With its plentiful sunshine and warm weather, summertime is usually the season people most want to enjoy outdoors. And if you’ve got a great backyard garden, you’ll probably be spending a lot of time at home. After all, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, 63% of survey respondents say they’re willing to pay more for a property that’s located in an area with good green spaces, compared to just 34% willing to pay more for good shopping.
But if your home is a haven for insects, or if you’re personally a magnet for mosquitoes and gnats, you may not be able to get the most out of your yard. Fortunately, there are ways to incorporate bug-repellant elements into your landscaping design.
Here are just five plants you should consider including.
With its calming fragrance and beautiful look, lavender is an excellent choice for your garden based on aesthetics alone. But lavender is a fantastic repellant for mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and moths. By incorporating it into your landscaping design, you’ll be able to keep the bugs at bay. You can also clip some right out of your garden to make into bunches to use inside your home. Not only will it keep mosquitoes and other insects away, but it can even help you sleep better!
Technically, these are three different plants, but you can easily put them all together to make a lovely herb garden at home. Whether you put them in trough planters or incorporate them into the main landscaping design itself, you’ll be able to use them in summer salads and as garnishes all season long. They’re all great for repelling mosquitoes and flies, too. That’s why they’re the perfect thing to have in your window boxes or in heavily trafficked areas outdoors.
Mums contain an ingredient that makes them a natural repellant for roaches, ants, ticks, silverfish, fleas, bedbugs, Japanese beetles, and more. The compound in these pretty flowers is actually used to make many commercial bug repellents. They thrive in the sun but can also be grown in partial shade. And since they grow through the fall, you can maintain your superior landscape design even when summer is over.
Add vibrant colors to your garden and keep aphids and mosquitoes away by planting marigolds. They look great as borders for flower beds, in vegetable gardens, or among your roses (they can help them grow better!). They grow best in full sun. Take note that they’re vulnerable to rot and mildew, so they may require a bit more care than other types of flowers. But the payoff can be excellent.
If you want to add brightness and beauty while repelling aphids and other bugs, petunias are a great solution. A lot of gardeners think of petunias as nature’s pesticide! They also require far less maintenance than other plants and are known as being relatively foolproof. They’re also incredibly versatile, as they’re able to grow in hanging baskets, flower beds, and virtually any other type of container. For those who have vegetable gardens, these blooms make wonderful companions, as squash bugs, tomato hornworms, and asparagus beetles really don’t like them — but you and your family certainly will!
If bugs have kept you from enjoying your yard to the fullest, you should talk to your landscapers about working in some of these natural repellents. Not only will they make bugs stay away, but they’ll also add a ton of color and fragrance to your green space.