Bad Smelling Plants to Avoid

RagweedThe phrase bad smelling plants can seem like a bit of an oxymoron. However, they do exist and when you’re thinking about landscaping, especially with spring coming soon, you may want to think about what will appeal to you both visually and when it comes to your more delicate senses, such as your sense of smell. Fortunately, we have pulled together a list of some of the worst offenders that we tend to come across in this area, and you can decide whether the plant is right for you.

  1. Crown Imperial:  These orange blossoms make a strong statement in any garden, but they also are known for having a slightly skunk-like scent. While they are sturdy plants for those of us in mid-Atlantic and Northern climates, you have to decide whether their beauty outweighs their scent. One selling point is that they often ward off garden pests with their scent – so it can be a win-win!
  2.  Yellow Alyssum: These yellow perennials are known for blooming in late spring and sprucing up stone walls or making for wonderful ground cover, but unlike their white counterparts, also have a notorious scent that is far less pleasant.
  3. Candytuft: These white blossoms tend to bloom in mid-spring to late-spring. Like the yellow alyssum, they make for wonderful ground cover – and like the yellow alyssum, they’re not the best smelling plant out there. While their scent might be a little less noticeable, if you stick your face into it, you might discover they’re not as much to your liking.
  4. Bradford Pear Trees: these trees are not only unappealing to your olfactory senses, but they also are brittle, making them prone to snapping. For areas where the slightest breeze may blow, the Bradford pear tree may not be the best option for your landscaping.
  5. Hawthorn Trees: While these trees are full of berries and can make a lovely addition to your garden, they also have the unfortunate experience of being unpleasant to smell and poisonous dogs.
  6. Mountain Ash Tree: The mountain ash tree is pretty low maintenance, can withstand all four seasons, and is known for its beautiful fall foliage as well as its berries. What it’s not as well known for? Its pungent smell.
  7. Trillium: This bad smelling plant fares best in woodland gardens, as it is found in the wild more often than a nursery. The trillium plant is a lover of shade, which means its scent might be far less offensive than those that crave the sun and are closer to your home.
  8. Butterfly bush: Named for their ability to attract butterflies, the butterfly bush has the poor misfortune of being both a bad smelling plant and an invasive species.

All of these plants can be found in the Mid-Atlantic region and can be considered in your landscaping plans. If you’d like to learn more about bad smelling plants, as well as some of the more favorable options, give us a call today at 410-442-2445.

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