Fragrant indoor plants

What fragrant blooming indoor plants do you adore?

I’m looking for gorgeously fragrant flowers on indoor plants, to perfume my home during winter. (I have strong fragrance allergies to most chemical fragrances, but natural ones are fine for me.) I’d like several different plants for bloom rotation.

I have a passionfruit vine taking over a loft railing, and the flowers are thrilling - but no scent.

I planned to put a honeysuckle vine up there (I love honeysuckle but won’t grow it outdoors because it’s so invasive where I live), but apparently they don’t grow well indoors.

I went to a botanical garden yesterday and was intoxicated by the smell filling the cactus / dry greenhouse, and finally hunted down the scent to a gnarled woody bush with tiny white flowers: osmanthus fragrans, or fragrant tea olive, sweet osmanthus, sweet olive, tea olive, fragrant olive. There’s an osmanthus plant heading my way now.

I thought jasmine might be nice?


My favorite fragrant flower is the gardenia, but I have no experience growing them indoors. But just thought I’d add that to the list of potential options.

Edit: I googled it, and it’s not an easy one apparently:

But this plant is not a good choice for anyone who’s looking for easy-care, low-light indoor greenery, or a houseplant that thrives on neglect.

Even experienced indoor gardeners find its need for constant humidity, frequent watering, and very specific light conditions challenging to cope with, not to mention its susceptibility to numerous insect pests like aphids, mites, and scale.

In other words, it’s not for everyone. But if you’re up for the challenge of meeting its needs indoors, you’ll be rewarded with uncommon beauty and fragrance.

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I grow Jasmine sambac indoors in a bright window during winter. Blooms on and off continuously.


Thank you. Not for me, I’m not that good with fiddly plants.

We had a hoya that was lovely. Wake up in the morning, wander out into that fragrance in the living room.


We always get comments from guests about our meyer lemon plant when we bring it in for the winter. The flowers smell wonderful and looks great with the big yellow fruits.


i concur. i have 4 citrus in south facing windows. they smell fantastic in bloom. i have mineola, calamondin, kumquat and satsuma mandarin.


I have a valentine pomelo flowering.


Thanks I don’t know hoya. Which variety do you have?

Hoya Varieties

  • H. Archboldiana: Cup-shaped creamy flowers with a maroon corona
  • H. Compacta ‘Indian Rope’: Pale pink flowers and curly leaves; pretty even when the plant isn’t blooming
  • H. Cumingiata: Yellow flowers with red corona; fragrant
  • H. Kerrii Variegata ‘Sweetheart Plant’: Heart-shaped foliage with white margins; yellow and orange flowers
  • H. Onychoides: Purple flowers with an exaggerated star shape

I don’t know which variety; the plant’s been gone for a few years. Just off the top of my head I’d guess something like Archboldiana. Pretty and smelled good too.

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Arabian jasmine has a wonderful scent, and is not overpowering like false star jasmine. It tolerates 3/4 shade outdoors here in southern California so you might have a shot at it indoors.


Agree with the others saying citrus - blooming indoor citrus is so lovely and fragrant especially when it’s cold and dreary outside. Meyer lemons and bearrs limes have been pretty easy care for me.


Thanks for the heads up on the difference between them.

I’ve got a magnolia figo (banana shrub, michelina figo) at work. It seems to take forever for the buds to open, but when they do its noticeable.

Smells like juicy fruit gum.



I got an osmanthus (fragrant tea olive) and after it recovered from the winter shipping enough to put out new leaves, it started flowering. The tiny white flowers smell so good - sweet like candy, but with a very subtle and gorgeous perfume. Sadly they don’t fill our house with the scent like the ones at the botanical garden did.

Still waiting for my jasmine to bloom but it’s doing great.


Chinese perfume plant, likes low light; aglaia odorata. Orange jessamine and night blooming jasmine like more light. Almost Eden nursery in Louisiana has great fragrant plants.

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Hoya. Absolutely delightful.


Logees nursery has hoya odorata and Chinese violet- telosma cordata.

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