Does anyone have any suggestions for a fragrant houseplant that is fairly easy to keep alive?
Looking for EZ care Fragrant Houseplant
You leave a lot open here. What size plant are you looking for? Small, medium, large? Will it be kept strictly indoors, or summered outdoors? Can you provide it with plenty of light or sun? Orchids come to mind, but not all are fragrant. They are easier to grow than many would have you believe. I have a HKNSA Sogo Doll that is fragrant when it blooms, but you do have to be fairly close to smell it. It reminds me of the smell of a rose, but more spicy. Not a very clear pic, but here's a pic of the bloom.
I'm thinking small to medium size. It would be in a south window either with or without a vertical blind. I currently have 2 African violets, a miniature Xmas cactus, a Dancing Bones cactus & a fern that no one has been able to identify in the window and all are doing well. I would just like something that blooms more often and is fragrant.
Scented geraniums are a good choice. If you want a small orchid, you could try one called Oncidium "Twinkle". There is a good selection of miniature orchids with a wonderful scent - when they bloom.
Other beautifully scented plants are jasmines, stephanois and gardenias, but I have found the gardenias to be red spider mite magnets and a bit fussy.
Also an Oncidium "Sharry baby" smells like chocolate! "Twinkle" smells like vanilla!
Why not consider a hoya. Many are very forgiving, don't like to be over-watered and the bloom fragrance is divine!
There are large growing varieties and more compact or shrub like depending on the space you have.
My suggestion for a very easy to grow Hoya would be H. australis:
An east or south facing window would be perfect for this plant. The fragrance in the evening and nighttime is absolutely amazing but if kept in a small room, the fragrance can be overpowering. Hoya's like bright light, some can take more sun than others and most seem to do best in a chunky, well draining mix.
If I had a greenhouse I think it would be completely filled with Hoya's:
The Hoya sounds great. None of my local sources have any right now and the catalog people won't want to ship until spring so I guess I will have to wait. I had also thought about Jasmine. What are your thoughts about those?
Usually, this time of the year, you can find very fragrant plants of various jasmines full of buds and ready to enjoy.
However, my favorite plant for fragrance and almost continuous bloom is Orange Jasmine (Murraya paniculata), not a true jasmine. It blooms year-round, always in bud and/or bloom, especially welcome during the dark winter months. I have had one for years, trained as a standard small "tree" about 3 feet tall, but they could be easily be grown as a small bush on a windowsill. One small plant will fill the room with the scent of orange blossoms. Another great performer during the winter months is Sweet Olive (Osmanthus fragrans). Even a small plant will bloom.
Check Logee's website (www.logees.com) for plants. They are usually small, but grow fairly quickly, and the plants are always good. They have an unbelievable selection of fragrant plants. There are probably other sources online, but I've never seen them for sale in stores or garden centers.
You can find potted plants of rosemary around the holidays, even at big box stores, as well as miniature roses, and gardenias. Gardenias, if kept very cool and misted daily, you might get them through the winter, although they are finicky.
Check on line for Winter Daphne (Daphne odora a.k.a. D. indicaand D. sinensis) which blooms from November thru March.
Right after Christmas, you can usually find already-potted hyacinths for sale. You might find some fall bulbs on sale somewhere still now. Can't get anymore fragrant than hyacinths!
My highest recommendation would still be Orange Jasmine. I just love my plant! It's in full bloom right now, with lots of buds coming on.
This message was edited Dec 5, 2010 5:44 PM
I'm surprised to see how many options there are! Nice thread.
I wanted to buy a Meyer lemon for my dad. A local nursery did have several and blooming. The fragrance was wonderful! But I didn't want to pay to ship it, pretty big and heavy.
Citrus is one group of plants I've never had any luck with. They get scale so badly, they are a pain. But then, that was before I discovered the use of systemics which eliminate scale so effectively. However, systemics would also eliminate being able to eat the fruit.
My orange jasmine is in full bloom (second time since fall) and perfumes not only the sunroom, but almost the whole ground floor of the house.
I have only had baby citrus for a few years and yes I have had scale. A friend had a horribly abused (low indoor light, packed soil) meyer lemon which somehow survived and bloomed and gave a few fruits for several years.
The orange jasmine sounds wonderful though.