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5 Fragrant Flowers That Pollinators Love

Get more from your fragrant favorites, and create a romantic container garden on a patio or terrace with any one of these five super sweet perennials. They also attract pollinators, like bumblebees and butterflies. Essential oils in the petals of most plants produce fragrances, but it’s not just to appease your nose. When flowers give off their unique smells, it’s an alert to pollinators that they are ready for pollination. Plant these pleasant-smelling beauties near a window or the front door, so you can enjoy them more often.

1. Phlox Paniculata.

Found naturally in forests, in open fields and clinging to cliff walls, this hardy perennial with a heady fragrance offers many disease-resistant varieties to choose from. Bloom colors run the gamut from red, pink and rose to lavender, deep purple, white and even bicolor. Phlox is a showstopper in a summer garden, and it blooms for six weeks or more. Plus, it’s known to attract hummingbirds.

2. Lilum Orientalis

Sound the horn for these trumpet-shaped blooms that smell as exotic as they look. For easy color in the garden, lilies are No. 1. The trouble is in deciding which gorgeous variety to grow. Just be sure to provide a little extra staking for when summer storms blow in. There’s no need to visit a florist with bouquet-ready beauties growing in your backyard. Remove faded flowers to direct energy into the bulbs for next year’s floral display.

3. Clematis Terniflora

This vigorous perennial vine features fluffy clouds of fragrant, creamy white flowers that spill romantically over fences, arbors or pergolas—even in partial shade. Keep its aggressive nature in check by pruning in spring before growth begins. As other flowers fade in late summer, sweet autumn clematis starts its show and goes through fall.

4. Paeonia Lactiflora

Its large, showy cup-shaped flowers can’t be beat, but the easy-to-grow peony also has sturdy stems that won’t need staking and tons of fragrance. For ultimate aromatherapy, choose a cultivar prized for its scent, such as Festiva Maxima, Sarah Bernhardt, or Eden’s Perfume. Peonies are reliable performers that offer big impact without a lot of work. Their show is brief, but it’s nothing short of spectacular.

5. Salvia Nemorosa

Sage is drought-tolerant and easy to grow. It makes a stunning cut flower and attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Plus, the foliage is wonderfully fragrant. If you’re short on space, try a small cultivar like Blue Hill. Less watering means less work and more time to enjoy summer on the patio.