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Do Hydrangeas Smell? (All You Need to Know)

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Hydrangeas are colorful, bushy, and big. Whether it’s summer or spring, panting hydrangeas in your garden would make for an exhibition for your sight.

However, there is one query with hydrangeas is do they smell. Lets find out.  

Do hydrangeas smell?

Hydrangeas are not always the most fragrant but certain types of hydrangeas can give off strong scents. Among 75 types of flowering plants, golden crane hydrangea and Hydrangea paniculate are the most fragrant ones. Hydrangeas have a sweet, floral, and sometimes a fruity smell.

Not all hydrangeas smell the way you want your garden to smell and hence it is important to know what kind of scents certain types of hydrangeas give off. Here is a list of different hydrangeas and how good or bad they smell.

Limelight hydrangeas:

Limelight hydrangeas, which produce mainly white and somewhat light pink colors have a slightly sweet fragrance. You would notice the smell more strongly when there is a strong wind.

These hydrangeas, bloom most in full sun as well as partial shade. During October is when you may notice its sweet scent the most because the hardy plants are full of blooms.

Climbing hydrangeas:

As the name suggests, climbing hydrangeas are vines that can reach up to 30 feet with large white flowers giving off a fragrance that can be interpreted as mildly fruity.

The scent is innately floral and charming although some people do not find the smell to be one of the most pleasant. The fruity smell could come off as rotten to some.

Blue hydrangeas:

Whenever most people think of hydrangeas, it is mostly these beautiful blue blooms that are mostly grown in acidic soil having a pH of 5.5 and less.

Whenever you smell blue hydrangeas, you are bound to be reminded of the mountains and islands.

The smell of blue hydrangea is pleasant and subtle and hence it is used in making fragrance oils. The beautiful blue blooms have a scent that may be similar to that of Yankee. The subtle smell has a mixed fragrance of sandalwood.

White hydrangeas:

White hydrangeas are mostly one of the rare ones to bloom the earliest among a few others. The white blooms have a smell that can be compared to jasmine flowers.

In Japan, white hydrangeas are specifically called fragrant hydrangeas because of their strong smell.

Purple hydrangeas:

Mostly blooming into late spring, purple hydrangeas produce one of the most strikingly gorgeous flowers among the species.

Like blue hydrangea, the purple blooms have a fresh and elegant smell to them.

Hydrangea paniculate:

Blooming from summer to autumn, hydrangea paniculate is said to have large flowers that are shaped like stars.

The sweet smell of the flowers is not overpowering, yet this hydrangea is one of the most fragrant ones to have in a garden.

Golden crane hydrangeas:

Golden crane hydrangea have jasmine like a scent that does not appear to be sour to the nose, unlike some of the other hydrangeas.

Do hydrangeas smell good or bad?

Whether hydrangeas smell good or bad depends on the type of hydrangea that is planted. From Oakleaf hydrangeas to White or purple hydrangeas, this plant has a variety of fragrances.

While some are strong and enjoyable others may be subtle yet unpleasant. There are a handful of hydrangeas that give off the most wonderful scent among which are PeeGee hydrangea and Golden Crane Hydrangea.

With that mentioned, when hydrangeas give off a good smell, the smell is mostly sweet and resembles the smell of jasmine flowers.

Although no hydrangeas smell foul or repulsive, there are a few that gives off a sourly, pungent yet fruity smell that comes off as unlikeable.

Other hydrangeas have such a subtle smell that it is impossible to point out the fragrance unless you have your nose examine the scent closely.

Hence there is no distinctive answer to whether a hydrangea smells good or bad since there are varieties to the flowers and their fragrances.

Do hydrangeas have a strong scent?

Not all hydrangeas have a strong scent but certain varieties do. There are about 75 different types of hydrangeas, among which a few of them give off a strong scent.

One of the strongest scented hydrangeas is the oakleaf and climbing hydrangeas, both of which give off a fruity smell that hits your nose right off.

Other than that, the golden crane is another name that pops up whenever there is talk of the hydrangeas’ strong scent. Unlike the ones mentioned, these give off a strong and florally candied smell that is enough to surfeit an entire garden area.

What do hydrangeas smell like?

Hydrangeas are not the kind of plants that are known for their fragrance, unlike lily or jasmine.

However, the flowering shrub is packed with great virtues other than its vibrancy, abundance in clustered and full blooms, and of course its versatility when it comes to planting grounds.

With that, you may want to remember that some hydrangeas are so fragrant that they can fill up a garden with a sweet smell.

Hydrangeas mostly have a sweet and floral smell, that may be close to jasmine when the flower is fragrant. Other times, the sweet smell is somewhat fruity in some hydrangeas and can be slightly sour as well.

Some people say that Certain varieties like the blue hydrangea exude an earthy scent, resembling the smell of sandalwood and islands. The refreshing smell is similar to the scent of mountains and water, yet the smell is quite subtle.

What are the most fragrant hydrangeas?

Not all hydrangeas smell the same. Likewise, some hydrangeas are more fragrant than others. Some of the most strong-smelling ones may not even have very pleasant smells.

Here is a list of the most fragrant hydrangeas, so you can decide which one to have in your garden.

Oakleaf hydrangea:

Oakleaf hydrangeas have a peculiar smell, that is quite strong and noticeable. The smell is different from the rest of the more fragrant hydrangeas.

Oakleaf gives off a sweet but sharp scent, however, it is most unpleasant and not one that you would want in your garden.

The sharp scent is somewhat sour and can be needlessly overpowering for your nose.

Hydrangea paniculata:

Hydrangea paniculata also goes by an interesting and popular name PeeGee hydrangea.

This variety is considered to be one of the most popular and fragrant hydrangeas with a distinctively vanilla like a hint, resembling the smell of jasmine flowers.

Although the scent is not as intense as jasmine it is quite rich to the smelling senses.

Golden Crane hydrangea:

Golden crane is an early bloomer and is one of the rarest hydrangeas to grow in a garden.

Not only is the golden crane hydrangea one of the most fragrant, but the shrub is possibly the best smelling among the variety.

The shrub exudes a strongly sweet, jasmine-like scent that is both intoxicating and elegant. Yet, the strong smell is not an too much to your senses.

The flowers of this plant bloom during late spring, and can fill an entire area with its exotic and relaxing smell when grown in well drained soils.

Mainly because of its scent, gardeners often oft of golden crane hydrangeas to have in their flower beds, since not all hydrangeas smell as sweet and strong.

White hydrangea:

White hydrangeas are another favorite to have in your garden, thanks to their beautiful white clusters of bloom and a candied scent that can be quite pleasant as well.

White hydrangeas are of several types, each oozing an elegant scent as well as looks.

Climbing Hydrangea:

Climbing hydrangea emanates a fruity and floral smell that mixes to form a scent that may not be the most pleasant to most.

The fruity smell can come off as the smell of rotten fruit at times but the floral scent is what is more prevalent.

Final Thoughts

Most hydrangeas do not have the strongest smell but the ones that do may exude a sweet, jasmine fragrance that is a pleasant addition to anyone’s garden. Some hydrangeas like the oakleaf hydrangea also possess a very strong fragrance that is slightly sour and fruity.    

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