best Fragrant Plants for gardens and containers

Best fragrant plants for outdoor and indoor gardens and containers. Most of these plants are easy to grow and low maintenance. You can grow them in shade or full sun depending on which ones you choose.

Best Fragrant Plants Indoor/Outdoor

If you’re looking for ideas on fragrant plants that you can grow both directly in the garden as well as in containers this list will give you some ideas.

Butterfly Bushes

Butterfly Bushes are some of the best fragrant plants. One of the varieties you could try is the Royal Red. 

There are many varieties to choose from. Some will get pretty big and it’s advisable to cut your Butterfly Bushes down in the late winter.

Don’t hesitate to give them a good cutback there is no chance of damaging them because they bloom on new growth. There is also no need to keep the plant left over from the previous year. 

They do well in zones 5-9 and grow to a height of 9 feet. If you don’t want the tall varieties, there are dwarf varieties available in the market. 

Star Magnolia

Star Magnolia can be super fragrant. One of the varieties I grow is the Royal Star which produces beautiful green foliage. 

The plant bloom very early in the season. It also grows large and becomes like a small tree. It can get anywhere to between 10 to 20 feet in height over time.

How early the Star Magnolia blooms depend on the temperatures where it’s growing. In zone 7 it can be as early as February. It can be grown in zones 5-8. 

Fragrant Tea Olive

Fragrant Tea Olive is a favorite of many people. It is a great screening plant because of its compact nature.It grows well in the Hardiness zone 7 to 9 but in seven it needs some protection.It grows to heights of over 10 feet. 

It produces flowers when nothing else is blooming typically in the late fall and then again in early spring. 

It also remains in bloom for a long time when not many other plants are blooming. It produces small flowers in clusters along the stem. 

Jubilation Gardenia

Jubilation gardenia care is similar to the care given to almost all Gardenia Plants. The plants are gorgeous evergreens that do well in zone seven to ten.

For best results provide them with moist well-drained soil. They grow to about 3-4 feet tall. They also produce beautiful shiny green foliage. The leaves are very pretty by themselves. 

However, the plants also flower in the spring.Some varieties will bloom again in the fall. They are great perennials to grow in the garden.


One of the best fragrant plants varieties in this group is the Sixteen Candles Clethra. It is also a great plant for pollinators and a great choice for people who want to attract bees. 

It is native to the southeast. It can be grown successfully in many regions within zones 4-9. The plant reaches a height of 4-5 feet. 

The plant is not fussy and can be grown both in full sun as well as in the shade. It produces flowers.This is one of the easiest fragrant plants to grow even for beginners. 

Carolina Allspice 

Carolina Allspice is native to the southeast. The plant can also be grown in a wide range of regions in zones 4-9. It reaches a height of about 5-10 feet and gets big as it matures.  

It produces wonderfully scented red flowers in the spring. It’s good to note that as the plant ages year after year it can lose the scent. Although it will bloom, the flowers will be less and less scented. 

You can successfully grow Carolina Allspice both in the sun as well as in the shade without any problems.  

Winter Daphne

Winter Daphne is also common and blooms early in the spring. One of the varieties I have grown is the Variegated Wild Winter Daphne. 

They can be grown in Hardiness zone 7 and 9. They grow to a height of about 3-4 feet. They are high maintenance and fussy even for experienced plant owners. 

One of the biggest problems is growing them in soil that they don’t like. They also don’t like to be kept in wet soil and prefer to remain on the dryer side.

They are relatively expensive to purchase because even nurseries struggle with growing them. 


Mahonia is a great shade plant. It produces flowers in the late fall or winter. It can also bloom in early spring depending on the zone you are growing it in. They can be grown in zones 7-9. 

One of the varieties I grow is the Soft Caress Mahonia which is lightly fragrant compared to other Mahonia varieties.

It produces pretty yellow flowers and soft foliage. It is also a great shade plant as well as easy to grow. 

Itea Virginica

Itea produce little fragrant flowers in spring. One of varieties that  grow is the Henry’s Garnet Itea. It is another native fragrant plant. 

It’s native to mid-Atlantic states. It is a super easy plant to grow and care for even for beginners. It’s also very reliable and produces blooms every single year. 

It can be grown successfully in zones 5-9 and can reach heights of about 3-4 feet.

Korean Lilac

There are several Korean Lilacs that are fragrant. The one I have grown successfully is called Miss Kim. 

They can be grown in hardiness zones 3-8.  They can get into that six feet tall range. These Lilacs are different compared to the Lilacs that are grown in the North.

It is a beautiful plant that produces nice foliage. It also flowers briefly in early to mid spring.

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Sometimes gardeners and plant parents want to include some fragrant plants in their yards and gardens. Some of these plants are more fragrant than others and there is something for everyone.

If you’re a beginner I would suggest beginning with some of the plants that are easy to get as well as grow and care for. 

I hope this post on the best fragrant plants gave you some ideas on great plants that you can grow. Please share it and also follow me on Flowerthings Pinterest for awesome posts. 

best Fragrant plants indoor and outdoor gardens



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