Looking for fragrant shrubs
Danny Clark is the Instant Gardner
Presented By
Instant Gardener

8 Sweet Smelling Shrubs That Can Survive In The Winter!

On this episode of “The Instant Gardener,” you’ll learn how to beautify your own garden with fragrant shrubs that can survive the harsh Winter weather!

Just because it’s Winter doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to the sweet smells of Spring! And as Gardening Expert Danny Clarke knows, some Winter shrubs can smell simply amazing in their own right. On this episode of “The Instant Gardener,” Danny Clarke is hard at work creating the perfect garden for homeowners Dorothy and Debbie. While Danny makes progress on the garden renovation at home, his co-host Helen Skelton takes Dorothy and Debbie on a trip to a local nursery to pick out some fragrant shrubs for their new garden. Find out which plants these lovely ladies pick in the below clip! 

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Having fragrant shrubs in your garden during the Winter is a wonderful treat for both you and the environment! Not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful blooms and sweet smells when most other plants are dead or dormant, but you are helping the environment. When shrubs have a strong fragrance during the Winter months, they are beacons for pollinating insects that may otherwise have trouble finding the nutrients they need to survive. Since pollination is extremely important for the planet’s survival, adding fragrant Winter shrubs to your garden is basically performing the ultimate good deed. With Winter fast approaching, make sure to pay a visit to your local nursery to consult with a gardening expert or consider adding one or more of the following shrubs to your garden.  

Winter Daphne: 

Winter Daphne usually start sporting buds during the late Fall or early Winter, and typically start blooming in January or February. Winter Daphne is known for its wonderful, fragrant scent and features pretty clumps of light pink and magenta flowers. Despite being able to thrive in the Winter, Daphne Shrubs still need very strict conditions in order to survive. For example, Daphne must have perfectly drained soil, or it will suffer sudden and fatal root rot. But if you can give Daphne Shrubs the conditions they need, you’ll be rewarded by their beauty and scent. 


Camellias are extremely attractive evergreen, flowering plants that are known for both their beauty and durability. Some species of camellias are hardy enough to withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees fahrenheit. Camellias typically bloom for weeks at a time, and it’s very possible to be able to enjoy this shrub’s pretty pink flowers all the way from October until May of the following year. And when planted at a well-chosen location, camellias are very easy to grow and exceptionally care-free plants. 

Bodnant Viburnum:

Bodnant viburnum, or Dawn as it’s commonly called, is probably the showiest of the hardy Winter shrubs on this list. It’s known for its strongly scented pink flowers, which elegantly hang on the plant’s bare stems. The sweetly scented flowers may also bloom in shades of rose or blush white. In addition, this larger shrub produces attractive berries and can introduce a warm Fall color scheme to your landscaping. 


If pink isn’t your favorite color, then you may prefer the pale yellow, bell shaped blooms of the wintersweet shrub. In the Fall, the leaves of the wintersweet plant become a pretty shade of golden green, but that is only the promise of what is to come. By January and February, you will be enjoying the beautiful waxy, yellow blooms with a strong fragrance that puts the “sweet” in wintersweet. 

Paper Bush (Edgeworthia):

Paper Bush is one the largest shrubs on this list. It can grow to be up to 6 feet tall and 7 feet wide. Think long and hard about where you want this shrub to live in your garden, because once planted it doesn’t respond well to pruning or transplanting. That said, the highly fragrant, yellow flowers make it a very welcomed addition to your garden. The scent is similar to that of gardenia flowers, but it’s much stronger and you may notice a hint of spice. 

Winter Honeysuckle:

Winter Honeysuckle is an invasive species in Southern forests, so this shrub won’t be for everyone. However, we couldn’t help including it on our list when this shrub is so commonly described as the “sweet breath of Spring.” This semi-evergreen shrub is easy to grow and can thrive in a wide range of conditions. Winter Honeysuckle blooms best when it has full access or nearly full access to sunshine and features white flowers with a hint of pale yellow in the center. In the Summer, it will have tiny berries that attract pretty birds and other pollinators to your garden. 


Winterhazel is a must-have for any Winter garden. Its branches zig zag to create eye-catching patterns, which makes this shrub really stand out. By late Winter, the branches will hold clusters of butter-yellow flowers that almost resemble lanterns. The flowers smell amazing, and this shrub really stands out against an evergreen background. When the flowers start to drop off at the end of the season, equally beautiful blue-green heart shaped leaves cloak the stems and branches. In the Fall, this shrub is a beautiful gold that only compliments the festive vibes of the Autumn season. 


Sweetbox is the name for a small, evergreen shrub that loves shady areas. When in bloom, sweetbox shrubs produce pretty white flowers that emit a fragrant scent that can be smelled from several feet away. Blooms are then followed by the appearance of bright red ornamental fruit. Blooms typically occur in February, and these hardy shrubs love the cold of Winter. This is another shrub that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees fahrenheit. 

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