When it comes to keeping a home smelling crisp, few things compare to fragrant plants.
Sure, there are artificial sprays and diffusers on the market, but they lack the fresh, year-round spring sensation of live greenery. And, best of all, you don’t need to live in a tropical environment to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Below we’ve compiled a list of the 23 most pleasantly fragrant houseplants. These plants can grow in virtually any household and are easily accessible. We understand not everyone has a green thumb, so we’ve also included care tips for each species.
Last thing, before you go wild and turn your home into a greenhouse, keep one plant type to each room to avoid conflicting fragrances.
1. Angel’s Trumpet
Looking like it’s straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, angel’s trumpet smells just as extravagant as it looks. These flowers emit a fragrance people consider “dreamy” and “alluring” — so place this plant somewhere in the house where you like to unwind. They should be placed in direct sunlight and may need an extra plant light to fully develop.
Tip: These plants can grow quite tall so make sure you plan ahead.
2. Arp Rosemary
A shrub able to withstand the cold, arp rosemary can provide some homestead warmth to a room. This plant gives off a spicy, wholesome scent. Rosemary can also be used for cooking, so it’s a fun spice to grow near your kitchen.
Tip: Rosemary grows up straight and has a stiff stem, so make sure there is enough headroom for it to reach its typical 36-inch height.
Another plant with more utility than just aromatics, basil is a good option to liven up a space. With a fresh, herbal smell, this plant can provide wonderful scents year-round indoors. It should get around six hours of light each day. Keep watering minimal as too much can cause damage.
Tip: To help keep water damage minimal, put your basil in a container that helps regulate drainage and never leaves the soil soggy.
Begonia plants have been popular for a long time and are a classic addition to an old-fashioned house. Depending on the variety you purchase, some will be more fragrant than others. Begonias have pink flowers that can be quite fragrant — “tea rose” begonias have the strongest pleasant smell to them.
Tip: When shopping for a begonia, be sure to smell each one to find one that has a strong scent.
5. Corsage Orchid
Another classic plant, the corsage orchids add a modern feel to any room. Bright flowers accompanied with stunning stems — these flowers are a statement. Not all variations are fragrant, but many are packed with a powerful sweet punch.
Tip: Corsage orchids have different blooming schedules depending on the type, so get the one that suits your home and desires the best.
6. Corsican Mint
Corsican mint plants are petite powerhouses when it comes to fragrance. These plants can live in the most compact containers, but even a small plant can give off a pleasant aroma. A hardy mint plant, this fragrant plant can be put in partial or full sunlight and tends to hug the soil it’s planted in.
Tip: In order to fully release a Corsican mint plant’s aroma, brush the leaves lightly and let the smell build up in the air.
7. Crown Jewel Gardenia
Crown jewel gardenias are most fragrant when they bloom. This typically begins in spring and goes through fall, but this can change if they’re kept indoors. For the best results, put them in a southern or eastern window with light. These shrubs have a classic look that can dress up a space and make it smell superb.
Tip: When you plant crown jewel gardenia indoors, put them in terracotta pots to avoid root rot.
8. Cuban Oregano
A spicy smelling plant, Cuban oregano is a vibrant green plant that can grow quite bushy. It’s also edible, and most pieces of the plant can be tossed into food for a delicious blast of zest. Rub the leaves on this plant to release its scent.
Tip: Water Cuban oregano regularly but never overdo it — saturating the soil can kill the plant.
To get a full blast of spice, grow jasmine in your home. More potent than daffodils, jasmine plants can illuminate a room with an exotic scent that’s known for its calming effects. Azores Jasmine is the best type for indoor use because it smells radiant and is easy to care for.
Tip: These plants should be placed somewhere with full sun exposure. Make sure to plan ahead because these plants can grow to be eight feet tall.
10. Lemon Balm
To infuse a room with some citrus vibes, place a lemon balm plant in it. This plant looks like spearmint and can also be harvested for eating. Similar to mint plants, brush or lightly rub the leaves to fully release their aromatic wonders.
Tip: While they can grow in partially shady environments, lemon balm plants will start to get long and lanky instead of their typical bushy arrangement when placed in low-light areas.
11. Lily of the Valley
Lily of the valley is one of the most robust plants in common horticulture. For this reason, they are commonly thought of as an invasive species — so if you decide to put some indoors, be sure to keep them there. This plant is not well suited for family households or households with pets as they are poisonous if ingested.
Tip: Feel free to put lily of the valley in any room but the kitchen. These flowers are toxic if mixed with food.
12. Marino Heliotrope
This sweet-smelling plant comes in a dazzling shade of purple and grows to only about 20 inches tall — making it perfect for a home. Better yet, it only needs around five hours of sun per day so finding a nook for these flowers is easy. These blooms give off a vanilla-and-honey scent, making them a year-round go-to.
Tip: Marino heliotrope stems can become long so add stakes in your container to encourage wrapping.
These bulbs not only smell great but also look amazing. Commonly known as daffodils (the most popular species of narcissus) these bright yellow blooms can liven up a space with relatively low maintenance. Most of these flowers give off spicier tones that are similar to jasmine. This makes them great plants for a den or entertainment area.
Tip: To ensure your narcissus grows properly, initially keep young bulbs in a room at about 55° Fahrenheit. This will help the flowers root properly.
Another Dr. Seuss-looking plant, passionflower looks and smells exotic. Popping with pink and red-tinted flowers, these plants can give off a dreamy scent. The best part about passionflowers is that they can be the centerpiece of a room because of their unique looks.
Tip: Go to the store when buying passionflower to ensure the one you purchase is of the scented variety.
You’ll recognize the plumeria from Hawaiian leis. These famous flowers burst with life, color and smell. They have the ability to liven up a room and can add a beautiful aroma as well. Keep them in a place with bright light.
Tip: This plant can be a bit tricky to maintain, so start out with some easier ones to grow your green thumb before taking on a plumeria plant.
16. Scented Geranium
These fragrant houseplants come in many different scents — so choose your favorite! Rose, lime, ginger, nutmeg, chocolate and more are all scent varieties you can find with this indoor plant. It’s ideal to keep this plant away from windows to avoid drafts.
Tip: Only have one type of scented geranium in the same room to avoid scent clashes.
17. Silver Drop Eucalyptus
Silver drop eucalyptus plants have a unique shimmer to them. Its silver leaves give off a deep, earthy smell and can liven up any windowsill. Considered an herb, the silver drop eucalyptus plant is used in essential oils, shampoos, deodorant and other fragrant beauty products because of its natural smelling goodness.
Tip: Silver drop eucalyptus plants need a lot of sun to thrive as they’re native to the island of Tasmania.
18. Spanish Lavender
Although it’s found in many artificial air fresheners, nothing beats fresh lavender. Spanish lavender plants can fill a room with scents of spring and cleanliness. This variety of lavender, in particular, is one of the hardiest and can be grown indoors.
Tip: For maximum fragrance power, place Spanish lavender in very sunny spots — feel free to even put the plant outdoors in the summer.
This well-known plant does more for a home than just smell good. Spearmint is an easy way to start an indoor home garden as it’s not too difficult to take care of. These plants should be placed in full sun, and be pruned regularly to ensure good health.
Tip: You’ll know your plant’s spearmint leaves are ready to be harvested as soon as they’re big enough to pick off the plant — the younger the leaf, the more flavorful it will be.
You’ve probably seen stephanotis plants in wedding bouquets — and they’re just as beautiful in a home. These flowers give off a luscious spring scent that is strongest during the blooming season. With shiny green leaves, these plants are good year-round decorations as well.
Tip: This plant needs to be in a very sunny spot year-round and may require fertilizer to keep it going during its bloom season.
21. Sweet Bay
One of the largest fragrant houseplants on our list, sweet bay is more of a small tree. This plant gives off a deep, savory smell and is a beautiful addition to a large room. While it’s slow-growing, sweet bay is a strong plant that doesn’t require much care to keep alive.
Tip: Keep sweet bay in a humid room if possible and water every few weeks, especially in the dry winter months.
22. Sweet Olive ‘Fudingzhu’
These magnificent flowers have bulbs that burst with a wonderful fragrance. In fact, the flowers on Sweet Olive plants usually completely hide the leaves and stems of the plant. “Fudingzhu” translates to “pearls on Buddha’s head.”
Tip: These flowers can be slightly harder to find, so be prepared to visit a few shops.
As you can see, there are many plants to liven up a home. A lot of them are edible, too. From lavender to passionflower, there’s something to be said for staying natural when freshening up a home’s scent.
Don’t stop there, though. It’s essential to keep your own scent fresh and lively to keep people on their toes and maintain your own fashion prowess. Browse our newest fragrances with scents of fresh flowers and keep up with beauty trends.