The Q&A Archives: suggestion for a fragrant shade plant

Question: I am looking for a fragrant bush or ??? that is shade to partial sun. I have jasmine that do well, and tried lavender for the color, fragrance and smaller size, but it does not get enough sun--North side of house with patio and mature shade trees. What do you suggest? FYI: There is not enough sun to charge solar yard lights, but azaleas and even gardenias are doing well, so far.

Answer: My first choice would be dwarf sweet box (Sarcococca hookeriana humilis). This modest evergreen shrub has tiny white flowers tucked between the axils of its shiny dark green leaves; you'd never notice them if it weren't for their intoxicating perfume. It's a shade-lover, perfect for the north side of the house. Other suggestions include Daphne odora (winter daphne), Itea (Sweetspire), Osmanthus heterophyllus (Holly-leaf osmanthus), and Skimmia.

Enjoy your fragrant garden!

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