The Best Fragrant Shrubs to Use in Your GardenTrees and Shrubs Last Updated On 08/31/2022
Fragrant shrubs are excellent for making your garden pleasant and beautiful. Gardening is more about the visuals: one of the most exciting thing about a well-maintained garden is a pleasant scent. Fragrance can make a relaxing atmosphere in your garden and make everything more pleasant.
If you want to make your garden the best it can be, don't forget about fragrance. The best way to achieve this is through flowering plants and fragrant shrubs. There are many sweetly-scented flowering plants you can grow in your garden and home. However, the problem is that most of these plants don't give flowers year round. It means that you will be missing fragrance in certain months.
Fragrant Shrubs for an Excellent Garden
In order to overcome this problem, you may opt for fragrant shrubs. Unlike flowering plants, they don't base their fragrance on blooms alone and are not so season-dependent. Fragrant shrubs are great all year round and can produce pleasant scent even in fall and winter. This is a great thing for those who want their garden to be the best it can be throughout the whole year.
Fragrant shrubs are an excellent choice for those who want to have a pleasant scent in their garden all year long. While not all shrubs can achieve this there are numerous varieties that will provide continuous fragrance from the early spring well into the winter.
For the best results, plant more than one variety of fragrant shrubs with different peak times of flowering and fragrance. This is the best way to ensure that you will have super-fragrant garden throughout the whole year.
Here are the most popular fragrant shrubs to choose for your garden:
Lonicera fragrantissima (Winter Honeysuckle)
This is a beautiful shrub with creamy-white flowers and intense fragrance. The flowers appear in late March and last until April or even May. This shrub is so fragrant that it will spread throughout your whole garden.
Winter Honeysuckle can grow from six to eight feet in height. It is ideal for background planting.
This is another good shrub to have. It has star-like flowers that open in early April and last through the early spring. This is a very hardy plant so it can withstand many different conditions in your garden.
This plant grows either as a large shrub or a small tree. It is best to use as a specimen plant. It has dark green foliage that grows very dense. If you plant your shrub in direct sunshine the leaves will turn bronze.
In case of a late spring frost it can damage the blossoms. In order to prevent this, it is best to plant this shrub with a northern exposure so the flower opening is postponed and protected from the cold weather.
These are two very viburnums: Carlesi and Burkwoodi. They have scent that resembles gardenias. These shrubs flower in late April and make your garden super fragrant throughout the spring.
Viburnum Carlesi is a more popular of the two. This shrub has coral-colored flower buds that open into broad-headed white flowers. These flowers are more sweetly scented than blooms on the Viburnum Burkwoodi. However, Viburnum Burkwoodi is also a good choice for those who want to have a beautiful fragrant shrub in their garden.
Viburnum carlcephalum is a hardier variety ideal for those who live in a bit harsher climates. This shrub has larger blossoms that are also more fragrant. This variety is also known as "fragrant snowball".
Lilac Fragrance of May
This is a very popular shrub that flowers in May. It is highly scented and produces beautiful purple and white flowers. It has a sweet scent that can spread throughout the whole garden. This plant come in many varieties, such as the dwarf Korean lilac or Cutleaf lilac (Syringa laciniata). Cutleaf lilac is particularly good because it doesn't seem to be attached by mildew like many other lilacs.
These shrubs have attractive foliage. The leaves are small and deeply lobed. They are very attractive so they are ideal for those who want to have a neat, stylish garden all year long. The blooms are shoots 12 to 14 inches long. They are covered with deeply scented pale lilac flowers.
A close relative of the lilac is the fringe tree, Chionanthus virginicus. It blooms for about a week in late May. It has fleecy white flowers. This is a tree-like shrub that grows about ten feet in height. It is also known as "old man's beard" because of the color and looks of its flowers. This plant prefers full sun and can truly make your garden super-fragrant.
There are many gorgeous fragrant shrubs you can use in your garden. Some of them bloom early in the spring, from March to April, while others have their flowers later in the spring. However, there are also those shrubs that get their flowers in the summer and those that keep their blooms well into the fall or even to the winter.
Here are some additional fragrant shrubs you can use to have a wonderful scented garden:
Mock Orange or Philadelphus
This is a wonderful shrub that flowers in June. This is one of the first shrubs ever brought to the US. Just like lilac, it was planted by the early settlers and it remained popular ever since.
There are many new hybrids that make the sweet scent even more pronounced. Probably the most popular variety is Philadelphus virginalis. This is a double-flowered plant poplar for its scent. Another good choice is "Belle Etoile". It is another fragrant mock orange you can choose for your garden.
These plants have a star-shaped blossoms with a strong fragrance that can fill the whole garden. If you plant them near a window you can enjoy their sweet scent inside of your home. These wonderful mock oranges will thrive in semi-shade.
Carolina All Spice (Calycanthus floridus)
This is a sweet shrub that is well-known to many gardeners. It has a characteristic spicy scent that prevails throughout the whole summer. It is a shrub native to Southern states and it's been popular for centuries.
The oakleaf hydrangea is one of the most beautiful shrubs you can grow in the garden. It is not as popular as some other plants mentioned on this list but it is a great choice for those who want to have a garden full of fragrance.
The flowers of this shrub resemble those of the common Hydrangea paniculata but are much larger. Flowers grow from huge conical heads in June. They are white when they first open but as the season advances they get a rosy hue. At the maturity, the flowers have a purplish tint.
This is such a wonderful shrub even when it doesn't flower. It has very beautiful foliage. It is shaped like oak leaves. The leaves change color during the season, turning into bronze. In order to make this plant thrive, it is best to grow it in shade or in full surf.
This is a sweet pepper bush that is excellent for your garden. It blooms in summer, making your garden very fragrant.
This bush is native to eastern seacoast. It is known as "Sailor's delight" in Massachusetts because of the sailors coming into the port used to catch their scent still far out at sea.
This is a compact shrub that grows about four feet in height. It has finger-like clusters of white and pink flowers that are sweetly scented.
It also has a pink variety, Clethra rosea. Their blossoms fade into a pyramidal cluster of black seeds that look like pepper corns. This is why this plant is known as "pepper bush". This plant prefer semi-shaded and moist spot to thrive.
Vitex macrophylia (Chaste tree)
This is a highly aromatic shrub. This plant can bloom until frost. It is easy to grow but it requires sunshine to thrive. It is sometimes necessary to do severe pruning on them but they will always grow back with lush growth. This shrub has very fragrant blossoms on attractive spikes so it will sure make a fantastic addition to your garden.
Photo credit: Sheila Sund