Fragrant Annual Plants: Easy-to-Grow Plants for a Fragrance Garden

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Fragrant Annual Plants: Easy-to-Grow Plants for a Fragrance Garden

Annual plants grow and flower quickly and these annuals are perfect additions to a nose-pleasing fragrance garden. Which scents will you add to your garden?

Scented Geranium (Pelargonium spp.)

Scented Geranium (Pelargonium spp.)

Zones 9-11. Scented geraniums are actually Pelargoniums and should not be confused with hardy garden Geraniums. They do, however, have a great place in the fragrance garden because of the lovely, bold foliage and variety of scents available.

Scented geraniums have beautiful flower clusters in a wide variety of color, but most of the scent is in the fuzzy leaves which can be rubbed lightly to release the fragrance.

Find scented geraniums with chocolate, apple, cinnamon, citronella and other fragrances. Scented geraniums prefer full sun, and do best in well-drained soil that is allowed to barely dry between waterings. Use the fragrant annual in dramatic containers, hanging baskets and mixed borders as well.

Common Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)

Common Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)

Zone 10-12. Common heliotrope is an easy-to-grow annual with broad, lance-shaped leaves and brightly colored fragrant flowers.

While it can grow to 5′ tall in native environments, heliotrope usually only grows about 18” when grown as a bedding plant or container annual. Full sun is best for heliotrope except in hot climates or drier soil when afternoon shade is appreciated.

Heliotrope is a cottage garden favorite because of the sweetly scented flowers that attractive butterflies. Save heliotrope seeds or take cuttings in the fall to grow next year if you don’t want to purchase new plants in the spring. Most heliotrope flowers are purple or white and combine well with other plants in a fragrance garden.

Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Lemon Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

A popular herb for kitchen containers, strawberry jars, and cottage gardens, Basil is an annual plant with aromatic leaves and fragrant flowers.

Often used in sauces, pestos, salads, omelets and stir-fries; basil leaves are best used as a cooking herb before the plant begins flowering. Basil flowers are very beautiful, and fragrant, so consider allowing basil to produce flowers if you aren’t using it for seasoning. Basil grows well in full sun, average soil and moderate watering.

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alataor (Nicotiana sylvestris)

Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)

Zone 10-11. To grow flowering tobacco in the garden start seeds indoors before frost or sow directly outdoors after the last chance of frost.

Tobacco plants are annual plants with very fragrant white or pink flowers. Grow tobacco in full sun and rich, moist soil although it will tolerate part shade, especially in areas with hot summers.

This is a good annual to deadhead when flowers are spent to encourage more blooms. Flowering tobacco is good for containers and mixed borders but should not be grown near other Nightshade family vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, or peppers.

Fragrant Annual Plants: Easy-to-Grow Plants for a Fragrance Garden

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I am founder of FarmFoodFamily blog, where you can read about all living things. I have been a writer all my life, a collector of various interesting and old things, a traveler and an artist. Hobby and career paths have gone in many directions, from making miniature furniture to watercolor painting, fundraising for a symphony orchestra to selling antiques, from interior decorating to copyediting, from being a wife and mother to being a caregiver for family members with serious illnesses. Throughout the years I have learned and taught about all of these things and have been eager to share the information with a wider readership.

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