Fragrant Shade Loving Plants

Updated November 21, 2016

Shaded yards can enjoy fragrant plants if you choose from the variety of herbs, groundcovers and vines that prefer the relative coolness of the shade. Whether you are starting from scratch with planning your yard, or have inherited someone else's idea of a garden through a move, it can be helpful to know what plants can be placed in shady spots without sacrificing fragrance.

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is a perennial that prefers the deep shade under trees and shrubs. It is a hardy groundcover with broad green leaves and white bell-shaped flowers. They bloom from spring to fall. Purchase Lily of the Valley sprouts at garden centres and plant in the spring. Provide lots of room for growth; the plant quickly spreads to fill an area. Contain the plant with fencing or edging to control the spread.


Star Jasmine is a perennial vine that loves the shade. It can grow up to 20 feet along shaded fences or a porch. The evergreen foliage can also act as a fragrant groundcover. The small white blooms resemble stars most heavily from May to June and then intermittently throughout the summer.


Corsican mint plants work well in shady areas. These hardy perennials spread quickly and provide fragrance throughout the growing season. Choose a place in your yard that can handle the rapid growth. It is also possible to plant in a shaded yard that cannot grow grass; mint can be mowed without damaging the plant.

Sweet Box

Sweet Box is a sweet-smelling evergreen plant that continues to produce fragrant flowers throughout the winter. It also features dark foliage and small black berries. They thrive in full shade as a groundcover.


Bugbane, also known as Black Cohosh or Autumn Snakeroot, is a fragrant perennial. The pleasant scent has the added benefit of repelling harmful insects from the garden. The normally white flowers are shaped like a bottlebrush.

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