10 plants that smell best in the evening

Longing to sit outdoors ‘til after the sun’s gone down? Here’s how to get the most from your garden by adding some night-scented flowering plants.

Beyond giving your garden some TLC, think about new plantings and how you could make your garden a heavenly scented haven all day – and into the night.

[How to look after your house orchids]

Here are the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) pick of the night-time nectar providers, those plants that release their scent in the evening, and how best to grow them.

1. Buddleia: Buddleja davidii ‘White Profusion’

We are used to the lilac or the purple form of buddleia, but this white variety is a luminous plant with fragrant flowers that makes it irresistible to moths. Plant in a sunny, well-drained position.

2. Caryopteris x clandonensis

A compact deciduous shrub with clusters of vivid blue flowers opening from deep indigo buds in late summer. Blue flowers will glow under moonlight, attracting moths. Grow in a sunny, sheltered spot in well-drained soil.

3. Eryngium giganteum ‘Silver Ghost’

Moth-friendly plant related to sea holly; it has tiny blue flowers which sit within the rosettes of silvery-grey bracts of this architectural plant. Grows best in poor to moderately fertile soil and in full sun.

4. Evening primrose: Oenothera sp.

Night-flying insects are attracted to the delicate fragrance of this pretty flower. Remaining closed during the day, its petals then uncurl rapidly at dusk. These drought-tolerant plants are ideal for stony sites in full sun.

5. Globe Artichoke: Cynara cardunculus

Loved by moths, this plant creates a striking silhouette at dusk. Grow in well-drained soil in a sunny, sheltered position.

6. Hebe ‘Great Orme’

A moth-attracting shrub of small pink to white flowers clustered in dense spikes. Also try ‘Sapphire’ AGM for a blue/purple variant. Easy to grow in poor to moderately fertile soil in sun or partial shade.

7. Honeysuckle: Lonicera ‘Graham Thomas’

Honeysuckle produces a wonderful aroma in the evening making it particularly attractive to moths. ‘Graham Thomas’ is a large, twining deciduous climber. Its white flowers turn to buff yellow over its long flowering season. Thrives in any moist, well-drained soil, but grows best in partial shade.

8. Jasmine: Jasminum officinale

This white-flowered jasmine is a vigorous twining shrub producing very fragrant flowers, attracting moths and glowing under moonlight. Ideal position is a warm, sunny and sheltered spot, but can cope with partial shade.

9. Tobacco plant: Nicotiana sylvestris

This flowering tobacco plant is sweetly scented and a magnet for moths. The luminous white flowers grow up to 9cm long in the summer. Prefers fertile, moist but well-drained soil in sun or partial shade.

10. Verbena bonariensis

Its tall, erect stems, that grow up to 2m (6ft 8in) in height, make this a good architectural plant. Moths, as with bees and butterflies in the day, are attracted to the clusters of small, purple flowers. Grow in a sunny spot, in moist, well-drained and moderately fertile soil.

More from BT