suggestions for long-blooming fragrant container plants

jannabeen(z5 US/z6 Canada)March 25, 2010

So I want it all!: beautiful, fragrant, long-blooming plants for my containers.

What I've tried in previous years:

- tuberose and spider lily Sulphur Queen: both too short of bloom time

- nicotiana: only scented at night and not very nice-looking

- sweet pea: looked scraggly right away, scent was too weak

- datura: didn't make enough progress in one season and I don't have space to overwinter indoors

- scented geraniums: the delicious odor only comes from crushing their leaves.

Has anyone grown scented begonias (I have containers for both shade and sun)? What's your experience?

Thanks, Jannabeen

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Well they are strongly scented but not very pretty- evening stock for evenings. Regular stocks are pretty fragrant, but they are bienniel if you are growing from seed and they do peter out. You can still find scented petunias if you like their scent. Heliotrope can also get quite strong if you get the right variety and will go all summer if you deadhead. Four 0'clocks but they again are more evening. I do plant sweetpeas but you have to find the right variety, the scent covers the yard for me, they need alot of fertilzer and water to do well. I put evening stocks and heliotrope in all my pots for scent, the scent can get overwhelming in the evenings some times. Hope this helps

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 6:27PM
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lavenders can be containered but they are perennials.

consider succession blooming plants so as soon as one dies out - another is just starting to bloom.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 10:45PM
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I concur with Squirelette-- find some old-fashioned petunias that haven't had the scent bred out of them. You could also try Cheirianthus (Wallflower)-- they will keep blooming if deadheaded. You could try some annual dianthus as well. Annual alyssum has a lovely scent and will bloom all summer.

For guaranteed continual bloom you'll need to have a nursery bed and grow a variety of plants that can be added to your container as they begin to bloom.

Flowers with pretty fragrance but a short time of bloom can be succession planted-- started from seed at two-week intervals, as Ianna says.

For the trouble of growing plants that meet your criteria it would be easier to buy. Visit your local garden center every few weeks and choose scented flowers that are about to bloom and just replace the ones that have finished.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 9:24AM
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ontnative(5b Can/USDA 4)

Another annual/tender perennial that often has a strong "fruity" smell is snapdragon. I find that many petunias have a lovely fragrance, as Bev has said. I don't think that it is only the older varieties, either. I love the smell of Siberian Wallflowers, another one that Bev mentioned. Hyacinths and fragrant narcissus could be planted temporarily (pot and all) in large planters for early fragrance. Some of the shorter Oriental lilies could be planted in a container, with other bushier plants, to perfume the air in late summer.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 11:40AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I've grown quite a few scented begonias over the years. To date the only ones I can recommend are the varieties 'Sweet Lady' and 'Sweet Dreams' these two, both pink hanging basket types give off a delicious fragrance, all day, even into the evening. Most the other ones I have grown only give off a noticeable fragrance if the day is quite warm.

I have to say I haven't given the fragrant begonias Garden Import is selling a fair chance yet, this year will tell the story on these ones.

I did grow both 'Red Spice and 'Pink Spice' from Antonelli some years ago, they fell into the if the day was warm category. I also grew 'Yellow Sweetie' a Blackmore & Langdon, small flower but not bad in the scent department.

I bought red scented begonias from Costco a few weeks ago, can't give an opinion on this one yet.

So if you can find either 'Sweet Lady' or 'Sweet Dreams' in packages at your local garden centers, this is the way to go if you want fragrance. Botanus has them listed in their spring catalogue if anyone is interested.

HTH Annette

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 1:04PM
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Do you group your containers together or place them separately? If you are grouping them why not put in some colourful foliage? Limelight 4 o'clocks has great foliage all season plus it gets the flowers later. I like convolvulus and Bolero marigolds for instant colour in my planters. Coleus comes in great colors to. Like a lot of other gardeners, I mix colorful foliage with long flowering annuals, especially the scented ones. Some foliage plants are fragrant to!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 1:26PM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

I grow scented Petunia for fragrant container garden for years and did not find anything better so far.They are one of the longest bloomers and strongly aromatic plants.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 3:00PM
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jannabeen(z5 US/z6 Canada)

Thanks for so many suggestions! I honestly did not know that there are scented petunias: I will definitely give them a try. I forgot all about marigolds, and I like their fragrance whereas the racoons do not. I also ordered Sweet Lady begonias and some fragrant patio lilies from Botanus.

Cheers, Jannabeen

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 6:39PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

How about acidanthera (fragrant glad)? Its scent is amazing!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 3:47PM
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green_thumb_guy(Z5 Ont)

Any lilies are going to have a relatively short bloom time.

What about putting some herbs in amongst your flowers - rub the and smell; fragrance all the time.

Daturas need to be grown in large planters and they will progress lots in one season - Daturas are mainly seasonal. They do not over winter as well as brugs - but it can be done.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 8:57AM
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