Nothing more heavenly than walking through your yard amidst the glorious smells of beautiful flowers! Put a smile on your face with these 14 best smelling plants for your yard.
The 14 Best Smelling Plants For Your Yard.
1. Lilac Bush
I’m pretty sure there isn’t a person alive who is aware of how amazing lilac bushes smell! They really are one of the most fragrant plants you can have in your yard.
I have noticed, though, that many of the newer varieties don’t smell as good, or at least not enough fragrance to smell across your yard.
You have to look for the original varieties, the ones grandma used to have. You know, the ones you still see growing along many country roads where houses used to be? Those.
They smell magnificent. I have three large ones around my house, and during the spring, their heavenly odor drifts into our rooms, and my only complaint is that they don’t last long enough!
If I could bottle this perfect spring flower smell, I’d be the world’s wealthiest person by far.
Buy an old-fashioned lilac bush (or 10!) for the best smelling yard in your neighborhood. 🙂
2. Garden Phlox
These beautiful pink flowers burst with color and smell in the middle of summer, usually by surprise. They also come in a few other colors, but pink is still my favorite.
I’ll notice the flowers begin to bloom, and suddenly, I am happily blown away with their wonderful floral fragrance!
They’re pretty easy to grow, too, and are a favorite of many different pollinators. I’ve noticed that the hummingbird moths absolutely love my phlox and are on it frequently.
Not sure if the newer cultivars have less smell like the lilacs, but it might be something to look for if you’re going for the best smelling plants for your yard!
3. Common Milkweed
The life-giving Common Milkweed plant has the most aromatic flowers in late spring!
It will fill your yard with smells that remind me of lilacs, becoming bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and of course, Monarchs to it so they may lay their eggs on the tender leaves.
If you aren’t already aware, milkweed is the only plant that the iconic Monarch will lay their eggs on, so we definitely need to plant more to keep this beautiful butterfly around!
There are many different types of milkweed, but none fill the role of the best smelling plants like the Common Milkweed.
Like the previous two flowers, I bury my nose in the petals and inhale the heavenly scent.
Then I sit back and watch pollinators (including hummingbirds!) visit the flowers all day long. It’s super fun to look for the Monarch caterpillar and watch them grow (quickly!) into the gorgeous orange butterfly that they are!
I want to start this by saying that although the invasive Japanese honeysuckle smells good too, I’m not referring to that one simply because I try to plant mostly native!
Yellow Honeysuckle is a native variety that pollinators love! It tolerates various soils, can grow almost anywhere, and bloom from mid-spring all the way to late summer!
A bonus to this plant is the bright red berries it gets in the fall, adding a splash of fall color. Many birds will forage on these bushes as well!
If you have native Honeysuckle growing in your yard, your nose will definitely alert you to having some of the best smelling plants around! 🙂
Besides the big pretty flowers of the peony, I also know it’s blooming before I even see it as they give off a beautiful, soft floral scent.
Take a walk through your yard or gardens, and you’ll smell them as well. I can often be seen sticking my nose in one of my peony flowers, inhaling the light and sweet scent.
Although it’s not considered a pollinator plant, the ants may be drawn to the sweet smell as well. No worries, they won’t harm your plant, no reason to remove them.
If anything, they can help a garden by providing aeration to the soil. They will also clean every aphid off of any plant you have.
Want a classic, pretty flower with some scent? Add this to your other best smelling plants and be enchanted!
This might be one of the most known in our list of best smelling plants. Everyone knows a rose!
Although many don’t see roses as beneficial to pollinators, the more fragrant-smelling varieties will bring in some bees and butterflies.
Those same roses will release a beautiful odor to your yard as they bloom as well. I think we all know the glorious smell of a rose! I love their fragrance!
Remember those ants we talked about? If you have any aphids on your roses, they won’t last long if you allow the ants to take care of business.
NOTE: Pesticides, herbicides, and any other chemical have no place in the garden. They might offer instant gratification, but they wreck harmful damage for years to come.
I know we are bombarded by lavender scents of everything in the stores – from candles to detergent, but manufactured smells don’t stand a chance next to the blooming flowers of an actual lavender plant!
I love walking by my plants while giving my nose a treat! You don’t have to get close to smell them, either, as they’re strong enough to carry gently in the air.
I often see butterflies, bees, and other pollinators on my lavender throughout the season, so they are equally beneficial. If you’re into drying the flowers or creating your own scented products or oils, they are also good for that.
Me? I love smelling them and love their bright purple flowers. Definitely some of my best smelling plants!
Although the beautiful Wisteria is native in my area, I don’t feel I see it much. I’m not sure why, as they are stunning and smell heavenly!
These make the best smelling plants list for obvious reasons if you own any! I personally do not (yet!), but I have been around them in North Carolina, and wow! Heavenly!
Their fragrance can range from faint to almost overpowering. They like full sun to partial shade and do best if given a place for them to climb.
People who own this plant say they see hummingbirds and bees on it the most! Find them in shades of blue and purple perfection. 🙂
You definitely know when you’re around a gardenia plant! Their strong floral scent is noticeable, and bonus, they bloom twice in a season.
Unfortunately, they are not quite in my USDA growing zone, but I enjoy them when visiting more southern places.
Their huge, white blossoms mostly attract moths and honeybees, which is a great bonus!
Plant them in moist, well-drained soil and enjoy!
Have enough hyacinths planted and put a smile on your face in early spring when they bloom. To me, these best smelling plants resemble the heavenly smell of lilacs, and their spring beauty will make you smile as well, as they are some of the first to bloom.
These flowers can be some of the earliest available food sources for bees and other pollinators, especially the grape hyacinth plants.
Available in a wide variety of colors, these are great to add to your garden if you want an earlier spring flower fragrance than most flowers provide!
These heavily scented flowers are beyond my growing zone, but they smell so good that they had to be included as best smelling plants for those of you who are in zones 7-10.
The large flowers on this plant have the sweetest smell! There is no mistaking them if you are walking near them and if you are able, plant them at home if you want your yard to be full of fragrance!
They like well-drained, rich soil and prefer sun. They can also get quite large, so make sure to give them a lot of space!
The sweet nectar and nourishing pollen will supply food for pollinators year-round!
I’ll never have these southern-hardy plants, but if you’re in zones 9-10, you can! If you want a super sweet smell to fill your gardens, these are some of the best smelling plants.
These tubular flowers have their own look and really attract the bees! They will also bloom readily indoors if you have a green thumb.
They come in a variety of colors and will be happiest in full sun or light shade. They also prefer moist, well-drained soil.
These sweet-smelling flowers are sure to be added to your best smelling plants list when they bloom. Some say they smell like grape jelly, while others think cherry pie or vanilla.
Either way, they are pleasant to the nose and the eyes, as their pretty little flowers look like umbrellas.
The best bonus is that pollinators enjoy them as well.
14. Mock Orange
Mock Orange is grown mostly for the smell of these beautiful white flowers. The flowers on this shrub resemble the orange blossom, although it’s not related and not even in the citrus family.
They enjoy part shade to full sun and prefer moist, well-drained soil. Their rich nectar attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators but get this; the beautiful scent deters deer; go figure!
15. Honorable Mentions
Other runners-up are worth planting in your yard, like the sweet-smelling annual Sweet Alyssum, which will attract many pollinators. If you want a “spicier” scent, you can go for Stock plants or Viburnum. If you have Dianthus plants, you may notice a “spicy-vanilla” type smell in the air, and you may notice a soft, sweet smell in the air if you have Sweet Pea plants.
Snapdragons smell so sweet! They smell like grape jelly or grape bubblegum or something similar. So, so good!
Lily-of-the-valley can put out quite an aroma, as can the flowering crabapple and other flowering spring trees. Certain varieties of Azaleas will put out some different scents as well.
I also discovered that the Queen Lime Blush variety of the Zinnia plant has a subtly sweet cotton candy-like aroma. Pretty cool. 🙂
Quite a variety of flowers and plants to choose from to beautify your property and provide wonderful, luscious smells! Which will you choose?
Do you have any other plants that smell amazing? I would love to hear; please comment below and tell me which ones!