Most Fragrant Hydrangea Varieties to Add to Your Garden

Hydrangeas are popular flowering shrubs known for their big, showy blooms. While many hydrangea varieties offer stunning visual appeal, not all hydrangeas are created equal in fragrance. Therefore, gardeners who want to add sweet-smelling plants to their landscape should consider planting the most fragrant hydrangea varieties.

The most fragrant hydrangea is the Hydrangea macrophylla. This deciduous shrub produces big, cluster-like flowers in various colors, including pink, blue, purple, and white. It blooms from late spring to early summer and can grow up to 3-4 feet tall. The Hydrangea macrophylla prefers full sun to part shade, making it a great addition to gardens and landscapes in various climates.

What Makes a Hydrangea Fragrant

Hydrangeas are known for their beautiful blooms, but not all hydrangeas are fragrant. The fragrance of a hydrangea depends on the type of hydrangea and the individual plant. Some hydrangeas have a strong fragrance, while others have a mild or no fragrance.

The fragrance of a hydrangea comes from the volatile oils released by the flowers. These oils are produced by the flowers’ nectar glands and released into the air to attract pollinators. Various factors, including the time of day, temperature, and humidity can influence the fragrance of a hydrangea.

Hydrangeas known for their fragrance include the Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea macrophylla, and Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris. These hydrangeas have a sweet, floral scent that can fill a garden with their fragrance.

It is important to note that not all hydrangeas are fragrant, and the fragrance of a hydrangea can vary depending on the individual plant. Therefore, when choosing a hydrangea for its fragrance, it is important to research and choose a variety known for its fragrance.

7 Hydrangeas with Exquisite Fragrance

Hydrangeas are not only known for their stunning blooms but also for their delightful fragrances. If you want to add a touch of aroma to your garden, consider these seven varieties of hydrangeas known for their exceptional scents.

1. ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ Hydrangea

With its captivating fragrance reminiscent of sweet vanilla, the ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ hydrangea is popular among garden enthusiasts. Its large cone-shaped blooms start creamy white, gradually turning pink and deepening into a rich strawberry hue as they age. This hydrangea variety is a feast for the eyes and the nose.

2. ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangea

The ‘Annabelle’ hydrangea is renowned for its fresh and clean scent. Its abundant clusters of creamy white flowers emit a gentle fragrance that adds a pleasant atmosphere to any garden or outdoor space. This classic hydrangea variety is beloved for its timeless beauty and delightful aroma.

3. ‘Pinky Winky’ Hydrangea

The’ Pinky Winky’ variety is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a hydrangea with a unique and alluring scent. Its cone-shaped flowers start white and gradually transform into shades of pink, creating a striking visual display. Along with its eye-catching appearance, the ‘Pinky Winky’ hydrangea releases a sweet, spicy fragrance that captivates your senses.

4. ‘Limelight’ Hydrangea

The ‘Limelight’ hydrangea is celebrated for its refreshing and citrusy scent. Its large lime-green blooms transform into lovely shades of pink as they mature, providing a multi-colored spectacle in your garden. With its refreshing fragrance, the ‘Limelight’ hydrangea is a must-have for those seeking a zesty aroma in their outdoor oasis.

5. ‘Tardiva’ Hydrangea

The ‘Tardiva’ hydrangea offers a delicate and enchanting fragrance that will enhance the ambiance of your garden. This variety boasts elongated clusters of white flowers that gradually transition to pink as they age. Its sweet and subtle scent will transport you to a tranquil environment.

6. ‘Scent and Sensibility’ Hydrangea

True to its name, the ‘Scent and Sensibility’ hydrangea exudes a captivating and fragrant aroma. Its beautiful lacecap blooms feature a mix of blue and pink hues, adding a touch of elegance to your garden. With its intoxicating fragrance, this hydrangea variety will awaken your senses.

7. ‘Incrediball’ Hydrangea

The ‘Incrediball’ hydrangea lives up to its name with its stunningly large white blooms and delightful fragrance. This variety is a robust and vigorous hydrangea that thrives in various climates. Its magnificent flowers emit a gentle scent filling your garden with a soothing aroma.

Hydrangea VarietyFragrance Description
‘Vanilla Strawberry’Sweet aroma resembling the scent of vanilla
‘Annabelle’Fresh and clean fragrance
‘Pinky Winky’Sweet and spicy scent
‘Limelight’Refreshing and citrusy aroma
‘Tardiva’Delicate and enchanting fragrance
‘Scent and Sensibility’Captivating and fragrant scent
‘Incrediball’Gentle and soothing aroma

With these seven fragrant hydrangea varieties, you can create a garden filled with delightful scents that enchant you and your visitors. Choose your favorite scents and colors to enhance the beauty and atmosphere of your outdoor space.

How to Care for Your Fragrant Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are beautiful and fragrant flowers that require proper care to thrive. Here are some tips to keep your fragrant hydrangeas healthy:

●  Planting: Choose a spot with well-draining soil and partial shade. After the danger of frost has passed, plant your hydrangea in spring. Dig a hole that is at least 2-3 times as wide as the root ball. Use plenty of rich soil to plant the roots after gently loosening them.

●  Watering: Soak the hydrangea at its base every day for the first week so it can get established. After that, water deeply once a week or more often if the soil is dry. Avoid getting the leaves wet, as this can lead to disease.

●  Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring and again in mid-summer. Follow the instructions on the package and avoid over-fertilizing, which can lead to weak growth and fewer flowers.

●  Pruning: Prune your hydrangeas late winter or early spring before new growth emerges. Cut back any dead or damaged wood and last year’s growth to a pair of healthy buds. This will encourage bushier growth and more flowers.

●  Mulching: Add mulch underneath your hydrangeas to help keep the soil moist and cool. An organic mulch breaks down over time, adding nutrients and improving soil texture.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the beauty and fragrance of your hydrangeas for years to come.


Hydrangeas are known for their beautiful blooms, but not all hydrangeas are equally fragrant, while some have a sweet, floral, or fruity scent, others have no.

Among the most fragrant hydrangeas are the golden crane hydrangea and the Hydrangea paniculata. These hydrangeas give off strong scents that can fill a garden with their sweet fragrance.