16 Fragrant Indoor Plants to Fill Your Home with Natural Scents

Elevate your houseplant collection with scented flowers or foliage.

plumeria flowers
Photo: Kindra Clineff

Houseplants add beauty to any room, but some also offer wonderful aromas with their leaves or flowers. These are the most fragrant indoor plants to fill your home with pleasant scents, from sweet and flowery to warm and spicy.

01 of 16

Angel's Trumpet

'Mango Crush' Angel's Trumpet Brugmansia
Marty Baldwin

In full bloom, angel's trumpet is nothing short of spectacular. The huge blooms look stunning, and at night, their strong scent fills the air. This tropical tree can be grown outdoors year-round where it's hardy (Zones 8-10). Elsewhere it should be brought indoors for the winter. Be warned, though: All parts are extremely poisonous if eaten so keep it away from pets and small children.

Name: Brugmansia x candida

Growing Conditions: Bright light and protection from drafts; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 10 feet tall

02 of 16

Arabian Jasmine

jasmine houseplant in white pot
Dean Schoeppner

The starry, pure-white fragrant flowers of Arabian jasmine bloom all year long and produce a soft, flowery scent. Its blooms are used to make jasmine tea and flower necklaces in Hawaii. You can let this shrubby vine's stems grow long and train them on a trellis or grow in an arching mound.

Name: Jasminum sambac

Growing Conditions: Sunny location; 70-80˚F.; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 5 feet tall

03 of 16


Orange Blossom Plant
Jay Wilde

Certain varieties of orange, lemon, and other citrus fruits can make good houseplants, provided you give them enough light. They'll reward you with the sweet scents of their flowers. If you're patient, you may even get to enjoy homegrown fruits. If you grow citrus from seed, your plants could take years to flower and they'll likely have sharp spines. Your best bet for citrus as a houseplant is to purchase a named, grafted variety.

Name: Citrus selections

Growing Conditions: A bright location protected from drafts and high humidity; 60-65˚F.; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 10 feet tall

04 of 16

Corsage Orchid

hybrid yellow cattleya orchid in pot
Doug Hetherington

Also known as cattleya orchids, showy corsage orchids are so lovely to look at that you may forget to give them a sniff. You can even find varieties named after celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and First Ladies such as Jackie Kennedy. Water and fertilize orchids regularly in spring and summer; keep them drier and cooler in autumn and winter.

Name: Cattleya selections

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light that offers high humidity and protection from drafts; 70-85˚F.; allow soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: Up to 2 feet tall

05 of 16

Cuban Oregano

cuban oregano houseplant
Marty Baldwin

Boasting a distinct spicy aroma, Cuban oregano is an easy-to-grow relative of Swedish ivy. (Interestingly, neither plant is native to the locations from where they get their common names.) You can cook with the fleshy, fuzzy green leaves or just brush them to release their scent. Cuttings from this plant root easily in potting mix, so it's easy to propagate and share these fragrant plants with friends.

Name: Plectranthus amboinicus

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright spot with protection from drafts; keep soil evenly moist in well drained soil

Size: Up to 18 inches tall

06 of 16


Eucalyptus cinerea
Kritsada Panichgul

While most gardeners don't think of eucalyptus as a houseplant, this fast-growing plant makes a pretty indoor tree in a brightly-lit spot. It offers blue-gray foliage with a distinct aroma when you rub it. Prune your eucalyptus back once in a while to keep it full and bushy.

Name: Eucalyptus cinerea

Growing Conditions: A bright, sunny spot protected from hot and cold drafts; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 10 feet tall

07 of 16


potted gardenia augusta flowers
Marty Baldwin

Renowned for being one of the most fragrant flowers around, gardenia makes a lovely, but tricky houseplant. Its single or double white flowers emit a strong, flowery scent. In the spring and summer, apply a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants such as azaleas. Also, be sure to protect this plant from hot and cold drafts.

Name: Gardenia augusta

Growing Conditions: Bright light and high humidity; 65-70˚F.; keep acidic soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 6 feet tall

08 of 16


hoya carnosa plant in decorative pot by window
Kindra Clineff

Commonly called wax plant, hoya is a no-fuss, old-fashioned houseplant that's coming back into style. It has waxy, sweetly scented pink or white flowers and thick, glossy, dark green leaves. Hoyas can take a while to bloom. If you've had one for a couple of years and never seen a flower, try giving it more light.

Name: Hoya selections

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and protection from drafts; allow soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: Up to 4 feet tall

09 of 16

Oncidium Orchid

Oncidium orchid
Denny Schrock

While the corsage orchids are among the showiest, oncidium orchids are among the easiest to grow orchids and make the best houseplants. They offer a range of bloom colors and sizes, as well as bloom times. Their fragrance varies as much as their color and size. Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance', for example, has a distinct chocolate scent; Twinkle 'Fragrance Fantasy', on the other hand, smells more herbal.

Name: Oncidium selections

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; high humidity and protection from drafts; 70-85˚F.

Size: Up to 10 feet tall

10 of 16

Orange Jessamine

Murraya paniculata
Jay Wilde

When not flowering, orange jessamine makes for a beautiful foliage plant. But when it does bloom, orange jessamine offers up some of the best-smelling flowers around. Its clusters of long-lasting white flowers smell like orange blossoms. The leaves are even fragrant if you rub them.

Name: Murraya paniculata

Growing Conditions: Bright light; high humidity; allow soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: Up to 12 feet tall

11 of 16


Passiflora 'Elizabeth' purple flower
Marty Baldwin

Passionflowers feature intricate, almost alien-looking flowers, but not all are fragrant, so shop and sniff or read the plant tags and descriptions to ensure you get a scented selection. Some of the best scented flowers are Passiflora x belotii, 'Inspiration', and 'Elizabeth' (shown here). Passionflowers are fast growers and will need support, such as a trellis to climb on.

Name: Passiflora selections

Growing Conditions: Bright spot protected from drafts; 55-65˚F.; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 15 feet tall

12 of 16

Scented Geranium

Rose-scented geranium
John Noltner

Start exploring the world of scented geraniums and you'll be amazed at the diverse aromas these fragrant plants offer. Choose from rose, lemon, lime, nutmeg, ginger, or chocolate scents, just to name a few. The foliage is available in various leaf shapes and textures that are as fun to touch as they are to smell.

Name: Pelargonium selections

Growing Conditions: Bright light; 45-70˚F.; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 3 feet tall

13 of 16


yellow and white plumeria blooms detail
Kindra Clineff

A tropical tree famous for its beautiful flowers and stunning fragrance, plumeria flowers are often used to make Hawaiian leis. The flowers' strong scent is similar to the sweetshade tree. In addition to white, the blooms come in a range of shades, including reds and pinks, yellows and oranges, and mixtures.

Name: Plumeria selections

Growing Conditions: Bright light and protection from drafts; allow soil surface to dry between waterings

Size: Up to 25 feet tall

14 of 16


detail of white blooms on madagascar jasmine
Jay Wilde

A favorite flower for wedding bouquets, stephanotis shows off starry white flowers and shiny, dark green leaves. But no special event is required to grow these delightfully fragrant blooms. Because stephanotis grows very slowly indoors, try encouraging more growth and blooms by moving it to a partly shaded spot outdoors for the summer.

Name: Stephanotis floribunda

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; 64-69˚F.; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 20 feet tall

15 of 16

Sweet Bay

indoor sweet bay houseplant by door
Jay Wilde

A slow-growing shrub that may become a small tree, sweet bay shows off shiny green leaves with a savory, herbal scent. You also can use the leaves of sweet bay in soups, stews, and other dishes. You may allow this plant to go dormant in winter if you have a cool room to keep it in. Water it every few weeks, just enough to keep the potting mix from drying out.

Name: Laurus nobilis

Growing Conditions: Bright light; 45-60˚F.; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 30 feet tall

16 of 16

Sweet Begonia

Bright Red Begonia
Justin Hancock

While most begonia flowers aren't scented, use your nose while shopping and you might be surprised. Some especially fragrant begonias to look for include 'Tea Rose' fibrous begonia and varieties of Begonia odorata such as 'Angelique'. Water and fertilize your begonias regularly in spring and summer to ensure a steady show of flowers.

Name: Begonia selections

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light; high humidity and protection from drafts; keep soil evenly moist

Size: Up to 1 foot tall

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