Growing plants in containers and pots is an easy way to make the most out of small garden spaces. Plants with unique foliage, texture, and/or fragrance can be used to enliven patios and often offer a bright burst of color to otherwise drab yards. Fragrant plants for pots are especially popular, as they can add greatly to the overall sensory experience of a space. Below, we have outlined some of our favorite scented plants for pots to be grown outdoors during the summer season.
The Best Fragrant Container Plants
- Dianthus – Open-pollinated and heirloom varieties of dianthus are often very fragrant. The scent of potted plants within this flower family are frequently described as a sweet combination of vanilla and clove. Carnations, sweet dianthus, pinks and other cultivars can all be grown successfully in containers. While many of these plants are considered to be perennial where hardy, most will also perform well when they’re grown as an annual.
- Jasmine – Several species of jasmine are quite fragrant. These vines make excellent fragrant container plants when they’re kept pruned and attached to a small trellis. When choosing a jasmine plant, you need to become familiar with each type. Commonly named “star jasmine,” for example, is not a true jasmine. Specific types of jasmine may also be considered invasive in some regions.
- Lavender – Lavender is among the most common scented plants for growing in a home garden. Praised for its ability to help people relax, lavender flowers and foliage are especially fragrant. Lavender thrives in soil that drains well. This makes it a good candidate for container culture.
- Rosemary – Herbs are often among gardeners’ favorite fragrant plants for balcony gardens and small spaces. In addition to plants like mint, dill, and thyme, rosemary is useful in the kitchen, as well as great for adding scent to containers. Rosemary grows best in open areas where it can receive full sun throughout the day. In pots, gardeners may find that the plants will benefit from a part shade location on hot afternoons.
- Scented Geranium – Technically not a true geranium, commonly named scented geranium plants offer immense fragrance. These pelargoniums come in a wide range of scents, including old-fashioned rose and various citrus-themed types. Though the plant is only hardy in frost free zones, these lovely specimens can be grown as an annual everywhere. At the end of the season their pots can be moved indoors where the plants can be overwintered.