A List of Fragrant Perennials for Your Summer Enjoyment

I happen to love growing fragrant perennial flowers because like the old ad says, “double your pleasure” – you get the flowers and the fresh fragrance of these plants in your garden.
Here are a few easily found plants you might consider growing.

  • Achillea – easily grown in full sun and rock hardy
  • Agastache – self sowing, lovely violet shades for sun
  • Arabis – low growing, sweet fragrance for sun or light shade
  • Artemisia – foliage is menthol for full hot sun
  • Asclepias – flowers are almost sickly sweet and overpowering in mass plantings
  • Buddleia – a fall bloomer and garden classic
  • Calamintha – lesser known garden perennial – minty
  • Caryopteris – shrubby plant, grow as herbaceous perennial in cold areas
  • Centaurea- blue corn flower, full sun and self-sowing
  • Centranthus – full sun-lover and easy to grow
  • Cimicifuga – a shade garden classic perennial, sweet fragrance
  • Clematis – sweet fragrance on bush clematis
  • Convallaria – classic lily of the valley for spreading shade
  • Corydalis – another tender shade lover
  • Cosmos – chocolate cosmos with distinctive fragrance – while most will self-sow, you should do this one from cuttings
  • Cyclamen – sweet if you can get your nose that low
  • Dianthus – carnation smells
  • Dictamnus – powerful fragrance for the sunny garden
  • Erysimum – sweet spring if short lived plant
  • Eupatorium – full sun lover and easy once established
  • Euphorbia – another tough to kill plant in full sun
  • Geranium – leaves are menthol fragrance
  • Hemerocallis – some flowers fragrant – “lemon lily” is of the classic
    fragrant perennials
  • Hesperis – dames rocket – a native has purple or white fragrant flowers
  • Hosta – the fall bloomers are wonderfully fragrant
  • Iris – goes without saying
  • Lavandula – another full sun classic
  • Lilium – one of the classic plants for a fragrant garden
  • Melissa – minty fragrance
  • Monarda – the leaves are distinctive
  • Nepeta – catnip with its minty tones
  • Origanum – oregano – both for fragrance and low-growing ornamental
  • Paeonia – classic corsage and cut flower
  • Perovskia – late summer blooming and foliage is dusky
  • Phlox – some varieties more fragrant than others
  • Polemonium – tender sweet fragrance – not heavy
  • Primula – a classic primrose sweet floral fragrance
  • Rosmarinus – rosemary – it’s all in the leaves
  • Salvia – it’s all in the leaves of this “sage” family
  • Silene – another faint but interesting floral perfume
  • Tanacetum – again see the leaves of this mum
  • Thymus – who doesnt’ think of fragrance when you think of thyme and
    fragrant perennials
  • Tiarella – a slight woodlandy sweet fragrance
  • Viola – a clear flower fragrance from the violets.

Print out this list of fragrant perennials and take it shopping with you to make sure you do indeed double your pleasure with your garden this summer.

My Ebook on Growing Lavender

A Perennial Plant List for Hummingbird Gardens

Please understand that this is not an exhaustive list of plants for hummingbird gardens but just the most common plants.

What Do Hummingbirds Really Eat?

Hummingbirds get the majority of their food from insects such as aphids so putting up plants like honeysuckle that attract aphids will attract the birds for both the flower shape and the insect food the plant sustains.

We used to get hummingbirds into our greenhouses every spring.

They would arrive in the north and a flowering greenhouse was too good an opportunity for them. They would buzz in and out tremendously amusing us all.

You could always tell the rookies. They would get inside and not know how to go back out the doors or vents. They would try to fly up and out through the plastic, an effort that thankfully never worked.

After several minutes of buzzing and beating themselves up against the plastic, they would perch on a cross wire or hanging basket and survey the place. More than once, they’d land on a shoulder or a hand.

Sooner or later they would see a door or somebody going out the door and they’d figure it out. Zooom and away they’d go.

The experienced birds used the vents- in and out without at any time of day

If you have a humminbird feeder – do not add red dye to the sugar-water mix. The birds don’t need it to find the feeder and it does them no good.

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In any case, use these plants as backbone plants for your hummingbird gardens:

Perennial Plant List:

  • Agastache
  • Alcea
  • Aquilegia
  • Buddleia
  • Dahlia
  • Delphinium
  • Digitalis
  • Heuchera
  • Kniphofia
  • Lilium
  • Lobelia
  • Lonicera
  • Lupinus
  • Mimulus
  • Monarda
  • Penstemon
  • Phlox
  • Phygelius
  • Salvia
  • Sidalcea
  • Leonotis
  • Leycesteria
  • Meehania
  • Spigelia
  • Weigela
  • Zauschneria

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