Carolina Allspice – Fragrance

Q: We purchased five Carolina allspice bushes and they have thrived, loaded with blooms. But none of them has the aroma I bought them for. Is there anything I can do to get them to smell like they do in the wild?

A: I tell folks to buy Carolina allspice, Calycanthus floridus, when the shrubs are flowering because the quality and intensity of the fragrance varies so much. There‚Äôs nothing you can do to increase the smell if they are planted in the partial sun they prefer. The varieties ‘Athens’ and ‘Michael Lindsey’ are reputed to reliably smell good.