The Q&A Archives: Fragrant Plants for the Low Desert

Question: I live on a 1 acre mini farm and my neighbors have horses.
Is there a plant or vines I could plant along the fence lines to curtail some of the smell. I wouldn't want to
plant anything that could harm the horses.

Answer: There aren't many fragrant plants in the desert that "waft" their odors along. Most need to be brushed against to release some scent if the foliage is scented, or they are not in bloom year around if the flowers are scented. Citrus and sweet acacia (A. smallii) trees have very sweet flowers. Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) is a large shrub/small tree that has lavender flowers scented like grape cool aid! For vines, you could try jasmine or honeysuckle. Creosote smells wonderful after rain, but of course, it doesn't rain much here. Salvia clevelandii (Chaparral Sage), Tagetes lemonii (Mount Lemon marigold), and rosemary are perennials/shrubs that have a pungent scents when rubbed against and also have flowers. Of course, on the bright side, if they share that horse manure with you it will make terrific compost/soil for your mini farm. Good luck!

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