For over a year now, many people have spent more time indoors than usual. The bonus? More time to admire your indoor plants? The downside? Well, truthfully, there are a lot. But plant-wise, it’s probably realizing that most of your pretty plants don’t do much to refresh the stale air in your home. So add these indoor plants that produce soothing aromas to your space to freshen up your living quarters.
Set Realistic Expectations
A lot of people have unrealistic expectations about what their houseplants can do. No, adorning your home with plants won’t remove every single airborne toxin. And while these indoor plants that produce soothing aromas can help deliver a dollop of fragrance, they won’t envelop your home in a floral perfume. Tamper your expectations. Because these plants won’t replace your trusty air freshener, placement is key. Save these plants for walk-by areas so you can enjoy a pleasant whiff as you pass by.
Most herbs are easy to grow indoors and have a strong scent. The type of herb you choose obviously depends on your scent preferences. Keep in mind that herbs require a bit more maintenance than many popular houseplants. You’ll have to water them more often and harvest the leaves to prevent flowering.
Keep herbs near the kitchen, so they’re easy to grab when you’re cooking or plating.
You can grow eucalyptus indoors, but dried eucalyptus branches are even easier to deal with. You can style them in a large vase or hang them in the bathroom. Then, when you take a shower, the humid space will fill with a burst of freshness.
Not all scented geraniums are made equal. Some give off more pungent smells that are better for outdoor growing and keeping away mosquitoes. But there are also plenty of geraniums that give off pleasant aromas like lemon and chocolate.
These plants need lots of light and some pruning to keep their shape. They also like consistent moisture levels.
A little trickier to care for than most houseplants, citrus plants like lemon, lime, and grapefruit, produce fragrant blossoms with a heavenly scent. You’ll need to give these plants plenty of light and adequate humidity levels. Keeping them away from drafty parts of your house is also key to preventing stress-related problems.
I’ve currently got a little hoya plant on my office bookshelf, but it’s not even close to big enough to produce flowers. When it eventually blooms, though, the blossoms will give off a subtle, sweet scent. To bloom, hoya needs a lot of light, so keep it in a bright area. Water only once the soil has dried up between waterings.
A Word of Caution
Many scented plants are bad news for pets, and some can even be harmful to humans. So if you have cats, dogs, or other domesticated animals wandering about, be sure to check whether a plant is toxic before putting it within reach of curious noses and mouths. Want to find out if a plant is poisonous? Check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
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Steph Coelho is a freelance writer gardening in zone 5b. She is a certified Square Foot Gardener and has taught various garden-related workshops. When she’s not digging in the dirt or writing, she’s cooking up fresh produce, running, or listening to her favorite podcasts.