Trees, shrubs, and plants that produce sweet smelling flowers are a treasure to behold for Central Floridians who want to take their garden to the next level.
Not only are fragrant plants a treat for the nose, but they attract birds, butterflies, and other beneficial insects to your garden, so your landscape flourishes as it’s helping sustain local wildlife. There are a wide variety of flowering trees, shrubs, and plants that emit a pleasant fragrance, so read on to find out what might be a perfect addition to your Central Florida landscape.
Fragrant gardens are a delicacy for your nose!
Feast your eyes on the following beauties that will satisfy your olfactory senses.
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Also known as Cape Jasmine, this large evergreen shrub wants to be the focal point in every garden! Growing 3 to 6 feet tall and wide, it blooms in late spring to early summer so long as it’s getting full sun to light shade. It needs moist, acidic, organic rich soil that’s well-draining. Once it’s in bloom, you can pinch off the flowers to float in a bowl of water to enjoy the sweet scent of gardenia inside your home.
If you want extra-large flowers, go with Miami Supreme Gardenia (Gardenia augusta) to be blown away by its beauty and aroma.
Arabian Jasmine (Jasminum sambac)
This sprawling evergreen shrub will have you awestruck by its amazing fragrance! Plant it in loose well-draining soil with humus in an area of your yard that receives full sun to part shade. Just be sure that it has enough room to spread out because it can grow 6 to 10 feet tall and wide. Arabian jasmine needs lots of water during the summertime, but not nearly as much in the winter.
Night Blooming Jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum)
Not a true jasmine, this fast growing evergreen shrub emits an intoxicating fragrance once night falls. Irresistible to butterflies and other pollinators, it has a long blooming season and needs to be planted in full sun to reach its full potential of 6 to 15 feet tall. However, it can become invasive, so if you’re not interested in taking the time to keep it in check, plant it in a container where you can enjoy it on your patio.
Fiddlewood (Citharezylum fruiticosum)
Known for surviving hurricane force winds, this evergreen shrub makes a beautiful long living hedge that can reach heights of 12 to 25 feet tall and 12 feet wide. When planted in full sun, it’s a prolific bloomer. Its showy flowers have a wonderful fragrance that attracts butterflies and other pollinators, and birds love filling their bellies when the flowers turn into tasty fruit! Be careful not to over water Fiddlewood as it prefers semi-moist to dry conditions.
Angelwing Jasmine (Jasminum nitidum)
Easy to grow, this evergreen produces 2 inch wide snowy white flowers that emit a light, sweet scent. It requires full sun and can grow 4 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide. A fast grower, it blooms from spring until fall and can tolerate dry conditions once established.
Sweet Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)
This broadleaf evergreen can grow 10 to 20 feet tall and thrives when planted in a location that gets full sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon. Sweet olive needs moist soil that’s well-draining, but it can handle drought conditions so long as it’s getting supplemental waterings. It makes for a gorgeous hedge that will fill your yard with a luscious aroma!
Sweet Almond (Aloysia virgata)
This evergreen is in high demand because its fragrant flowers have a long bloom time, which lasts from midsummer to frost. Its slender branches have an elegant arching habit. It grows 5 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 8 feet wide but needs to be pruned on a regular basis to keep it in check. Sweet almond performs best when planted in full sun with well-draining soil that’s kept semi-moist to dry.
Banana Shrub (Michelia figo)
If you love the smell of bananas and cantaloupe, you need this evergreen in your landscape! A member of the magnolia family, it reaches a height of just 15 feet and blooms in mid to late spring. While it can tolerate full sun, it prefers partial shade. Wherever you plant it, make sure the area is protected from wind and the soil is well-draining. Banana shrubs need to be watered deeply and its soil must be allowed to dry out between waterings.
It’s good practice to monitor your irrigation system on a regular basis to make sure it’s turning on and shutting off in accordance with the settings. Too much or too little water can make your garden a cozy place for unwanted insects. If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll come take a look.
Sweet Acacia (Acacia farnesiana)
This magnificent semi-evergreen landscape specimen is beloved for its highly fragrant flowers. It grows to a height of 15 to 20 feet and performs best in full sun. It blooms from late winter to early spring and is very drought tolerant. It’s ideal for most Central Florida gardens because it’s low maintenance and doesn’t attract many pests. Take caution when passing closely by this beauty because it’s covered in long, sharp spines!
Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
This small deciduous tree is a showstopper when it blooms! Growing to a height of 12 to 20 feet, its creamy-white flowers appear in late spring and produce an incredible aroma until its bloom time ends in early summer. It will flourish in full sun or part shade but can’t tolerate drought conditions for extended periods of time. Central Floridians will love having this tree in their garden because it’s low maintenance and virtually pest and disease free.
Flowering Plants and Vines
White Butterfly Ginger (Hedychium coronarium)
This gorgeous perennial is the highlight of Central Florida gardens as it can produce several hundred flowers between late summer and early fall. It can grow 3 to 6 feet tall and spreads via rhizomes to become a dense thicket. It thrives in full sun and needs moist, well-draining soil.
Rangoon Creeper (Combretum indicum)
Also known as Chinese honeysuckle, this amazing evergreen climber can grow 40 feet long with a 10 to 20 foot spread. It produces clusters of flowers that emit a fruity aroma reminiscent of Jolly Rancher candies! From late spring to early fall, its spectacular blooms are white on the first night they open, then change to pink the next day, and become red on the third day. It performs best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. While it can endure very poor growing conditions, it needs well-draining soil. In addition to attracting hawk moths, Rangoon Creeper is also alluring to birds, bees, and other pollinators.
Confederate Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
This prolific bloomer is a favorite in Central Florida gardens and looks incredible growing over a trellis. Disease and deer resistant, it can grow 20 feet in height and length. It needs full sun to reach its full bloom potential but can still put on a spectacular show in partial shade. Regardless of where you plant it, this beautiful vine will fill your yard with an intoxicating fragrance. It blooms first in the late spring, then sporadically through the summer. Confederate jasmine requires well-draining soil and can tolerate drought conditions once it’s established.
Fill your garden with enchanting aromas!
No Central Florida garden is complete without at least one fragrant plant. The specimens described above are just a sampling of the wondrous trees, shrubs, and flowering lovelies that will deliver a sweet treat to your nostrils. All you need to do now is decide what will work best in your landscape, then visit your local garden center. Be sure to follow the planting instructions and keep it watered well. Soon, you’ll be enjoying a beautiful addition to your garden and the magnificent perfume it releases!