Aromatic Desert Flowers: Fragrant Plants For Desert Regions

Purple Aromatic Desert Flowers
fragrant desert plant
(Image credit: Jacqueline Cooper)

The desert can be a harsh environment for plants and punishing to gardeners. Finding appropriate aromatic desert flowers might pose a challenge. Filling the landscape with desert plants that smell good isn't as hard as one might think. There are several native plants that will thrive and even some super-tough perennials.

Keep reading for some fragrant desert flower ideas to perfume your garden.

Choosing Fragrant Plants in Dry Climates

When you think of sweet-smelling flowers, often the tropical beauties come to mind. However, the desert is an altogether different environment. The extreme heat and cold, blazing sun, and lack of water mean plants have to be very tough. Cactus is a perfect example, and while many do get flowers, few actually smell nice. Fragrant plants for desert gardens will balance the traditional plants used in arid regions.

You can expand the variety of plants you grow in an arid landscape by choosing xeriscape plants. These plants have low water needs and many love the searing heat. Also, select plants that can grow in shade where less water is necessary.

When choosing your fragrant desert flowers, include herbs. These will bloom and smell lovely and are super hardy. Consider these:

Bushy and Vined Desert Plants That Smell Good

Creosote is a classic desert shrub which has fragrant leaves that may appeal to one but not another. Mariola is another plant with scented foliage and a hardy nature. Here are some other shrub-like fragrant plants for desert sites to include:

Fragrant Desert Flowers

Flowering plants are probably your best bet for fragrant plants. Penstemon is a perennial with softly blushed spikes of flowers. Alyssum develops into a carpet and emits a nice fragrance. If you are a fan of chocolate, grow a chocolate flower, whose characteristic scent emits in the morning. Additional desert plants that smell sweetly include:

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.