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tulipsrforever

Fragrant house plants

tulipsrforever
18 years ago

What are some very fragrant houseplants?

Thanks

Tulips

Comments (15)

  • Ispahan Zone6a Chicago
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Read the FAQ and find out :-)

  • krbeckett
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I researched the forum a while back for the same thing and found these posts .. hope it helps you ...

    Keep in mind this is just one person's list of faves, based on what I've been able to grow, bloom and enjoy in various apartment locales!

    1. Jasminum sambac "Maid of Orleans" -- OK, it's almost overdone, but it's easy to find, easy to grow, blooms year-round and smells great.

    2. Osmanthus fragrans -- Needs good moisture, but blooms for me at least half the year, and wow, what fragrance!

    3. Citrofortunella mitis -- Pretty easy to find in garden centers, takes lots of prunin' and keeps on bloomin.'

    4. Rondelettia splendens -- see above. Possibly my all time fave.

    5. Murreya paniculata/exotica -- Very tough once it gets established, blooms year round, can be pruned to any shape.

    6. Hoya lacunosa -- I thought this one was totally easy, until I repotted it. I still think it's a great plant with great scent, it just needs some TLC (continuous moisture).
    of course, after reading this thread, I have to try h. obscura now!

    7. Pelargoniums, particularly rose-scented -- Yeah, they're not the greatest looking plants, but they root in water, grow almost anywhere, and give you a shot of rose scent (or lemon, or nutmeg, or mint, or . . .) any time without those pesky thorns.

    8. Brunfelsia 'Isola' -- a b. nitida hybrid from Logee's; lots of good things have been said about b. nitida on the forum, Isola blooms in flushes of terrific white/lavender turning to yellow flowers, and an intoxicating night scent.

    9. Begonia 'Honeysuckle' -- the fragrance is admittedly somewhat faint, but the plant is almost bulletproof, blooms all year, and the flowers taste great! Just ask my kids, who eat 'em before they even open fully.

    10. Wrightia religiosa -- almost unknown untill recently, sulks if it gets below 60, so it's hard to pull through the winter, but great dangling blossoms, excellent wafting fragrance, and can be pruned like crazy -- used a lot for bonsai in SouthEast Asia.

    Plus one to grow on:

    11. Plumeria (dwarf cultivars) -- even these get big quickly, they need lots of sun and water when growing in the warm months, but there are few more spectacular, tropical -looking plants when they're flowering, and the scent is fantastic.

    My favorite, fragrant houseplants all live (and thrive) in "normal" household conditions, although what is considered normal in my house may not be normal for another: Sansevieria parva\-\-by far the easiest and freest flowering of the sansevierias. Lovely, lovely hyacinth perfume and will tolerate tons of abuse. Night\-scented. Epiphyllum anguliger\-\-not quite as large or as spectacular as E. oxypetalum, but easier to accomodate and produces a larger amount of smaller flowers (though more flowers \= more scent) and better foliage and plant growth. Steer clear of Cryptocereus anthonyanus (sp?) which is often mislabeled as this species but stingy of bloom and rather rancid of scent. Night\-scented. Eucharis amazonica\-\-a beatifully easy bloomer once potbound. Also hybrid 'Christine', half the size of the species but just as fragrant. Fragrance \*seems\* to intensify at night. Aglaia odorata\-\-easy and will take practically any indoor exposure (even blooms in a north window for me, but definitely likes a bit more sun). Seems to like a lot of water, but will flower off and on in waves all throughout the year. Sparkling, fresh, clean lemon scent of flowers wins my seal of approval. Neomarica gracilis\-\-couldn't be easier. Flowers short\-lived but sweet and lovely. Plant form is aesthetic and graceful even when out of flower. Hoya obscura\-\-the most ingratiating of hoyas when it comes to quick bloom and constant rebloom and even beautiful foliage. Also tops for pervasive, lovely scent in my book (something not all hoyas can claim). Brassavola nodosa\-\-for sunny spots only, but an easier orchid there never was. My favorite houseplant fragrance. Night\-scented. Begonia solananthera\-\-deightful citrusy\-violet perfume on long trailing stems in the middle of winter. Needs a well\-drained soil mix. Sunlight intensifies the fragrance of the blooms and sends it wafting.

    Re: the plants mentioned above

    1. Sanseveria parva IS a form of mother-in-law's tongue -- all of them will bloom if they get a bit more water and sun then they usually get in the office attrium, but you may have to wait a few years until the plant gets mature enough to think about children.

    2. Rondelettia splendens is one of my absolute faves -- after 10pm, it's scent makes my DW and I (otherwise fairly normal, law-abiding types) look like drug-sniffing fiends. BUT, it's one of those elusive fragrances that is sometimes faint, sometimes strong, and some people can't really smell it at all. It does not a lot of direct sun and regular watering, though.

    3. Hoyas that I've had good luck with are plain ol' carnosa, lacunosa, and publicalyx, though the last is a bit overpowering up close.

    ~~

    Hope this helps you .. and if you come across any Rondelettia splendens or Sarcococca confusa, let me know ~grin~

    Here is a link that might be useful: My list

  • jimshy
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Tulipsrforever,

    Just to add, nothing beats smelling the plant in person -- what smells divine to one person can smell overpowering to another, or not smell at all.

    I got an orchid, encyclia radiata, that by all accounts is "very fragrant" -- well, that's true, but to everyone I've shown the plant to so far, the comments range from " . . . .interesting" to "I don't like it" !!

    Krbeckett -- Logee's sells the rondelettia online -- it's where I got mine -- and many nurseries sell sarcococca: try ForestFarm, Nurseries Caroliana, and Joy Creek.

    Finally, if I had to do my top ten list again, I'd find a place for trachelospermum asiaticum, also from Logee's: it's been blooming for about three months now, with at least a dozen blooms open at any given time, and an awesome, cinnamon-y fragrance. enjoy!

    Jim

  • Ispahan Zone6a Chicago
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I am going to follow JimShy's lead and revise my list of dependable, fragrant household performers that was quoted in the body of krbeckett's post. These are now my favorites, in no particular order:

    Sansevieria parva--This plant only gets better with age as it continually multiplies in its pot and sends out runners much like a spider plant (Chlorophytum), which consequently means more bloom spikes filling the night air with the heady, pervasive scent of hyacinths. Try your best to kill it. I double-dog dare you...

    Hoya obscura--Still the absolute best of the hoyas for ease of bloom and strong, wonderful, spiced citrus fragrance. One umbel of flowers can lightly and deliciously scent my entire house at night and it is rarely without bloom or buds. Also has the best foliage of any hoya around. (For some reason, I have never been lucky with H. lacunosa and have always been disappointed with its very weak fragrance when it has bloomed. I have recently obtained H. BSI-1 and H. 'Mathilde' and will comment on fragrance when they bloom.)

    Brunfelsia nitida--Attractive, easily grown plant with a heady, spicy night fragrance. I love this one. Cloves, anyone? :-)

    Epiphyllum anguliger--This species has truly won me over and the flowers, though they open at night, have the wonderful habit of lasting a good two or three days before fading, unlike the better known E. oxypetalum. Blooms are smaller than E. oxypetalum but are produced en masse and over a period of several weeks. Fall blooming in response to shortening day length. Even when out of bloom, the unusual foliage and graceful plant shape never fail to provoke comment. Night fragrance is wonderful and heady. (I still hate the much-inferior Cryptocereus anthonyanus and cringe whenever I see it mislabeled as E. anguliger.)

    Aglaia odorata--Another plant that improves with age and sends it delicious, delicate and sparkling clean lemon fragrance wafting on the air both day and night. A pleasure to have around.

    Brassavola nodosa--I am currently reveling in yet another mass bloom from my glorious B. nodosa. The simplest, most elegant, and most powerfully fragrant of any orchid I have ever seen in my life. Did I mention it grows like a weed and tolerates tons of abuse? No more wimpy cattleyas or Sharry Babies for me...

    Neomarica gracilis and Neomarica caerulea 'Regina'--Two very similar and yet very different plants that produce masses of beautiful, ephemeral iris-like flowers that are dripping with the scent of peonies. Both are cast iron and will tolerate any abuse and neglect you can throw at them. And they will still bloom like troopers. I think they would even thrive in a dark, cold cellar. The medium green, glossy, slightly drooping foliage of N. gracilis provides a nice foil to the much taller, stiffly erect, glaucous foliage of N. caerulea 'Regina'.

    Hymenocallis 'Tropical Giant'--A common garden plant in warmer climates that thrives indoors in a warm and sunny window when given lots of water. My big pot blooms twice a year for me and scents the night air with a heady fragrance of spiced chocolate and vanilla. The wonderful flowers never fail to provoke comment and swoons of delight. Takes up a lot of space but is definitely worth it. I am also experimenting with H. latifolia, H. tubiflora and H. ex Guatemala, but all are still too young to bloom.

    Eucharis 'Christine'--Wonderfully easy and fragrant and will bloom three or four times per year for me (the trick to getting these to bloom is HEAT, not drying them out between flowering cycles which actually stresses them out). I keep mine on a seedling heat mat if temperatures dip below 65F, and it rewards me by producing loads of elegant, deliciously perfumed flowers and is steadily multiplying in its 12 inch pot.

    Sadly, I no longer grow Begonia solananthera since it mysteriously died on me this spring after failing to flower this past winter. I am not rushing to replace it, either. There are other fish in the sea.

    My biggest fragrant houseplant disappointment has been Mitriostigma axillare, which is a truly lovely and easy plant with a rotten, nasty, stomach-turning fragrance. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough.

    Although I do not currently grow them, I have plans to try Rondeletia splendens, Trachelospermum asiaticum, Bouvardia longiflora and Genista 'Kings Ransom'. Will report on their performance and fragrance in due time.

    And some day, I just know my enormous Monstera deliciosa will reward me with flowers... :-)

    Cheers,
    Ispahan

  • birdsnblooms
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    And my number one favorite..Citrus..Toni

  • daxin
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I have had wonderful luck with a Calathea plant I bought from Home Depot. It looks like Calathea concinna with patterned leaves. Its white blooms in spring stays around the base of this plant and looks kind of like ginger flowers (Hedychium). The fragrance is just unbelievable when the plant is healthy and put out lots of flowers.

  • klflorida
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Good information, thanks all for replying, sometimes I just don't know there is a FAQ section and often get lost in these forums. Lost by way of acquiring knowledge, I mean.
    Kathy

  • flowersandthings
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Jasmine grandiflourm BY FAR! And all of the forced (like hyacinths) bulbs. :)

  • susanzone5 (NY)
    18 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    No one's mentioned white florist's cyclamen. You have to sniff a lot of plants at the nursery to find the one with the earthy scent that thrills my senses. Occasionally a pink or red one will have that wonderful scent.

  • madhatten
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Try the Stephanotis floribunda. It's attractive; a vine; needs something to grow on. Very fragrant.
    ALso try gardenias.

  • kathyruhman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Would a specimen of plumeria bloom in the day and year round. That is the type of house plant I would like if it exists. I am homebound and want to bring some of the outside indoors... I have a north and a south window. I would like a plant that is easy to maintain, scent in day and would love year round scent. Any specimens in that specification? I have read these posts but wondered about the plumeria too. Thanks for any advice. kathy

  • jimshy
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Kathy,

    Most plumerias get big (6 feet and up), there are a few dwarf cultivars that can stay under 4 feet tall with pruning. Up north mine only blooms late spring through fall; we just don't get enough sun indoors in winter. They need LOTS of sun and water when actively growing and blooming.

    I'd try a dwarf citrus plant, a lakeview jasmine (murreya paniculata) or an aglaia odorata for more reliable indoor fragrance.

    Jim

  • birdsnblooms
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I don't know if this was mentioned, but Geraniums have a nice fragrance..Even those sold for the garden. Geranium leaves have a nice scent. Soothing.
    There's also a huge variety of Scented Geraniums..apple, cinnamon, apricot, lemon, rose, chocolate, vanilla..the list is endless. Toni

  • lavandulabuds
    14 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I would like to add eugina uniflora as a wonderful fragrant plant. Also it is considered a weed in the southern states. In the north it makes a great container plant. The blooms are white and smell fantastic to me. Although, some people don't smell it. It does produce fruit and is edible but tastes horrible.

  • bijaleez
    12 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    This is a wonderful thread with great information on fragrant indoor plants. Thanks a lot to everyone who contributed.. I had one question. Where can I purchase the Sansevieria parva plant from?

    Also since these are indoor plants.. do I need to worry about the zone I live in etc before purchasing?

    Thanks in advance for your help.