Houseplants forum: Fragrant houseplants?

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Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 8, 2014 11:20 PM CST
Hi, None of my starting houseplants give fragrance (except the snake plants are said to bloom with dramatic fragrance, but I wouldn't expect mine to bloom in near or even far future). I like natural fragrance from plants (either the flower or plant itself). My Boston ferns give some fresh tint air, but no fragrance. I would appreciate any suggestion/recommendation on which indoor houseplants to grow for enjoying their fragrance. Thanks
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat

Plantomaniac08
Sep 9, 2014 8:43 AM CST
I do not know of any indoor plants that have a fragrance, unless you attempt to grow herbs indoors (unfortunately, I don't think most herbs do well inside).

With respect to flowers, I can only think of a couple. Select Sansevieria (I don't believe all Sansevieria flowers have a fragrance) can have fragrance. I know that the 'Corn Plant' (Dracaena fragrans) is said to have an overwhelming scent when it blooms, but... from what it sounds like, it takes many years before it will bloom. I think the same holds true for Sansevieria, in that it's not a super common occurrence to see one bloom indoors. Certain orchids have smells, but I can't recall which ones and some Orchids are not recommended for the "beginner." Well, I'm not a beginner myself, but that's one of those plants I can't grow (but, the next person grows them like weeds!).

Planto
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 9, 2014 9:04 AM CST
Fiat,

A few that come to mind that some folks grow as indoor house plants:

Hoya plants http://garden.org/plants/search/text.php?q=Hoya&button= There are some Hoyas with extremely fragrant blooms, usually detected in the evening and at night.

Basket Plant (Callisia fragrans) is grown as an indoor plant by some folks, the flowers are fragrant.

Queen of the Night (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) is a nocturnal bloomer with fragrant flowers that open at night and are spent the next morning.

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 9, 2014 11:21 AM CST
Planto: Thanks.

Lin: Those are lovely plants. But I wonder are they ever to survive my area - as hot & dry as desert? And the queen of the night grows to 20' tall? in the house? Any way I'll check them up. Thank you.

Tarev: I wonder if your Amaryllis give fragrance?
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
[Last edited by fiat - Sep 9, 2014 11:29 AM (+)]
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Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 9, 2014 11:58 AM CST
I had a star jasmine that was easy to grow indoors and the fragrance was awesome.

There are some orchids that are fragrant but need humid conditions. I have a hard time keeping them alive.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 9, 2014 12:13 PM CST
I think ATP member @tarev lives in a very hot, dry area of the country and she may be able to give you some suggestions. I think she grows a hoya or two and possibly orchid cactus as well. Many succulent like plants can withstand hot, dry conditions. Plants that like some humidity can be sprayed with a water hose (if outside) or with a water bottle when indoors; or they can be placed on trays with moist pebbles, which raises the humidity around the plants.

I have a Star Jasmine (Jasminum nitidum) planted in my yard and it maintains a height and width of about 3'. It could be grown in a container indoors and should bloom if given enough light.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Sep 9, 2014 4:13 PM CST
Yes, Fiat lives in a neighboring county close to ours here. Big Grin

Fiat, as to the amaryllis, there are some with a faint fragrance, it just depends which cultivar it is. But so far those that had bloomed in my area are just the colorful ones, and not fragrant.

I have grown some orchids that are mildly fragrant:
Oncidium Sharry Baby - smells like chocolate
Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/2a14b6

Zygopetalum- sweet floral scent
Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/a6e541

Maxillaria tenuifolia - smells like coconut
Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/a1f2de

Phalaenopsis - so far those that have bloomed are not fragrant, but they are really pretty. Best part these blooms can last for several months..from 2 to 4 months
Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/b19c83

Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/bdc6c3

Paphiopedilums - these ones grow in low light, so good for indoor growing. But I do find it takes awhile for them to bloom in my area..I am thinking it is my low humidity that affects it..but such a beauty when it manages to bloom. The ones with me has no fragrance again..but as I have said I like the beauty of the blooms:
Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/c24e97


The thing with orchids, to make them bloom nicely, you have to provide that growing culture it needs. You can grow them indoors, but really needs that good combination of bright light, humidity, water, fertilizer, air circulation. But that bright light is really essential. Not direct sun, but bright light. Except for Phals and Paphs, they prefer indirect light.

I find orchids in the Oncidium Alliance easiest to grow, sometimes I deliberately make them sit in water..it is just so thirsty here. And recently I have moved them to my growcamp this summer. Their flowering really goes best in part sun/part shade. But they can be grown indoors, near a window, with due diligence in watering, and patience in waiting for the plant to grow. I get blooms during late winter to early Spring. I would encourage you to read more about the culture of whatever orchid you may want to try, they take awhile to bloom, takes a lot of patience.

I have three Hoyas: Hoya shooting star, Hoya carnosa 'Krimson Queen' and Hoya kerrii variegata. H. carnosa KQ, I have not been successful yet to make it bloom. Geez, cannot remember if the other two have a slight fragrance, sorry..but they are just both pretty when in bloom, so it does not matter at all to me. Big Grin Hoya kerrii variegata managed to bloom only when I placed it in my shady patio, but indoors I only get its leaves. Hoya shooting star, this one is happy enough to bloom indoors just by the window, as long as you make it sit in water.

Hoya shooting star
Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/e69216 Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/e08513

Hoya kerrii variegata


As to epicacti or orchid cactus, though you can grow them indoors, it is best to have them outdoors in bright light, it can actually take a few hours of full sun as long as media is damp moist. But the blooms are just a one day or one night show. But truly pretty and showy when they manage to bloom. The ones I got have no fragrance, but their blooms are enough for me. I also find that I can leave them outdoors any season, even in winter.

Thumb of 2014-09-09/tarev/74ec11

Bottomline is these houseplants, need good bright light to encourage them to bloom. Fragrance will be the bonus. But I grow them more for their nice blooms. Smiling











Plantomaniac08
Sep 9, 2014 4:40 PM CST
Fiat,
You're welcome. Smiling

Planto
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 10, 2014 1:29 AM CST
Lin, Cinta, Tarev: Surprise! Surprise! From Lin's recommendations, I picked out 3 for consideration: Krimson Princess Hoya, Sweetheart Hoya, and Queen of the Night. Then they appeared in Tarev's list (I picked b4 Tarev's post). The most exciting one came like "Bingo" to me that bring my memory to near reality: 20 yrs ago when I was still living in Petaluma (north of S.F.), I used to go daily jogging in the evening around neighborhood street. From one house to another, I passed through everyone's front yard and browsed over their different plants. They were all pleasing to your eyes in each different way and style. However, only two caught my nose for their unforgettable fragrance. You would already know the first one must be "Rose". Some specific Rose has very subtle, yet romantic fragrance; it's a classical! The other one came from an unknown shrub, vine that just spread up from side of walking path and reached top of fence. It gave a very pleasing aroma which can lift one's spirit (IMO). After the finding, every time I would stop jogging b4 that house and slowing walking through the section to inhale as much possible. Unfortunately, never got chance meeting the host and inquiring the name of the plant. (I am just a new plant lover now. Never b4 ever try searching related info...) But I never forget the joy of appreciating those two plants' fragrance. And that's why I brought up this topic. OK, now I believe probably all of you now know which plant is this other one. Cinta and Lin have mentioned it (Cinta's word "awesome" is quite agreeable) and I have checked the pictures. It's Star Jasmine!

I still want to try Tarev's Amaryllis, fragrant or not. But I think I have found my indoor fragrance plant (caring and condition seem manageable and not as difficult as other fragrance plants like orchids) and I plan to grow it soon. Will appreciate all help/advice you can provide (especially Lin and Cinta for your experience).
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: United States of America Region: New Jersey Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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JB
Sep 10, 2014 8:07 AM CST
I could not help but pop in here and see what you all thought was your favorite. I personally adore jasmine. They do well in the house both Star(Confederate) and Maid of Orleans. They were out on the deck all summer and I just brought them in last week. I enjoy them year round in my home and in the greenhouse and they take very little care but lots of water. I keep them in the bird room and it adds to my enjoyment when I feed every morning and evening, plus the bird room is divided by a counter top wall with spider plants on it. I also have a camellia but it has very little fragrance. I do highly recommend the Jasmine.

I also have a plant that is called the African Gardenia I keep in my bedroom and it is a beautiful plant with a very soft lovely aroma on tiny pink flowers. I bought it at Logees years ago and it is now quite tall and I am about to cut it back. It blooms all year round in pink clusters. It takes little care but lots of water also.

Thumb of 2014-09-10/JB/befa9d

Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Sep 10, 2014 8:23 AM CST
If you encounter Callisia fragrans, I think it would not mind dry air, as a succulent, but as you can see, I'm in steamy AL. Basing this on the fact that nothing I've done to this plant bothers it, including coming inside for winter. AKA basket plant, I've had for several years and it blooms reliably during the first half of the year. The fragrance is strong enough to scent a small room, waft downwind in a gentle breeze outside.

People also grow Mirabilis jalapa (4'o'clocks) as permanently potted plants, especially within the exposed caudex/fat plant niche. Usually considered kind of gangly looking, this is one I keep around the yard purely for fragrance and nostalgia. Forms a huge moisture-storage tuber, after a year or two, reaching the size of a football, so can probably handle dry air. Something you'd want to confirm. Usually grown from seeds, readily found in spring seed racks (if they have those where you are.)

If there's hope of Osmanthus fragrans (fragrant olive) doing well in a pot where you are, you need this plant! Scent is strong enough to scent the entire shrub section at WM, and cause me to walk around sniffing like a hound dog to figure out where it was coming from. PIG but I would have to try a potted one if I ever happened to move back to a cooler climate where not hardy.

Is your climate the magical one where Freesia bulbs actually make their amazingly fragrant blooms? IDK...


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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 10, 2014 8:35 AM CST
I agree with Tiffany Callisia fragrans is the easiest plant I have ever grown. You cannot kill it if you set it on fire. I think that plant would walk out of the fire and tell you how hot it was in there.

My star jasmine died because I was caring for my mom and I lost a lot of plants during that time because I did not water them. But it was very easy in very low light for 3 yrs. as I said it had awesome fragrance.

Jacquie, thank you for the suggestion of that African one. I saw it last night doing a search and was considering it to replace my star jasmine.

Plantomaniac08
Sep 10, 2014 10:15 AM CST
Cinta,
Your description of a Callisia fragrans was hilarious. I can't stop laughing. Thank You!

Planto
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Sep 10, 2014 11:13 AM CST
Good luck on whichever choice you make Fiat! It would be nice to experiment on which ones will truly thrive. Sometimes it is a surprise that they will grow with our unique microclimates. Big Grin

Just bear in mind, your location and mine, we are more inland, always drier..Petaluma has more coastal influence, so there are some flowering plants that are just much happier there than in our side of Cali. The flowering season is almost ending too for most plants, so patience okay? Smiling
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Sep 10, 2014 12:12 PM CST
Me too, Planto! Cinta, making me laugh that hard definitely deserves an acorn, TYVM!!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 10, 2014 12:19 PM CST
purpleinopp said:Me too, Planto! Cinta, making me laugh that hard definitely deserves an acorn, TYVM!!


Aww thank you but you know it is true. You cannot kill that plant even if you try.
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Sep 10, 2014 2:13 PM CST
Cinta, you also gave me a good laugh, because I know it's true that you can't kill the thing. Every once in a while I go through this love - hate relationship with it. Hated/neglected it so bad last year, I left it in the garage over the winter with not a drop of water and next to no soil. Actually I was in the process of putting it in a group planter & sort of intentionally forgot it. Whistling I was shocked to find it when I was taking plants outside in the spring with only 1 leaf that dried up, otherwise it was fully intact. Well, I ended up giving it to a friend. When I decide I'd love to have one again, I know where to find one. Hilarious! I know I will, it's just nostalgic. It's one of the first plants I learned to grow as a child besides those mother of thousand/millions kalachoes.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Sep 10, 2014 4:06 PM CST
I like the plant because I like combo pots and it is a good ground cover and I like the fragrant flowers.

I found out you could not kill it because I had taken cuttings and was going to put them in a pot and I like you I forgot. A year later it was still there in the back of my laundry room floor where I had left it.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Sep 10, 2014 4:38 PM CST
I love indestructible plants Big Grin
Name: Fiat
Modesto -The Central Valley of (Zone 9b)
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fiat
Sep 10, 2014 5:47 PM CST
Wow, I am all overwhelmed! So much about fragrance plants! So many varieties to choose! You guys real gardeners are killing me, if not your own plants nodding nodding I think I'll stick with my hearty memory at this moment. I reckon the plant, jasmine is not sophisticated, or delicate for the beginner to grow with; it's just a simple, common plant giving you refreshing, meaningful scent of aroma. Simplicity is my philosophy about science. Guess it applies to MANY plants too (true many other plants are NOT so simple though). The wise creator gives every grower her/his choice through an unlimited criteria or qualification for their specific satisfaction. Yet I am not really a grower, I am just a lazy guy trying to enjoy the wonder of creation. Better start with a simple one. (don't get me wrong: I am still digesting all the info and recommendations you provide. The messages are wonderful, just a bit overwhelming to me now. But please keep coming. If I don't reply, must be doing homework ...)

Tarev: always appreciate your wisdom of gardening. I do remember since I started my houseplant project, every time I rush I get set back (almost the same as when I started my Ph.D. science research 30 yrs ago).

Thank you all.
If a plant looks good, smells good, don't eat it, grow it!
Fiat

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