When it comes to choosing the best balcony plants, smell should be as important as visual appeal. Even if you have a tiny balcony, it’s possible to pack the space with all kinds of seasonal flowers to keep it smelling amazing all year round.
So, let’s look at 14 of the best plants that’ll make your balcony smell amazing.
Best Scented Balcony Plants
1. Lavender – Best for classic fragrance
Where better to start than with the classic lavender? It smells of, well, lavender and is a favorite with all kinds of pollinators. You only need one to get the right kind of aroma, but packing in more will intensify it.
2. Hyacinth – Best for that smell of spring
Hyacinth has a smell that’s difficult to describe. It’s kind of aquatic with a rich and powdery springtime fragrance. They’re perennial bulbs that’ll burst into life in spring. You’ll want 4 or 5, although they’re intense enough for 1 to do the job. Luckily, you can pack 4 or more into a 16” pot.
3. Honeysuckle – Best for summertime intensity
Honeysuckle is a great option for balcony fragrance. It’s a climber, meaning you won’t lose much floor space, and you could grow it along your balcony railing. You’ll only need 1, as a mature plant can be massive. It’s a firm favorite of pollinators. Be careful where you plant it, though, as its suckers can damage walls.
4. Chocolate cosmos – Best for making your balcony smell like a dessert
Shockingly, chocolate cosmos flowers smell of dark chocolate. A mature plant can be fairly large and will flower for months, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the rich and sharp fragrance. They max out around 25 inches in height and width, so you’ll only need 1 or 2.
5. Jasmine – Best for evening scent
Much like honeysuckle, you’ll only need 1 jasmine on your balcony. The aroma is most intense in the evening, making it a great option for warm summer nights spent on the balcony. Don’t grow both jasmine and honeysuckle, as they’ll compete for space and your sense of smell.
6. Lilac – Best for that typical flower smell
Lilac has one of the most stereotypical floral smells, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. It’s popular in beauty and scented products for a reason. A lilac bush can grow up to 12ft. in height, but it’s easy to keep it manageable in a pot. Due to its size, you’ll only need 1 on a balcony.
7. Rosemary – Best for year-round fragrance
The beauty of rosemary is that its fragrance doesn’t come from flowers. You can grow it in a railing planter, and it’s basically indestructible. Plus, you can obviously use it in your cooking, which is a big help.
8. Dianthus – Best for a warming scent
Dianthus flowers smell like spices and cloves, which will be a love or hate thing. They’re manageable little bushy plants that flower in summer and thrive in containers. Consider setting up 3 or 4 on your balcony for best results. Some have edible flowers, but make sure you check carefully before throwing them in your salad.
9. Rose – Best for a garden project
Roses have a reputation for being picky plants, but this isn’t true. However, with some care and attention, you can have some amazing specimens. Roses have been bred to smell like all different things, from lemons and raspberries to, well, roses. If you opt for bush roses, have at least 2. But for a climbing rose, 1 will be fine. Either way, check the label to ensure it’s scented.
10. Sweet peas – Best for a quick hit of scent
Sweet peas are so easy to grow and look amazing in the summer. They’re climbers and can reach heights of more than 3ft. The flowers smell amazing and will continue smelling even after you cut them and bring them indoors. You’ll find hundreds of colors too, and you can grow several in the same pot. Plant at least 2 for best results.
11. Flowering tobacco – Best for a jasmine smell that isn’t from jasmine
If you love the smell of jasmine but can’t have a creeping plant on your balcony, a flowering tobacco bush is a good alternative. It can grow up to 6ft. in height, but you can control this by keeping it in a pot. You’ll get the scent best at night, making it another good summer choice. Due to its size, 1 will be fine on a balcony.
12. Petunia – Best for baskets
Petunias have a great smell that’s earthy but floral. However, to get the most from it, you’ll want specific varieties. Look for one called Tumbelina Priscilla, which is a trailing variety. It works well in hanging baskets and its flowers smell for months.
13. Daphne – Best for fragrance from small pots
Daphne flowers are sweet, spicy, and very strong. It’s not overpowering, although you’ll probably only want 1 or 2 on a balcony. They work well in small pots, and you can find varieties that flower in winter or for months throughout the summer.
14. Heliotrope – Best for making your balcony smell like cherry pie
Heliotropes are considered old-fashioned flowers. But if you’re willing to buck the trend, you’ll be rewarded with a plant that smells of cherry pie and vanilla. They’re great in borders or railing planters, and you can easily fit loads of them in small spaces. Try to plant 4 or 5 for best results.
Final Thoughts on Scented Plants
This list of scented plants is by no means exhaustive. We’ve focused on things that work well in pots and on balconies to provide intense aroma without much work.
While nothing is stopping you from mixing and matching plants, it might be best to work out a seasonal plan instead. That way, you can enjoy each plant as it flowers without it interfering with others. But if you’d rather have an intense mix of scents, then go ahead!