion,’ ‘Wineberry Candy,’ and ‘Hudson Valley.’

Day Lily
Zone 3 – 9
Full Sun – Part Shade
2 ft tall – 2 ft wide
Blooms June 


Bergamot aka bee balm perennial with scented leaves.

Monarda commonly known as bee balm (a favorite of bees,) has pretty flowers and very fragrant citrus-like foliage. Also, known as bergamot, because the scent is similar to the bergamot orange. Bergamot oil (a favorite of mine) is also used to scent Earl Grey tea.

Bee Balm – Blue Stocking
Zone 4 – 8
Full Sun – Part Shade
2 – 3 ft tall – 1 – 1.5 ft wide
Blooms July – August


Lavender hidcote for scented blooms and foliage.

Last but not least is lavender. Scented plants like lavender are not only wonderful for their fragrance, but also for their ease of growth, and long blooming nature. When many of my other fragrant plants are gone, I can rely on lavender to be in bloom all season long.

Lavender – Hidcote
Zone 5 – 8
Full Sun
2 ft tall – 2 ft wide
Blooms June – August

Scented plants are a wonderful addition to the garden. Whether you’re walking in the garden, sitting outside, or admiring a bouquet indoors; the added benefit of fragrance, makes your beautiful flowers even more special.

Let’s see what favorites my gardening friends have in store for us today:

Spring flowers from frugal family home7 Spring Flowers to Grow @ Frugal Family Home


Grow Your Own Cutting Garden @ Simplify Live Love


Favorite Flowering Vines @ The Freckled Rose 


Favorite Plants for the Shade @ An Oregon Cottage


 5 Bushes the Support & Attract Birds @ Homemade Food Junkie



About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

Affiliate Account Hearth and Vine/Patti Estep is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


  1. Some of my very favorites are on this list. Yet I don’t have your fragrance varieties in many of mine at home, like the peony you recommend. I’m going to hunt some of these up. I have a new area of my yard I’m putting into plants. Time to get shopping 🙂

  2. This is an awesome list Patti and it includes some of my favorites. There’s is one though that I really want to plant next year and that’s the Lily of the Valley -I love it.. Just a few nothing over the top but it’s one of those vintage beauties that just tells a story every year it blooms.

  3. I’m loving that viburnum – the way the buds are light pink before opening is so sweet. And smelling great, too? Maybe a must-plant for my next garden!

  4. We had a star gazing lily that smelled so good. I hated to leave it behind at our old house. I would love to grow lilacs. They were my grandma’s favorite. We are in zone 8 and many gardeners in our area grow them. I’m not sure I have enough sun though, but I might give one a try.

  5. You choose such lovely plants. I just adopted a Lab puppy and most of the plants I know and love are poisonous-azaleas, rhododendrons, nandinas, hydrangeas ….. even tomatoes! I live in Zone 7A or 7B. Any thoughts because Lab puppies eat everything as soon as you turn around! Thanks for pondering! I

    • Hi Jill,

      First let me say that I’ve never personally owned a dog. I found this website from the ASPCA which lists toxic and non-toxic plants for dogs. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/dogs-plant-list
      I was very surprised to see poison ivy, oak and sumac on the safe list?? Also, on the safe list is daylilies and many of them are fragrant. A pretty non-fragrant plant on the list that should do well in your zone is crepe myrtle. There were tons of them in Tennessee when we lived there on all kinds of pretty colors. I don’t think they are fragrant though. Roses made the list, though I’d think the thorns would keep the puppy at bay.
      I hope this helps and best to the new addition in your family,

  6. I just started growing Viburnum, so my shrubs are young. I can’t wait until they get large enough where I can smell the blooms from far away! Thank you for introducing me to mock orange. Definitely adding that to my must-buy list. I LOVE Fothergilla! I tried planting some three years back. I was all excited, and a storm came and ruined my small plants. I’m not giving up though, definitely going to try again. The week the lilac bushes bloom here is my favorite week in spring. They smell heavenly! Who doesn’t love the classic peony and Lily of the Valley. Such a great list Patti! I seriously adore everything you featured. My list is now jam packed with things to buy!

  7. I have no lilacs and it’s a crying shame. I love them! You really have so many great blooms on this list, Patti. I need to get to work and add some more to my home!

    • Hi Michelle,

      Oh you know how it is. When you love flowers and really any plants, you can never have enough. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

  8. Donna Dupnik says:

    Enjoyed your post on fragrant flowers, especially the zone , blooming and size of plants. Thanks

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