Smell your way to your next plant purchase

Pat here, writing from a warm and sunny Chicagoland.

I recently cut some Old Fashioned Vining Petunias and put them in a vase. I usually don’t sniff my flowers, but somehow I got a whiff of these beauties, and was rewarded with the sweetest fragrance I can ever remember from a cut flower.


Catch a whiff of this: Old Fashioned Petunias carry a perfumed punch

Scent probably comes in a distant second to appearance when it comes to motivating purchase decisions. After all, people don’t walk through garden centers blindfolded; their eyes lead the way to the plants with the most curb appeal or container potential.

It’s too bad because aromatherapy is recognized as a legitimate form of alternative medicine; simply put: nice smells can help improve your mood. So, perhaps if people put as much time into staggering the bloom of aromatic bushes, trees and plants as they did with their showier but scent-less perennials and bulbs, they might be a little happier.

Imagine an All Star lineup in no particular order: hyacinth, stock, pink jasmine, alyssum, Baby Grand Magnolia and lilac and brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpets)

And plants don’t stop releasing scent at sundown: there’s a plethora of flowers, shrubs and trees known for their evening aromas. Most are pollinated by moths, and release their scents at dusk: They include evening primrose, border phlox, Volcano garden phlox, old fashioned varieties of nicotiana and honeysuckle, to name a few.

Volcano White Phlox

Mildew-resistant Volcano phlox blooms all summer long and has a lovely light fragrance

So, just imagine if you let your nose lead you to your next plant purchase. It could make for a whole new garden experience.   If you have any favorite scented plants, I’d love to hear about them!

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