A is for Aromatics

Written by David S.

Ever wonder what is the most potent of aromatic plants? A few are very high ranking, and one of those is the group of plants known as “corps plants.” They get the name from their very aromatic dead body smell. Clearly not what most of us want when we talk about aromatic plants. On the other hand, Night Blooming Jasmine has a powerful aromatic fragrance that may have medicinal benefits. Therefore, it is more aligned with the types of plants we mean when discussing aromatic plants.¬†

Aromatic Plants and Benefits 

Most aromatic plants have some medicinal benefits, and the use of aromatics is spread across most industries. Around your yard, aromatics can play a lovely role within the landscape. Here is a shortlist of some aromatic plants that you might enjoy.

  1. Mint Рthere are many varieties of mint, and they range in hardiness zones from zone 3 to 11. Mint is an invasive and aggressive plant meaning you should plant mint in a container to keep it under control. 
  2. Rosemary Рis a herbaceous and beautiful plant that is hearty from zone 7-10. A lovely pot of rosemary or small hedge is an excellent way to welcome people to your home. Gently run your hands through the leaves, and you take the essential oils with you. It is a homey, earthy aromatic that gently clears the fog from your brain. Rosemary is easy to grow. It does well in a pot or the ground. 
  3. Star Jasmine –¬†A relaxing and sweet aroma that is hardy from zones 8-10. Star Jasmine is well-known as an ingredient in beauty products, but as an aromatic plant, it is calming and can help improve sleep quality. It is lovely in the ground or a pot. Plant it near windows so evening breezes can help influence your sleep patterns.¬†
  4. Lavender – is a beautiful plant that is hardy from zone 7-9. The gentle aroma of lavender is calming. It is thought to help reduce anxiety and depression. It is one of the most popular essential oils for improving sleep quality. There are a variety of lavender plants available‚ÄĒeach with a slightly different aroma. You can plant lavender in clumps, beds, pots, or window boxes. You can choose one variety or mix them.¬†
  5. Evening Primrose Рis a beautiful plant that fits perfectly in the front of flower beds, decorative pots, and pathways. It is hardy in zones 4-8 but should do fine in zone 9 with some afternoon shade. Evening primrose is thought to help balance hormones and makes a lovely plant near windows. 
  6. Ylang Ylang Рis a cheery plant with lovely yellow flowers. It can be pretty tall and makes a lovely addition in larger flower beds and containers under a window. Ylang Ylang is hardy in zones 9-11, making it an ideal plant for all areas of Southern California. It is has a gentle and calming aroma that can help reduce anxiety. 

These six plants are all easy to grow and offer many benefits. In addition, there is an almost endless list of aromatic plants, making it straightforward for gardeners to find plants that resonate with them. 

Placement of Aromatic Plants is Essential 

The placement of aromatic plants is what ultimately increases their usefulness. Because aromatic plants can have medicinal qualities, it is essential to know what they offer. For example, you wouldn’t want to put a mood elevator next to a bedroom window as its aroma might also keep you up at night. Instead, you would want to plant aromatic plants that are calming near windows.¬†

Here is a small list of places to consider adding beneficial aromatic plants around your landscape., 

  1. Place aromatic plants around outdoor living areas РKitchens, dining areas, sitting areas, the pool, etc. If you have a particular area where you enjoy morning coffee, consider adding plants that boost moods or uplifting Рgeranium, lavender, roses. 
  2. Around bedroom windows Рare good spots for calming plants, such as lavender. The calming nature of some aromatic plants might improve your quality of sleep. 
  3. Entryways and porches make excellent places to add aromatic plants РHyacinth, wisteria, freesia, and honeysuckle are examples. 

The idea is to use aromatic plants to help build a mood or atmosphere. Many aromatic plants are herbs. Basil, thyme, and sage are examples. The list of aromatic plants is so long that you should have fun choosing the best ones for your yard. Don’t be afraid to mix them so that you build on their aromatic attributes.¬†

Special Tools for Aromatic Plants

There are no special tools for growing aromatic plants beyond good soil and water. Some helpful gadgets include:

  • Trellis for vining plants, especially near windows
  • Decorative planters for porches, patios, and entryways¬†
  • Drip irrigation kits to reduce the labor of hand watering
  • Quality soil such as Black Gold or FoxFarm if you are planting in containers
  • Specialized fertilizers – some plants require particular soil pH to thrive.¬†

For the most part, growing aromatic plants is not difficult. The only fundamental rule is choosing plants that will grow well in your local climate. You can sometimes stretch those boundaries by adding extra water or shade for plants one zone below your hardiness zone. 

Stacking the Benefits of Aromatic Plants 

Aromatic plants are a natural attractor for bees and hummingbirds. Some have unique flowers with bright colors too. As you design your landscape, consider the many benefits of aromatic plants. Beyond their aroma, aromatic plants have a lot to offer. 

Choosing Aromatic Plants for Your Yard

The best way to find aromatic plants you love is to experience them. So please stop by any of our five Southern California Green Thumb Nursery locations and wander around the gardens. Our plant experts are also available to help answer your questions, point out plants that might interest you, and discuss products that can help your growing projects succeed. 

It is helpful to make a small list of potential plants that interest you. It helps us know what you need, and our plant experts can show you any of those plants on your list that we have in the nursery. 

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