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Scented Plants

Course CodeBHT229
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


  • Learn how to Grow and Use Scented Plant
  •  A correspondence course for the enthusiast or commercial grower.

Learn to identify, grow (propagation and culture), and use different types of scented plants. You will find out how to harvest and dry scented plants, and through practical assignments actually make a whole range of exciting herb crafts (e.g. pot pourri, soaps, candles). Learn also how to landscape a scented garden and expand your knowledge of dozens of different scented plant species. 

Know the plant naming system and the uses of scented plants
There are many ways you might classify scented plants.

  • By plant part -scented flower, scented foliage, scented fruit, scented root, etc.
  • By plant group -scented bulbs, scented climbers, scented trees, scented shrubs, etc.
  • By type of scent -strong scent, subtle scent, sweet scent, foul scent, etc.
  • By use -edible herbs, plants for landscape use, for use in perfumes & cosmetics, etc.
  • By plant family -plants which have similar botanical characteristics.

Many scented plants tend to fall into one of the following plant families. By becoming familiar with these families, you will develop a foundation for understanding and identifying scented plants.

Understand the cultural requirements of a range of scented plants
Learn how prevention is always the best cure. Try to keep the environment friendly to the helpful insects, a healthy soil structure with added compost, and maintain suitable environmental conditions for the plant. If you don’t have the right plant in the right place, they tend to struggle more. Follow these simple steps when selecting a site for a plant:
Heat, cold, wind, rain, frost, shade, pollution and other environmental problems can have disastrous effects on plants.
All plants need water to grow, and to survive. Learn about composting, planting, pruning and methods of propagation

Know how to make a range of products and uses for scented plants.
Methods of drying herbs, making potpourri, cosmetic products
lavender crafts and rose crafts

Understand harvest and post harvest techniques
If you are to reap the benefits of quality produce, crops must be handled properly during harvest and post harvest.
Look at the the various methods for harvesting herbs


Know a range of the most commonly grown scented plants
Many scented plants are also commonly known as herbs however there are many that are not herbs but still have a wonderful scent and should be considered for inclusion in a scented garden
Know a range of the less commonly grown scented plants
including fragrant Australian natives


Understand commercial applications of scented plants.
Many species of scented plants are grown commercially for their: Cut flowers, Oils, Foliage, Roots,Tubers
Some producers set up to specifically supply commercial growers (i.e. producers of oil or bulk flowers) with tube-stock or grow scented plants for specialist retail nurseries.
operation options, farming options
market research
creating a scented garden


Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • How Scented plants are used
    • Types of scented plants
    • Plant Naming System and pronouncing plant names
    • Scented Plant Families
    • Resources and Networking
    • Plant reviews
  2. Culture
    • Soils
    • Soil Composition, soil types, improving soils
    • Soil Mixes, porring media and component
    • Plant Nutrients and fertilisers
    • Plant Health -identifying and controlling problems
    • Weeds and weed control
    • Watering plants
    • Planting, staking, mulching, pruning, protection from wind, salt air, etc.
    • Plant reviews
    • Propagation
    • Methods of propagating this group of plants; creating a scented garden; growing in pots, inside, or in the open ground.
    • Plant reviews
  3. Crafts from Scented Plants and Herbs
    • Herbs for cooking
    • Howe to dry herbs
    • Pot pourri, scented candles, tussie mussies, sachets, etc.
    • Cosmetic uses -Hair rinses, baths, skin care
    • Candle Making
    • Exotic herb oils
    • Scented Plants in Pots
    • Lavender crafts
    • Rose Crafts
    • Plant reviews
  4. Harvesting and Processing
    • Harvesting hints
    • General rules for harvesting flowers
    • Storing harvested material
    • Freezing
    • Deterioration
    • Bud harvesting
    • Shelf life
    • Post harvest treatments
    • Chemical treatments
    • Harvesting and grading carnations
    • Harvesting and drying lavender
    • Harvesting Herbs
    • Harvesting leaves, roots, fruit, seed
    • Harvesting for medicinal use
    • Plant reviews
  5. Commonly Grown Varieties
    • Listing dozens of scented garden plants
    • Several plants are dealt with in detail, including: Carnations, Roses, Gardenias, Heliotropium, Murraya, Pelargonium and Daphne
    • Scented Flowers -Alstroemeria, Antihrrinum, Chrysanthemum, Freesia, Iris, Narcissus, Orchids, Matthiola,
    • Plant reviews
  6. Other Important Scented Plants
    • Lilium
    • Fragrant Australian natives
    • Boronias
    • Other Scented Plants for Temperate Areas
    • Plant reviews
  7. Commercial Applications
    • The Business of Scented Plants
    • The most commercially grown species
    • Herbal Teas
    • Production Plan
    • Making a scented plant operation
    • Standards
    • Farm Layout
    • Marketing your produce
    • How to sell
    • Creating a Scented Garden
    • Drawing a Plan
    • Garden Design
  8. Special Assignment
    • Students must complete a special assignment on one selected plant or group.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

What You Will Do

  • Make up a list of at least 50 sources of information, about the identification and use of scented plants.
  • Watch a plant propagation video.
  • Obtain one soil sample typical of your local area; name the soil and test the drainage of the soil.
  • Obtain (or make up) a potting mix appropriate for growing herbs in.
  • Make up a propagating mix, appropriate for striking seed or cuttings in.
  • Visit a nursery or garden growing scented plants.
  • Obtain any materials which are needed for propagating scented plants by grafting, stem cuttings, root cuttings, aerial layering and seed.
  • Harvest and dry parts from at least three different herbs.
  • Make the following scented products: pot pourri, a cosmetic product, a herb vinegar, a herb salt and one other craft product.
  • Make a bottle of either herb oil.
  • Prepare hot and cold herb teas.
  • Prepare one edible product, using a part of a scented plant for flavouring.
  • Produce one sample of a scented oil, using fresh harvested material from a scented plant.
  • Visit a general nursery. Note what herb seeds, and herb plants are commonly available.
  • Research the cultural requirements of some (or all) of the following genera: Viola, Viburnum, Lonicera, Jasminum, Daphne and Gardenia. Find information on Magnolias, Lilac,Conifers, Scented Camellias, Citrus, Convallaria (Lily of the Valley), Lilium, Hyacinthus, Forsythia and Michelia.
  • Visit a scented garden.
  • Visit and analyse the business operations of at least two herb enterprise.
  • Design a garden featuring scented plants.
  • Compare the commercial potential of three different types of herb enterprises, in your locality (based on the set task).
  • Propagate a scented plant
  • Prepare 48 plant review sheets of scented plants.

Scope of Scented Plants

There are many ways you might classify scented plants:

  • By plant part: scented flower, scented foliage, scented fruit, scented root, and so forth
  • By plant group: scented bulbs, scented climbers, scented trees, scented shrubs
  • By type of scent: strong scent, subtle scent, sweet scent, foul scent
  • By use: edible herbs, plants for landscape use, for use in perfumes and cosmetics
  • By plant family: plants which have similar botanical characteristics.

Scented Garden Plants to Consider Growing

Many scented plants are also commonly known as herbs. However, there are many that are not herbs but which still have a wonderful scent and therefore should be considered for inclusion in a scented garden. Following, is a short list of such plants suitable for a shrubbery or perennial setting. These plants may not be suitable for all climate zones so research is required before planting.

Acinos corsicus:

Micromeria corsica

Aloysia triphylla: Lippia citriodora
Antirrhinum majus: Snap dragons
Berlandiera lyrata: Chocolate flower
Boswellia serrata
Calendula officinalis: Pot marigold
Callistemon citrinus
Cedronella canariensis: C. triphylla
Chimonanthus praecox
Chrysanthemum species
Choisya ternata: Mexican orange blossom
Clematis montana and hybrids
Convallaria majalis: Lily-of-the-valley
Cosmos atrosanguineus: Chocolate cosmos
Crocus chrysanthus
Cupressus macrocarpa: verging towards orange-scented
Cymbopogon citratus
Cymbopogon nardus
Daphne mezereum
Elaeagnus gungens
Eucalyptus citriodora
Galanthus species: Snowdrops
Gardenia augusta
Hamamelis mollis: Witch hazel
Heliotropium arborescens: Heliotrope
Hemerocallis species: Daylilies
lpomoea alba: Moonflower
Iris reticulata
Jasminum officinale: Jasmine
Leucojum vernum: Snowflake
Leptospermum petersonii
Lippia citriodora
Lonicera japonica: Honeysuckle
Jasminum officinale
Magnolia psecies
Mahonia lomariiffolia: Hollygrape
Matthiola incana: Stock
Monarda didyma: Beebalm
Muscari armeniacum: Grape hyacinth
Myrica odorata: Sweet cicely
Nepeta cataria
Nicotiana alata: Tobacco plant
Osmanthus delavayi
Osmanthus fragrans: Sweet olive
Philadelphus coronaria
Phlox paniculata
Rhododendron rubiginosum
Salvia species: Sage
Stephanotis floribunda
Syringa species: Lilac
Trachelospermum jasminoides: Star jasmine
Viburnum farreri

The Business of Scented Plants

Many species of scented plants are grown commercially for their:

  • Cut flowers
  • Oils
  • Foliage
  • Roots
  • Tubers

Some producers have established themselves to specifically grow scented plants for specialist retail nurseries or to supply commercial growers with tube stock. These commercial growers are producers of oil or bulk flowers.

Most growers tend to specialise in one or two of these areas. For example, cut flower growers may also grow foliage. Oil producers usually specialise in producing essential oils but sometimes also produce a crop of flowers for both: potpourris where the flower heads are stripped from the stems, and cut flowers, particularly in the case of lavender.

Some businesses are also set up as tourist attractions. Lavender farms are very popular and activities often include farm tours, display gardens, cafés or restaurants, and a shop selling lavender products.

Gardens, combining hundreds of plants that greet visitors as they enter with heavily scented air, are also a popular attraction. A garden design business specialising in scented plants could also be an option.


Meet some of our academics

Bob JamesHorticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc., Grad.Dip.Mgt, PDC
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .

Check out our eBooks

Organic GardeningCreate a healthy, well-balanced garden. Attract abundant beneficial insects to pollinate your plants. Have healthy, fertile, organic soils teeming with life. Use this book as a guide to establish lush gardens laden with fruit, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals - without the use of chemicals. The ebook covers: soils and nutrition, pest and disease, natural weed control, conservation and recycling. 179 pages, 170 colour photos
RosesThe rose is the “queen of flowers” - classic and ever popular! Explore the richness of roses over six chapters covering: cultivation, soils, pruning, pest control, types of roses (hybrid teas to old world), using roses (from landscaping to cooking and perfumes), and an A-Z of cultivars. 56 rose cultivars described and illustrated with stunning photos. 81 colour photos 59 pages
Scented PlantsScented plants can be either a delight or a curse. For many people, there is nothing more pleasing than a garden filled with fragrance, but for others who suffer allergies, certain plants can make them physically ill; sometimes very seriously.
HerbsHerbs are fascinating plants, mystical and romantic. They have a rich history dating back centuries. Used by monks, apothecaries and ‘witches’ in the past, herbs are undergoing a revival in interest. They are easy to grow, scented, culinary and medicinal plants. In a formal herb garden or peppered throughout the garden, herbs rarely fail! Find out how they are used as medicines, for cooking, perfumes and more. This book has nine chapters covering the following topics: an introduction to herbs, cultivation, propagation, pest and diseases, herb gardens, an A-Z plant directory, using herbs, features for herb gardens, herbs in pots - 113 colour photos 61 pages