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Top 10 Unusual Fragrant Plants and Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

We are all aware of the irresistible fragrance of hyacinth, gardenia, iris, and many other popular fragrant plants that can easily turn our garden into a fragrant paradise. In fact, we have recently shared a list of our favorite, most popular fragrant plants every gardener should consider for making a scented garden.

But 10 is a very small number, and there are so many plants that will mesmerize you with their perfume, so we’ve decided to do a little research and find 10 unusual, uncommon fragrant plants and herbs.

There are ornamental shrubs, small flowering trees, fragrant herbs, vines, and ground covers among them but what they all have in common is their amazing smell. It is always useful and fun to learn about new plants and bring them to our gardens.

Take a look at our selection and tell us which plant’s care guide you would like to see as a future article.

Aglaia odorata


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Chinese Perfume Plant, Chinese Rice Flower, Mock Lemon – call it whatever you like; this plant has small yellow flowers with a strong perfume you will simply love. Aglaia is not only a fragrant and beautiful plant; it also has many medical uses: odorine and odorinol obtained from this plant have cancer chemopreventive activity. The best part is that it is a shrub that is very easy to grow and maintain. It is also relatively cold-tolerant.

Persicaria odorata


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Persicaria odorata or commonly known as Vietnamese Coriander (or Rau rum), is an easy to grow, fragrant perennial that not only smells good but is also a rich spice that is widely used in Asian cooking. If you keep it inside during winter, you can enjoy its lemony scent for many years. Grow it as an alternative to common coriander, infertile soil and in partial shade.

Philadelphus ‘Virginal’


via photo credit to Jill R 

Mock orange is a hardy deciduous shrub that will mesmerize you with its beautiful double blooms with pure white petals. But what is even more special than its beauty is surely its scent which will remind you of  the most exquisite ‘orange blossom’ perfume. No wonder this shrub attracts wildlife, including bees and other insects. It is ideal for cottage gardens, scented gardens, wildlife gardens. Grow Philadelphus plants in a sunny or semi-shaded position, in any well-drained soil.

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Honeybush’


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This groundcover honeysuckle is truly an outstanding plant. You will fall in love with its scented red and cream flowers, which first appear in mid-summer. The scent is particularly potent in the evenings. Lonicera periclymenum ‘Honeybush’ is perfect for creating a sunny border. It needs  full sun or partial shade and moist, fertile soil.

Blackcurrant sage salvia


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Scented leaves and sweet, beautiful blooms blackcurrant sage makes a wonderful addition to any garden. These sages are not only scented – their blooms are actually edible! They are sweet and melony, and the sunnier the spot, the sweeter they will be. Try varieties like  ‘Dyson’s Orangey Pink,’ ‘Red Velvet’ or tantalising ‘Hot Lips.’

Hamamelis x intermedia


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Chinese witch-hazel is a slow-growing tree or shrub with thick green foliage that turns into beautiful brown/orange in fall. It is characterized by spicy, extremely fragrant flowers that appear in mid-winter (January and February). There are many varieties to consider, with ‘Aphrodite,’ ‘Barmstedt Gold,’ ‘Arnold Promise,’ ‘Aurora,’ ‘Diane’ ‘Pallida,’ ‘Vesna,’ ‘Rubin,’ ‘Sandra’ being some of the most popular.

Clerodendrum bungei


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This is another China native plant that has beautiful, fragrant flowers. It is also called Mexican Hydrangea or Rose Glory Bower. It is a late flowering shrub that blooms throughout late summer, from August until late into October. Even its large green leaves have a faint fragrance. Plant it in full sun or shade. Any type of fertile soil will do.

Bolusanthus speciosus



The spectacular Tree Wisteria will mesmerize you with its beautifully fissured bark and drooping foliage that shivers in the slightest breeze. Like this isn’t enough, this small to medium tree covers itself with trusses of fragrant, violet-blue flowers throughout spring and early summer. Although a deciduous plant, the tree wisteria is without leaves for only a short time during early spring. Plant the Tree wisteria in a sunny position in a large hole to which plenty of compost has been added. Water regularly for the first few years.

Albizia julibrissin


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The Albizia julibrissin, also known as silk mimosa or silk tree, has beautiful pom-pom-like lowers that are not only attractive but are also fragrant. The silk tree has an interesting fern-like foliage, with each leaf being made up of hundreds of tiny leaflets coated in white hairs, giving the foliage a silvery cast. The off-white to baby-pink flower heads appears in late winter or spring. One more plus is that the flowers attract insects and birds. This plant prefers rich, light, well-drained soil.

Aronia melanocarpa


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Aronia is widely known as a superfood, but the black chokeberry is also cultivated as a decorative, ornamental plant. Its showy clusters of white flowers share an irresistible fragrance in early summer. Then there are the purple fruit that attracts birds and the beautiful red fall color. Plant in full sun and provide full sun to partial shade and most any soil.

1 thought on “Top 10 Unusual Fragrant Plants and Herbs to Grow in Your Garden”

  1. That was very interesting post thank you. The silk mimosa is also lets us know when its going to rain..such a beautiful hedge


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