Fragrant Houseplants

Lavender, Orchids, Scented Geraniums,Jasmine, and More

Houseplants don’t just add beauty and clean air to our homes, they can also add a fresh scent! Here’s a look at some popular and easy care scented houseplants.

Rather than using chemical sprays or expensive candles, consider using fragrant houseplants to freshen and scent your home. Here are a few of the best.

Jasmine

These plants are both beautiful and exotic, with profuse white flowers that have an intoxicating fragrance. The best one for indoor growing is the Jasminum sambac or “Maid of New Orleans”. This Jasmine has a busy growth habit and is great for a sunny windowsill. Keep the soil moist but not wet and don’t let it dry out. It will reward you with gorgeous blooms and fragrance all year long. Another fragrant variety to try is the Orange Jasmine.

Scented Geraniums

These plants, cousins of the Zonal types found everywhere, are prized for the amazing variety of scents and interesting foliage rather than their flowers. The scent comes from the leaves and you can find them in many different kinds, including oak, rose, citrus, peppermint, balsam, cinnamon, apricot, ginger, pineapple, and even chocolate! Give them a warm sunny window and they’ll flourish – just don’t let their soil dry out completely.

Patchouli

This ancient plant’s oils gave us the very first perfume, and it’s been a continuing source of fragrance for hundreds of years. It has lush, jade green leaves and a bushy habit. To grow indoors, give it lots of warmth and bright light (but not direct sunlight). If it gets leggy prune it back and it will reward you with a flush of new growth. The cuttings will root easily in water or soil.

Lavender

This herb is treasured for its beautiful and relaxing scent. The leaves can be dried and used in sachets and potpourri. Look for compact varieties such as Spanish Lavender (Lavandula stoechas ‘Otto Quast’). Lavender will flourish in full sun to partial shade. Water when the soil feels dry. The leaves can be used in potpourri, made into sachets, and the flowers can be used in cooking. It has a sweet taste similar to rosemary.

Orchids

Yes, you can grow these gorgeous flowers as houseplants, and many of them have an heavenly scent. The variety best suited for home growing is the Phalaenopsis or moth orchid. They are available in white, yellow, or pink varieties and bloom on long arching spikes. Once the blooms have been spent, new ones will appear on the same spikes in 8-12 weeks so don’t remove them! Orchids like bright but indirect light, high humidity (easily accomplished by using a humidifier or tray), good air circulation, and well draining soil.

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