15 Plants That Make Your Yard Smell Good

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Imagine strolling through your yard, surrounded by the intoxicating scents of blooming flowers,  aromatic herbs, and fragrant foliage. Pick the right plants for your yard and create a beautiful, eye-catching space that delights your senses with its fragrance.

When choosing the plants, consider the textures, colors, and fragrances they emit. For instance, do not plant a light, sweet-scented plant next to a fruity, bold-scented one. Also, distribute aromatic plants throughout your yard to avoid overwhelming a specific area.

There are numerous pleasantly-smelling plants, from lesser-known gems such as chocolate cosmos to classic favorites like roses.

15 Plants That Make Your Yard Smell Good

15 Plants That Make Your Yard Smell Good


1. Roses

best smelling plants for outdoors

Let’s kick off our list with a classic, popular choice. This thorny shrub is synonymous with romance and has a pleasant smell, ranging from subtle and sweet to rich and intense, with notes of citrus, apple, musk, or even chocolate, depending on the cultivar.

Aside from the aroma, roses add color and elegance to the yard. Plant your rose plants in a sunny location with good air circulation for optimal fragrance.

You can grow them as specimen plants, hedges, and borders or train them to climb trellises and arbors.

Hardiness zones: 4-11

2. Gardenias

fragrant plants list

This evergreen shrub will fill your yard with exotic, sensual, and intoxicating perfume, especially in the evenings. Gardenias epitomize elegance, romance, and beauty thanks to their heavenly fragrance and exquisite blooms.

When in bloom (typically in late spring to early summer, then once again in late summer to early fall), your yard will be adorned with white or cream-colored, single or double-petaled. Also, it stands out for its glossy, dark green foliage with a leathery, waxy texture.

Since Gardenias prefer acidic soil and partial shade, they are ideal for planting beneath taller trees or along shaded pathways.

Hardiness zones: 7-11

Read More: How To Attract Hummingbirds To Your Yard

3. Peonies

plants that make your yard smell good

You will have to put in some extra effort to keep peonies alive and thriving, but it will be worth it. The large, showy flowers with layers of soft, silky petals, ranging from white and cream to pink, red, and even yellow, are magnificent.

Its sweet, floral fragrance is reminiscent of roses, lilies, or even citrus. The optimal growing conditions for peonies include humus-rich, fertile soil with neutral to slightly alkaline pH and 6-8 hours of full sunlight.

Hardiness zones: 3-8

4. Magnolia

best smelling plants for outdoors

Walk or sit under this magnificent tree and take its sweet, citrusy, and lemony scent with hints of vanilla or spice that is most pronounced in the evening and early morning. Large, glossy leaves and stunning, fragrant flowers characterize this plant.

Before planting this evergreen tree in your yard, ensure there’s sufficient space since it can occupy up to 40 feet wide. Also, grow them in well-drained, slightly acidic soil with full sun to partial shade and shelter them from strong winds and frost.

Hardiness zones: 7-11

5. Daphne

plants that make your yard smell good

Typically growing to about 3-4 feet high, this evergreen shrub has dense, glossy green, leathery, lance-shaped foliage that provides an attractive flower backdrop. It produces tiny but highly fragrant flowers, emitting a sweet, heady smell.

Since the flowers appear in late winter to early spring, your yard will be fragrant and colorful during the cold months. After flowering, Daphnes produce small, berry-like fruits.

Choose a location where your Daphnes will grow undisturbed for many years since this plant is sensitive to root disturbance.

Hardiness zones: 7-9

6. Sweet Alyssum

Outdoor plants that make your yard smell good

There are plenty of ways you can incorporate sweet alyssum into your yard. These include using it as a ground cover, edging plants, and growing it in flower beds, borders, containers, and hanging baskets.

The subtle yet delightful sweet, honey-like scent will make your yard smell amazing and attract pollinators. Sweet alyssum’s small, fragrant flowers appear in late spring and can rebloom in early fall.

Its foliage forms a dense mat, providing a lush carpet-like appearance. You can pick the short-lived perennial variety or mat-forming annual.

Hardiness zones: 5-9

7. Wisteria

best smelling plants for outdoors

Do you want a statement plant for your yard that also smells wonderful? Look no further than the wisteria. This woody, deciduous vine produces spectacular cascades of fragrant, pendulous flowers.

This stunning, vigorous plant can grow thick and tall, and the stems twine clockwise. In that case, ensure strong structures like trees, lattice walls, and pergolas support your wisterias.

Its foliage consists of pinnate leaves composed of numerous small leaflets arranged. However, its standout feature is the showy, pendulous flower clusters, which drape gracefully from the vine in late spring to early summer.

Hardiness zones: 5-8

8. Honeysuckle

good smelling plants for yard

Train this delightful plant to cascade over fences, trellises, arbors, or walls, or plant it as a ground cover in borders or rock gardens for a fragrant canopy. Its flowers produce a sweet, intoxicating honey-like aroma. Honeysuckle’s tubular, fragrant flowers are vibrant and typically borne in clusters.

These hardy climbers thrive in various conditions, from full sun to partial shade. Keep the soil well-drained but not overly wet. Water your honeysuckles regularly, especially when dry, to keep the soil evenly moist.

Hardiness zones: 5-9

9. Freesias

plants that make your yard smell good

Line the edges of your walkway or driveway for a beautiful display and a sweet smell with a smokey note that intensifies as the blooms open. Growing and caring for freesias is relatively easy. The soil you plant your freesias in should be well-draining and have good organic content.

Freesias flourish in mild winters and warm, dry summers, but you can still grow them as an annual plant in cooler climates. Alternatively, store them indoors in winter. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong the flowering period and encourage continuous blooming.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

10. Jasmine

Fragrant plants list

Jasmine flowers are popularly used in perfumery, aromatherapy, and home fragrance products for good reason. They produce a sweet, floral, and exotic fragrance with hints of citrus, honey, or spice.

The flowers are not only delightfully aromatic but also stunning, with a star shape and varying color options like white, pink, and yellow. Jasmine plants’ glossy, dark green foliage also elevates their appearance.

There are numerous Jasmine plant varieties but for fragrance, plant common jasmine, wild jasmine, angel wing jasmine, lemon-scented jasmine, or Arabian jasmine.

Hardiness zones: 6-10

11. Lilac

plants that make your yard smell good

The iconic sweet, floral, and nostalgic fragrance of lilac flowers with hints of vanilla or honey is impossible to miss, perfuming the air in your yard with an intoxicating, nostalgic scent.

Lilacs are gorgeous deciduous foliage and small, dense, tubular white and pale pink to lavender, purple, or even blue flower clusters.

Popular lilac varieties include the Japanese tree lilac and common lilac. Lilacs thrive in cooler climates and require full sun to bloom abundantly. Grow them as a focal point or hedge plants.

Hardiness zones: 2-7

12. Hyacinths

sweet-smelling shrub with small white fragrant flowers

These perennial plants grow from bulbs and produce dense spikes of fragrant, bell-shaped flowers arranged in a cluster atop sturdy, erect stems. Visually, hyacinths are pretty spectacular, but that’s not all they have to offer.

The flowers emit a sweet, rich, spicy, heady scent that resembles the smell of cloves or honey. The fragrance can fill the air around the plant, especially on warm, sunny days, creating a delightful sensory experience in your yard.

Plant hyacinth bulbs in the fall for a spring bloom, and once the flowering period comes to an end, leave the foliage to die back naturally.

Hardiness zones: 4-8

13. Sweet Peas

plants that make your yard smell good

These annual climbers are beloved for their delicate, pastel-colored blooms and enchanting, sweet floral fragrances with hints of honey or citrus. The blooms feature delicate, butterfly-shaped flowers clustered together on long, slender stems and tendrils that cling to supports for climbing.

Plant sweet peas along fences or trellises for a charming display of color and scent. Make sure your sweet pea plants have proper support and enough spacing to ensure healthy growth and abundant flowering.

Sweet peas flourish in cool weather. Plant the seeds in early spring for spring or early summer bloom.

Hardiness zones: 2-10

14. Heliotrope

best smelling plants for outdoors

You can grow this bushy, evergreen shrub as an annual plant or a tender perennial in cooler climates. Plant it in your yard in containers, flower beds, borders, or hanging baskets to infuse the area with a sweet, vanilla-like fragrance like cherry pie or almond extract.

Heliotropes are also delightfully eye-catching owing to their small, deep purple or violet-blue flowers borne in terminal or axillary inflorescences.

As for the foliage, this plant has dark green leaves, which may have a hint of purple in some varieties, especially in cooler temperatures or when grown in full sun.

Hardiness zones: 9-11

15. Chocolate Cosmos

plants that make your yard smell good

Staying true to its name, the chocolate cosmos emits a scent similar to dark chocolate or cocoa that is more pronounced on warm, sunny days. This sweet aroma is both enjoyable for humans and pollinators.

Besides the intense fragrance, this unique plant stands out for its rich, dark maroon flowers and dark green, lance-shaped foliage. This plant pairs well with various garden plants, such as ornamental grasses, salvia, and lavender.

You can propagate chocolate cosmos from seeds or by dividing established clumps.


Elevate your yard with the luxury of these scented plants, inviting nature’s enchanting perfumes to your outdoor spaces. By planting fragrant plants, you will not only get to enjoy pleasant smells, from soothing aromas and romantic scents to sweet perfumes, but also attract pollinators.

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