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.)
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.
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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)
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)
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 alata) or (Nicotiana sylvestris)
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.