both nicotiana and mirabilis jalapa "four o-clocks" are shade tolerant
flowers. However, in many climates both are annual plants. However, they
require little care after planting. (Depending on climate, you can also
plant them by seed, saving some money)
I see that flowerscentedgardens.com includes as "scented" items that may
very briefly have a very slight scent apt to be missed by everyone, or may
have a slight scent if you stick your nose in the flowers & concentrate so
hard that the scent might at least be conjured up by wishful thinking, or
may have no scent at all unless the leaves or blooms are crushed. So one
is still stuck doing a bit of research for a list of flowers that actually
scent the GARDEN in the manner of jasmine, oriental hyacinth, heliotrope,
carnations, specific varieties of deciduous azaleas, or roses.
Partial to full shade definitely increases the difficulty of finding
anything GENUINELY scented for a sincerely . flowerscentgardens offers
such as Corydalis flexuosa which can barely be kept alive except in the
Pacific Northwest where its easy, & requires you to get down on your knees
real close to detect the faint scent. Nicotinia aka Evening Stocks would
be more credible, but even that would want only a little shade, not nearly
full shade. There are some very sweetly scented lilies that can do okay in
a bit of shade, but not honestly well-flowering in deep shade.
Hosta plantagninea has a boring spike of flowers that if you planted
enough of them in deep shade would scent up the joint for a short time; I
don't think any other genus of hosta is seriously scented; there are
several cultivars of H. plantagninea but if growers were honest they're
all pretty much the same, certainly the same in terms of the boring stalk
For our zone (8, Puget Sound) one of the most fragrant plants for shade
(even dryish shade) is sarcococca. It blooms winter, has a vanilla scent.
There are tall bushing species, & short spreading species, they all have
pretty much the same broadleaf evergreen leaves & small dangling winter
flowers. A single small plant can't make much of an impression, but
several small ones or a couple big ones can strongly scent up the shade
area for a few winter weeks leading into spring. They are slow growers so
invest in the largest available in order t ohave the maximum number of
blooms, since it takes a lot of those little flowers to add up to a
noticeable amount of perfume.
If a vine can CLIMB into sunlight then there are a few sun-loving choices
that will bloom well at the top once they're mature enough to reach out of
the shade. One true shade-vine with scented flowers is Akebia, sometimes
called chocolate-vine though to me the sweet scent isn't like chocolate.
Akebia can smell just wonderful in partial to full shade, but it has a
tendency to stop being perfumy very quickly so it's a most transient
experience, & if the area isn't enclosed the scent does not accumulate
enough to be noticed. So our akebia in the shade corridor between house &
garage is each year briefly very wonderful smelling, but we khave another
pair of them growing in a more open location & they never seem to be
scented because breezes carry any scent away very rapidly.
-paghat the ratgirl
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
You would think wrong. I've got several extremely sweet scented
hostas out there, Honeybells is the one that comes to mind, but there
are others. Nor are the blooms all boring, some are quite intricately
patterned. I've got over 40 varieties out there and not one of them
in boring. They're also not in deep shade, that's another
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
I'm having great luck with hardy geranium in Chicago. They're low (5-8"
by my eyeball) they creep and fill the air with a sweet perfumy smell.
Things are just poking through the ground as of a few weeks ago here
and as I was raking out my beds I got a snoutful of pretty strong
fragrance from them. .02
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