Plants and shrubs provide visual interest for people and food for bees, butterflies and birds. One of the most overlooked benefits when choosing plantings is ignoring the fragrance factor. There are dozens of aromatic plants that can be cultivated in the South Florida climate.

The sandy soil that’s prevalent in South Florida isn’t conducive to many plants. That doesn’t mean people have to deprive themselves of the joy of fragrant plants and bushes, providing that they’re given a nutrient-rich soil, ample moisture, and some accommodation is made for their needs. The following are just a few sweet-smelling options.

Butterfly Bush

This is a fast-growing plant with spires of red, white, pink, purple or yellow blossoms. While not as overtly fragrant as others, the sweet smell is a magnet for pollinators that includes butterflies and bees. Judicious trimming will keep it to a moderate 5 to 6 ft. tall. It’s best planted in containers to minimize insects and maximize appearance.


The flowers are available in white, pink, red and even blue, and can attain widths of up to 4 inches across. The bush can grow 2 to 3 feet high and is one of the earliest to bloom.

Cherry Sage

A low-growing shrub reaching up to 2 ft., the flowers range from pink and red to salmon and white, with a bloom time of spring to fall. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it.


The waxy white flowers of the gardenia bush are perhaps best known for their use in high-end perfumes. Gardenias are best utilized in smaller garden spaces and in large containers.


Jasmine is available in multiple varieties, but night-blooming jasmine does exactly what the name indicates. It blooms at night and distributes its scent liberally throughout the environment. It can grow up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet across. The shrub’s night-blooming habit makes it popular around pools and decks.


While roses can be difficult to grow in South Florida, it’s not impossible to accomplish. There are several varieties that are heat and humidity tolerant and they’re always a favorite of bees and butterflies. Depending on the variety, roses can range from 3 to 8 feet in height. Smaller varieties can be grown in large containers and some feature blooms of up to 5 inches across.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

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