What Can I Plant For Fragrance?

Jun 23, 2018 | Love This!

Imagine: You walk through your landscape from late-June through mid-July and you’re greeted by sweet perfume. When you drink your morning coffee outside, or sip a cocktail in the evening, the air is filled with fragrance. It seems like your entire yard is scented, but you know that at this time of year it comes from two shrubs.

Name: Rhododendron ‘Weston’s Lollipop’ and ‘Weston’s Lemon Drop.’ aka the lollipop azalea and lemon drop azalea.

Type of Plant: These deciduous azaleas are both hybrids from Massachusetts’ own Mezitt family at Weston Nurseries. These shrubs grow to between four and six feet tall and wide (mine have stayed constant at 4 feet tall and wide over the past ten years) and they do well in part sun or part shade.

Why I Love this plant: The beauty of these plants is that they flower in the summer, not the spring, when you’ll be outside to enjoy their fragrance. Lollipop flowers are pink and they open in late June. Lemondrop flowers are pale yellow and open in mid July. So if you plant one or more of each you’ll have fragrance over a four to six week period.

A Word to the Wise: Plant these where there is good drainage and prune them by cutting the new growth down by half just after they finish flowering.

The Lollipop azalea is in full flower in mid to late June. This photo shows the new growth up on top – this will be clipped in half very soon to keep the plant shaped and thick.

Lemondrop azalea has pale yellow flowers and blooms in July.

Lollipop azalea has pink, fragrant flowers.

Lemondrop azalea with Volcano purple phlox. Two great plants!


  1. Buffy Alten

    CL, are these plants in your home garden?

    • CL Fornari

      Yes, Buffy I do. I’ve grown them here in Sandwich, and before that in Osterville, for about 20 years.

  2. Jane MacKenzie

    Hi C.L. My son and family bought an old cottage colony in Dennis that has been neglected for many years. There are 2 old azalea shrubs that are badly in need of rejuvenating. They look all gnarly and pathetic. What do you suggest in the way of pruning? late spring? cut back gradually? and application of composted manure? hold off on the fertilizer until it gets over the pruning??? Thank you – Jane M.

    • CL Fornari

      If he wants to try rejuvenating, cut back right after flowering and spread compost or composted manure around the plant – about an inch thick. Some Azaleas respond with new growth but others do not. So be prepared for it not to get much better. Holly-tone next year in the spring, and a deep soaking once a week if it doesn’t rain this summer.


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