20 Best Smelling Indoor Plants That Look Terrific

Best Smelling Indoor Plants

Plants have always been a great addition to the interiors of our homes. They look great; they help purify the air, regulate the indoor temperature, raise the humidity of the room, and lastly, they reduce dust levels in the atmosphere.

And the best addition a house plant can have is an awesome scent. And in this article, you will learn of the twenty best-scented houseplants you can place in your home. So let us begin.

20 Great Smelling Indoor Plants

Jasmine

Indonesia considers this fragrant bloom as their national flower, and they call it Melati there. The Jasmine plant is a prevalent house plant specifically for its sweet-scented bloom that stays alive almost all year round. Most jasmine plants bloom white flowers, but some flowers are yellow. The flower releases the fragrant of the jasmine plant during the nighttime after sunset, and it is stronger on a full moon. The buds are actually more fragrant than the flowers itself.

If you wish to grow this beauty indoors, you first have to make sure the space is warm and moist. The best soil to use should either be sandy loamy or clayey house plant soil mix that is well-drained, porous, and moderately fertilized. You have to expose your jasmine to full sun or partial bright sunlight on a warm spot. The watering is done when the soil gets dry, but that will depend on the season and the active growth stage of the plant, which is in spring all up to summer. Fertilization is done mildly to boost the growth of the plant.

Their leaves are either evergreen or deciduous depending on the specific jasmine species, and on maturity, they grow to a height of 10 to 15 feet high. The nectar of the Carolina Jasmine and the Gelsemium is poisonous and is toxic to both people and pets. Their roots are, however, dried and used as a sedative in medicine. The jasmine oil can be used to make perfumes, and the extracts can also make relaxing tea mixes.

Gardenia

These tropical plants have waxy, white, and very fragrant flowers that will make your home smell divine. The Gardenia plant represents sweetness and purity and can be gifted as a token of love and to convey joy.

The Gardenia plant does thrive in a very humid area, and the soil it is to be planted in has to be well-drained, well-ventilated and kept moist all year round. You should also expose the plant to indirect bright sunlight steering away from continuous, direct sunlight as this overwhelms your crop.

Their flowers start emerging mid-spring and stay open up until mid-summer when the temperatures become hotter. These flowers either grow solo or in small clusters, and they are either white or pale yellow in color. The petals at the bottom of the flowers are usually attached to a tubular corolla and grow to about five to twelve cm in diameter.

These evergreen shrubs look like small trees and upon maturity, grow to a height of about 1 to 15 m high. The dark green glossy leaves with a leathery texture have a smooth margin, and they grow opposite in triple or quadruple whorls to a length between five to fifty cm and 3 to 25 cm broad. 

For fertilization, use an acid fertilizer and watch out not to overwater the plant, which might result in root rot. You should also continuously monitor your Gardenia for pests like aphids, scales, spider mites, thrips, and mealybugs. If you do find them, use insecticidal soap to kill the little buggers.

Scented Geraniums

Unlike most houseplants that emit their fragrances via the flowers, the scented Geranium’s scent is emitted from the leaves. The leaves of the scented Geraniums have glands at the base of their hairs. When the leaves are crushed, the oil and the scent are released at an even faster rate and in a higher concentration. This qualifies it to be called a herb.

This herbaceous scented plant grows to about one to two feet tall and wide upon maturity. But this is solely dependant on how you prune the crop. It does particularly well when grown in an acidic soil mix that is well-drained and well-ventilated. The scented Geraniums do well under the full sun or partial sun.

The scented Geraniums are drought-resistant plants, although they still need water once in a while when the soil becomes dry. These crops are light feeders, and for that reason, you must be careful not to overfertilize them. They do appreciate a balanced fertilizer made to half strength and applied once every fortnight during the summer. And the exercise must be stopped during the winter. Pruning the crop occasionally promotes full and bushier growth, which makes your scented Geranium look lush and healthy.

The stems and the leaves are harvested from the plant, are dried and used as potpourri and can be used as air fresheners in bathrooms and other chambers. The leaves are also used to scent foods like sugars and jellies. And the flowers can be eaten and do make a great addition to vegetable salads.

Citrus 

Any plant from the citrus family, including lemon, orange, and grapefruit, to mention a few, have quite a fresh fragrance to them that makes a room smell fresh and clean. It is an expressly loved scent, and that is why you find most air fresheners, soaps, and detergents made with their fragrance. Now imagine having it all natural!

Surprisingly, these plants are relatively easy to grow indoors as long as you grow them in soil that is lightweight, well-aerated, well-draining, and well-fertilized. The planter you grow your citrus must have breathability and have drainage holes at the bottom to facilitate the unrestricted flow of excess water out the pot. The citrus crops do well when placed on a spot that receives bright light and is shielded from winds and drafts. The watering should ideally be done when the soil is dry and fertilization during spring and summer. 

The array of citrus fruits is vast, but the best for the indoor spaces are the dwarf kinds. Examples of such are the kumquat, lime, tangerine, and some lemon types like the ponderosa or the Meyer lemons. With favorable conditions and proper fertilization of the flowers, they change to fully formed fruits that ripen in a few weeks

In as much as they are resistant to most pests and diseases, spider mites, scales, and whiteflies may still attack your citrus. And to kill them, use insecticidal soap to wash your citrus plant periodically. But if the condition is a bit on the extreme side, smear neem oil on the affected parts of the plant. It works wonders.

Tea Rose Begonia

These perennial beauties are grown for their stunning foliage and gorgeous blooms. The Tea Rose foliage consists of large and bare leaves and brightly pink or purplish colored flowers. These houseplants look particularly wonderful when planted on a hanging basket.

To flourish, the Tea Rose Begonia needs shaded or dappled bright light, a loamy to clayey soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Additionally, the soil must be well-drained, well-aerated, and fertilized in balance. In younger plants, however, you need to use phosphorous rich fertilizer to promote root growth. And in established crops, you use Nitrogen-rich fertilizer to encourage the growth of luscious green foliage.

The plant is evergreen, so that means care and attention are given to it all year round. You must water the plant whenever the soil is dry using the soak and dry method where you run water and soak the soil thoroughly with water until the excess runs through the drainage hole. Then you wait it out to water it again, making sure the land is parched. 

Pinching out and pruning of perennials is essential to make sure their growth is full and healthy-looking. With that said, you have to thin them out to promote more growth. The most common diseases are the fungal Rhizoctonia root and stem rot that enter the plant via their roots and stems. To control the two, you must at once refrain watering and replant the plant in a new soil mix to avoid transferences. Mealybugs, thrips, scales, and spider mites are common pests that can be controlled by a simple insecticidal soap wash or the application of neem.  

Lavender

Lavenders have amazingly sweet-smelling purple flowers that brighten up any room. Native to the Mediterranean and European countries, the Lavender can grow in a variety of climates and weather conditions. 

To keep your lavender thriving in the indoor spaces, you must place it in a bright, well-lit spot. If your house is rather dark, they will not do so well, but you can quickly fix this by using grow lights. If you opt to use natural light, a south-facing window is the best home for your Lavender. 

The soil you use has to be lightweight and coarsely textured to allow proper water drainage. Soil with limestone as a supplement does good for your Lavender. For fertilization, lavenders do appreciate the periodic application of alkaline fertilizers. And to do this, you can simply use crushed eggshells and mix them with the topsoil. If you want your Lavender to grow fuller, you should consider pruning the plants occasionally. You must also rotate your Lavender every now and then so that the plant grows and flowers evenly.

Almost all lavender plants are edible, although certain varieties taste better than others. For instance, for culinary purposes, the Lady and the Munstead are best. You can use them in salads, cocktails, cooking, or to make tea. 

For best results, choose smaller lavender varieties that adapt better when grown in pots and smaller containers. The French Lavender, the Canary lavender, and the Fern leaf lavender are the best because they adapt better to interior conditions and tolerate wet conditions better as compared to other lavenders.

Orchids

Orchids are yet another sweet-smelling flowering plant that people love cultivating indoors. These plants are categorized into two major types, epiphytic and terrestrial. The epiphytes grow on surfaces such as between rocks and tree branches and get all their nutritional needs from the surrounding air.

Terrestrial, on the other hand, are grown in soil, and these are the types that are majorly kept as houseplants. Orchids are by far the most diverse family of flowering plants with over a thousand different species, each blooming quite an array of different colored blooms. For instance, there is the Oncidium orchid that blooms pinkish or purplish blooms and the Corsage orchid that blooms showy yellow and purple flowers.

Orchids light requirements will depend on the variety you plant. For instance, the Vandas and the Agraecums thrive when placed on location in the household that receives ample sunlight that is bright, and unobstructed. A south-facing window with clear glass is the best home for such an orchid plant. Oncidiums and Dendrobiums are medium to high light orchids, and Paphiopedilums and Phalaenopsis need medium-low light while the Jewel orchid will grow okay under low light.

In these indoor spaces, humidity has to be maintained at a constant high, and the watering must be done from the bottom of the pot. And that is why they are grown in either clay soil or a bark mix which absorb water pretty well from below. The planter is placed in water for about fifteen minutes so that the planting medium can soak up enough for the plant. Orchids are not heavy feeders, and for that reason, fertilization is not a must, but if you want it to bloom longer and grow more vigorous, go for a balanced fertilizer diluted at half strength. And it is applied during the active growing stage of the plant.

Just like other houseplants, watch out for mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites and deal with them accordingly. For diseases, watch out not to overwater your plant as this is the principal causative agent to root and stem rot.

Eucalyptus

This is yet another herb plant that does well when grown indoors and one that smells very fresh with so many uses within the household. This Australian and Tasmania native plant is a shrub that grows well in planters and can grow to a height of 400 feet or more if the conditions allow it to. But since the indoor spaces are so limiting, you can maintain a Eucalyptus tree at 6-8 feet high.

To keep the eucalyptus plant thriving indoors, you have to grow it in a large pot as the tree can take so much space when it becomes more prominent. And you should use a cone-shaped pot, which will allow you to replant it if it overgrows the container later on. They do love the full sun or a lightly shaded light. For that reason, they mainly look amazing on patios and balcony settings. The eucalyptus plant grows in any standard houseplant soil mix that is nourished with fertilizer at least once in a while. The watering is done when the soil feels dry. Pruning and trimming off is done periodically to keep the plant looking smart and tidy.

The plant’s leaves have numerous benefits to any household that grows it. For one, the leaves can be dried and boiled in water to make a tea rich in antioxidants. They make the air pure and give it a very inviting scent. The oil in the leaves is also used in numerous medicines for coughs and colds. The smell has also been known to repel some insects such as mosquitos and flies. So much so, having a eucalyptus tree within your household will do your home so much good other than smelling nice.

Sweet Bay

The Sweet Bay is another aromatic plant reared indoors, and it grows like a shrub or a tree. The Bay is native to the Mediterranean, and it also goes by the names Laurel leaf or Bay Laurel. The sweet Bay is an evergreen shrub whose leaves are used to flavor soups, stews, meats, and vegetables. On maturity, this shrub grows to a height of 5 feet tall when grown indoors in a pot or a container. In the spring the Bay blooms small inconspicuous creamy yellow flowers that eventually turn to blackberries

The Laurel leaf does well when placed on a spot that receives full sun and when it is grown in well-drained soil. The best soil pH should be about 6.2 to 6.6, and it must be rich in humus. If you build your Bay from a seed, it takes time to grow, but once developed, you should transplant it in the spring to make sure it picks up its new habitat and bloom timely. The watering is done periodically when the soil is dry. And the fertilization is done infrequently because it is a slow-growing plant. The best fertilizer to use is an all-purpose organic fertilizer.

Scales are by far the menace when it comes to the sweet Bay, and rubbing alcohol on the affected area of the plant can help eradicate the problem.

Stephanotis

The Stephanotis is quite famous for its white star-shaped flowers that smell and look great on a bouquet or a planter. The flower has a waxlike texture, and even when not in bloom; the shiny dark green leaves steal the show.

Also known by the name Madagascar Jasmine, the Stephanotis is quite a specific plant that requires special care; otherwise, it will die. To begin, the soil has to be loamy with excellent water retention abilities but well-drained not to expose the roots to too much moisture to cause rot. During their growth period, you should fertilize the crop at half strength to least twice that period. In winter, the watering is dialed down while the application of fertilizer is stopped. For the plant to thrive and bloom timely, it has to be put in a well-lit spot in the house. You must also refrain from placing the plant on drafty locations. 

This aromatic flowering plant is truly a great addition to your indoor space and will boost the aesthetics of any location it is placed in the house.

Orange Jasmine

Contrary to the name orange in the title, this plant blooms aromatic sweet-smelling white flowers that stay open the better part of the year. The name, however, came from the same white flowers that give off a similar scent to orange blooms that spread gracefully throughout the entire space. The flowers start to appear early in the plant’s life and are a great attraction to bees. 

 The Orange Jasmine is a tropical plant that loves to bask in the full sun, but partial shade is also acceptable. The plant likes weakly acidic soil, which is a characteristic of clay soil. Although it must drain water well and be aerated at all times. Watering is done only when the land is dry. And the application of fertilizer is made during the spring all through fall using any fertilizer fit for any evergreen shrub.

Pruning is a must if you want your shrub to grow in a particular form or shape. And it is best done on young ones such that they grow into the way you desire. Generally, pests do not attack this crop, but scales and soil nematodes are likelihoods and must be treated with the appropriate treatment once found.

Cuban Oregano

If you love to add spice to your foods, then this is the plant for you. The Cuban oregano is also known as the Mexican thyme, Spanish thyme, Mexican mint, or the false oregano. The leaves are the scented part of the plant that posses a vibrant and robust taste. And for that reason they have to be used in small quantities otherwise it overwhelms the mouth palette. 

The Cuban oregano does well under bright light and when planted in a well-drained soil mix with a substantial amount of organic matter. The plant is hydrated using the soak and dry method where the soil is completely soaked with water and left to dry and watered again. For fertilization, some people use slow-releasing granules that are mixed with the soil and supplement the nutritional need for the plant a whole cycle. 

Pruning of the plant is done every now and then to maintain the look of the plant or on-demand if you would like to cook with it. It is used in the making of stews and soups but as aforementioned, has to be in moderation.

Because of their strong-scented leaves, pests rarely reside on them. But if you overwater your Cuban oregano, you raise the chances of the roots and the stem contacting rot.

Passion Flower

The Passionflower plant has one very alien-looking flower that steals the show every time. The exotic flower got its name because of the striking features exhibited on the flower that emulates the symbols of the passion of Christ. The corolla is said to reflect Christ’s crown; the five stamens are the five wounds he got from the beating on his feet, hands, and sides. And the three stigmata are the nails that were used to nail him on the cross. For that reason, Christians regard this plant to be sacred to their faith.

This beauty does love its fair share of bright sunlight during the summer, which happens to be the active growing season of the plant. The watering is done more often during the summer as well and cut down during the winter. The soil mix has to be well-draining and well-aerated with a fair amount of organic matter. Liquid fertilizer is ideal for application during the active growing period of the plant

This plant has trailing vines, which may be troublesome if they are not trained. For that reason, you should use wires to act as a guideline that the vines will grow around. The two main pests are the mites and the mealybugs that can be eradicated using an insecticidal soap wipe.

One thing to keep in mind about the Passionflower is that not all kinds are aromatic. So much so, when you are purchasing the seeds, be sure to read the packaging, and if you are getting a live plant, smell the flower to confirm it is the one.

Hoya

The Hoya is an easy-growing vine that blooms fragrant waxy white yellow, purple, or pinkish flowers. The leaves are dark green and glossy, which gives them an attractive and stunning look even if the flowers are not in bloom. The Hoya is commonly known as the wax plant.

To thrive, you must provide your Hoya with a soil that is lightweight, loose, and well-draining with impeccable water retention abilities. When the roots exposed to too much water, they contact root rot, and for that reason, you should refrain from overwatering the plant. To make sure the plant blooms, you must provide it with a bright light on an eastern-facing window. The plant demands fertilization using a balanced organic fertilizer at least once a month.

Drafts and winds are bad for your plant as they reduce the humidity as well as pose a danger by breaking off parts if the wind is too strong. Mealybugs are a menace to the Hoya plant, though you can prevent them if you regularly monitor your Hoya. But if they are already there, use neem oil or wipe the affected parts with insecticidal soap to get rid of the little buggers.

Angel Trumpet

The Angel Trumpey also goes by the names Devil’s trumpet or the Datura. This plant is quite stunning when it blooms its white or purple downward-facing pendant trumpet-shaped flowers hanging from the plant’s rich green foliage. Growing this plant indoors, where you have children and pets, is probably not a good idea as every part of this plant is toxic. 

The Datura needs the full sun to bloom, and the soil used has to be light, fast-draining, and well-ventilated. The watering is done in moderation to keep the soil moist and not soak it because the roots of the Datura are especially sensitive to too much water. A weak, diluted fertilizer is ideal for feeding the crop, and it should be done only in the spring and summer and halted in the winter. 

The Angel’s trumpet is a fast-growing plant that demands to repot every spring. A fully grown Datura reaches a height of 6 to 8 feet, which can be challenging to repot if you are alone. In such a case, just replace a few inches of the soil, and you are good to go. 

They are not susceptible to a lot of pests, but if the conditions are right, mealybugs and aphids attack. And should be sorted asap.

Plumeria

If you have been to the Hawaiian islands, then you are pretty familiar with the intoxicating smell of the Plumeria. This tree is a tropical one that features wondrous flowers that range from reds, pinks, yellows, whites, and a few mixed types. These blooms light up any scene they are placed and lift the mood with their lovely fragrance. 

The Plumeria flourishes in a warm and brightly lit spot away from winds and drafts. The soil you plant these beauties has to be well-draining and well-aerated and fertilized at least once every two weeks. The best fertilizers to use must be rich in Nitrogen and Phosphorous to promote the foliage growth as well as the development of blooms promptly. This has to be done during the spring. And take note that a Plumeria may take more than a year to bloom, so worry not if this is your case. It just needs a little more time. Pruning is done only when necessary when you notice dying plant parts; otherwise, it is not a must. They do enjoy a relative humidity, so make sure the place they are grown has ample air moisture content.

Indoor grown Plumeria is susceptible to spider mites that can damage the plant if not dealt with early enough. If you notice them early, you can get rid of them using neem oil, which kills them upon contact. Root rot as a result of overwatering is by far the most threat when it comes to diseases. But if you do everything right, your plant flourishes pest, disease, and stress-free gracing your indoor space with the Hawaiian feel aroma of a tropical island.

Marino Blue Heliotrope

This lovely plant’s purple flowers scent smell similar to vanilla honey. The name Heliotropes is a derivative from the Greek words ‘helios’ which means sun and ‘tropos’ which means turn. This name is attributed to the habit of the flowers turning to face the sun.

The Marino Blue Heliotrope loves the full sun, but it can also dwell under partial shade. The soil mix must be fast-draining and possess excellent moisture retention abilities. These plants grow to a height of about four feet when mature. The flowers bloom year-round and are quite a spectacle during the winter. The watering is done sparingly only when the soil becomes dry. And fertilization is done exclusively during the growing period of spring using a weak, diluted liquid fertilizer.

Repotting and replanting are rare as the plant grows compactly. Although you may do so if the plant overgrows its current planter. And this is only done in the spring so that the plant can commence growing when the temperatures get warmer.

The varieties are many differentiated by the color of the flowers, the mixed flowers being the mixed hybrids.

Spearmint

Spearmints are another aromatic plant that emits its scents through its leaves. The smell is overpowering that you can smell it from a distance even as the sun’s rays hit the surface of the leaves.

This herb appreciates a four to six-hour bask in the direct sunlight to thrive. The soil has to be well-aerated and fast-draining with just a bit of organic matter. The watering is done when the land is dry, and one has to be careful not to oversaturate the soil with too much. When it comes to fertilizing, it is done sparingly or not at all. This is to be on the safe side since some instances of fertilization cause the flavor to dull and dilute. Organic compost or liquid fertilizer can be used at half strength, and the application is made at least once a month. Your best bet to nourish your spearmint is to repot it every year in a newly mixed and well-fertilized soul mix.

Fresh spearmint leaves can be used to make smoothies, cocktails, and mint-flavored water. Additionally, they keep away nuisance insects like flies and ants mostly because these insects find this strong minty smell too overpowering. For that same reason, the spearmint is rarely attacked with pests.

Lemon Balm

The lemon balm is yet another plant with a clean, citrusy smell that spreads to all corners of the space. The rich, fresh scent comes from the leaves, and the same leaves add so much savory flavor to so many recipes. 

The best location to place your lemon balm is in a brightly lit spot and the soil you use to plant it has to be well-draining in a container with drainage holes at the bottom. Water when the land is dry and never oversaturate the soil. The lemon balm has been known to be an invasive plant because it grows vigorously. And for that reason, if you want a big Balm plant, plant it in a small container, and it will fill up space in no time. 

Keep the plant from direct sunlight as the scorching sun burns the leaves, and once this happens, the leaves lose their aroma. You must also always look out for pests and fungi infestation as the lemon balm is susceptible to powdery mildew, which can be detrimental to the plant if it goes untreated.

The leaves can be blend to make smoothies, lemon water, tea, and some desserts. Having this plant is not only air freshening but, as seen, has culinary functions too.

Rosemary

Last but not least, we have the Rosemary plant. The Rosemary is a loved plant because of its thin aromatic leaves that contain a fantastic aroma used in so many delicacies. You can make tea, include them in salads, use to cook stews, soups, and meats as well.

The Rosemary has been known to be a tricky plant to grow, but that does not mean that it is impossible. As long as you plant it in a brightly lit room, plant it in a well-draining soil mix with functional water retention capabilities. The container you use must be breathable, porous, and contain drainage holes at the bottom to facilitate the flow of extra water. Watering is done only when the soil feels dry, but it should never dry out for too long.

If you notice any pest living on your Rosemary, look for organic solutions keeping in mind that the Rosemary is grown mainly for consumption. Powdery mildew is the biggest problem indoor-grown Rosemaries face. And the best way to sort this issue out is to improve the air circulation around the plant. And you can do this by moving the plant to a more humid room like the bathroom or laundry room or place a fan near the plant for a few hours each day until the issue is sorted.

Once you give your Rosemary what it needs and keep it away from potential problematic situations, it thrives and keeps supplementing your food with its incredible taste and aroma.

Conclusion

Who wouldn’t want their home smelling as fresh as a tropical jungle? The sweet aroma and the adornment of the stunningly colored blooms the plants mentioned above grace your living space with will make your home a paradise of its own statue. Well, you don’t have to have all of them in your home, but two, three, or even five from the twenty will be worthwhile. Now you can make amazing recipes, purify the air you breathe, and beautify your living space using these scented florae.

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