Fragrant houseplants bring any home to life with their fresh clean scent and lush green foliage. Although many produce a scent for a short period during blooming, growing several fragrant houseplants that bloom at different times extends fragrance for months. Plants with scented foliage provide fragrance throughout the year.
Scented geranium releases a burst of scent when their foliage is touched. Brushing the leaves gently, or bruising a leaf or two, sends out fragrance to the home. Available in rose, mint, citrus, fruit and spices cultivars, these easy-to-grow plants need full sun and should be grown on a sunny windowsill. A western or southern window is preferred during winter months. Pinch out center leaves to encourage dense compact growth. Water when soil is dry.
Paperwhite narcissus bulbs provide sweet fragrance while in bloom. They are often sold in early winter for inside forcing. Blooms appear several weeks after starting the bulbs. Their white blooms emit a delicate fragrance in the heart of winter that rivals bulbs that bloom in the spring.
Star jasmine produces star-shaped white blooms that emit sweet fragrance. Grown as a houseplant, jasmine prefers a sunny location. A southern window is ideal during winter months, but may be too bright during the summer.
Gardenia flowers produce a heady fragrance, but the plant need special care to bloom. Gardenia requires acidic soil and should be fertilized with a fertilizer for gardenias and other acid-loving plants. Maintain nighttime temperatures of 60 degrees F, provide bright light and high humidity to prevent gardenia from dropping buds.
Citrus plants provide fragrance when in bloom. Look for miniature varieties of oranges or lemons at your local nursery. Although you can start your own from seed, it may be several years before it reaches blooming stage. Water when soil dries and place in a sunny location.
Miniature roses provide fragrance and color. Available in almost every color, including yellow, pink, red, salmon, white, lavender and fuchsia, these tiny plants lift the spirits on cold winter days. Grow in a sunny location and water when soil is dry.
Cyclamen is a member of the primrose family that produces brightly colored and fragrant blooms. Grow cyclamen on a sunny windowsill and maintain nighttime temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees F and daytime temperatures below 68 degrees F. Water when soil is dry.
Pale evening primrose produces large 2- to 3-inch blooms. The white flowers gradually fade to yellow and have a yellow eye. Foliage is yellowish green. Place in a sunny location and water when soil is dry. Primrose is long blooming and emits a delicate fragrance.
Mint provides fresh scent when foliage is disturbed. When placed near a small fan or open window, the gentle breeze releases fragrance, filling the air with delicate aroma. Available in chocolate, apple, pineapple, peppermint and spearmint cultivars, mint is easy to grow and provides attractive blue, green, silver or variegated foliage. Grow mint in bright filtered light. Direct sunlight may burn or damage foliage. Keep soil moist.
Hyacinth creates a heady fragrance when in bloom. Available as bulbs for forcing in mid-winter, hyacinths blooms in shades of pink, white, purple and blue, adding both color and fragrance to your home.