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Scented perennials - a quick guide

Scented perennial blooms bring perfume as well as delightful colour year after year. With the right care and placement, perennials are an excellent investment for the long term gardener.

Which scented perennials grow well in pots

Potted scented perennials make a fantastic addition to a seating area or entryway. The closer you are to the perfume the better! Good candidates include showy peonies with their large rose-like blooms and the lower growing dianthus, whose silvery foliage is perfectly framed by a terracotta pot. If you'd like to have a go at growing your own fragrant flowers from seed, our top ten scented annuals is a great place to start.

Strongly scented perennial foliage

Don’t forget that foliage can be just as scented as the blooms! Herbs are often defined as ornamental edibles for their lovely blooms, scented foliage and culinary merit. Try rubbing a nepeta leaf for a liquorice smell or lemon verbena for intense lemon.

Scented perennials for shade

Plant erysimum (wallflowers) for scent in the semi-shady areas of your garden. An excellent example of the multi-coloured flower spikes is erysimum 'Artist Paintbox' which features pink, yellow and coral tones on one richly fragrant flower spike.

Which lavender plant is most fragrant?

Lavender is fragrant all over from stem to flower. The most fragrant variety is said to be the traditional English lavender. However there are some exciting new hybrid varieties on offer with showier, larger flowers that offer superb scent.

Best scented perennials to grow in a pond

It’s not just on dry land from which scent can grace the garden. The marginal aquatic houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' is a spectacular low growing plant for the edge of a pond. It produces flowers in spring but the real star of the show is the attractive variegated foliage that emits a strong orange perfume when crushed! The leaves are edible too, enhancing salads with their citrus flavour.

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