Cut flowers Gardening Houseplants Scented Plants

Should Fragrant Flowers Be Banished from the Bedroom?

Some scented plants can perturb sleep. Source: &

It is not always a good idea to keep intensely fragrant flowering plants or cut flowers in the bedroom at night.

That’s because some very fragrant blooms, even if they are often quite enjoyable during the day, can impair sleep at night, even causing nausea or headaches in very sensitive people. It’s therefore better to place hyacinths, hoyas, lilies of the valley, brugmansias, paperwhite narcissus and other plants with very heady perfumes in another room at night, at least while they’re in bloom.

However, they can return to the room for the day … assuming, of course, you’re not trying to sleep during daylight hours!

That said, the scent of other plants is said to have the opposite effect and can stimulate sleep. Thus, most people find there is no need to remove jasmines, gardenias and lavenders from the bedroom, for example. In fact, they often sleep better when they’re nearby.

If in doubt, experiment a little. Place the plant (or cut flower) in the room just before going to bed. If the perfume starts to bother you, just remove the plant, but if you wake up the next morning feeling relaxed and refreshed, it’s a keeper!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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