Looking for summer front or backyard porch decorating ideas? Learn how to cozy up the porch and keep the bugs at bay with these summer decorating ideas.
A backyard porch is an outdoor living space that is an extension of the home’s interior. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy the soothing sounds of nature.
Do you have one?
We do now that we moved and it is so enjoyable to hang outside.
At our former home, we enjoyed a multi-tiered deck that we loved. But we didn’t use it year round because it was not covered.
We had a gazebo that we added, but it did not stay up year round, so we used it more May through October.
But here at the new house?
We are loving both the front and backyard porch because we have used them year round since move in day. It’s been awesome!
I bought some cozy outdoor furniture so we could linger and have been slowly decorating each space.
Are you looking for ways to use your porch more this summer?
Design a beautiful and cozy outdoor living space with these backyard porch ideas that fits your lifestyle.
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Backyard Porch Ideas for Summer
One of the best things about summer is spending more time outside.
In fact, we never spent this much time outside at our former home. I mean, we had a lot of great outdoor living spaces there too, but there are more covered spaces here like the front and backyard porch.
So it was important to us to make them feel comfortable, cozy, and welcoming.
We’ve spent some time on the front porch here on the blog, so today, I’m sharing some ideas for the backyard porch that includes my outdoor planters that keeps bugs away.
Because nobody wants to be bothered by the bugs while enjoying summer outdoors.
Make It Pretty
Before, decorating spend some time cleaning it up. Sweep or blow any leaves or debris off the patio or deck.
To make an outdoor living space look beautiful and feel cozy, decorate it like you would any other room inside the home.
Anchor outdoor living spaces with an area rug, as well as mood lighting.
Add Plants and Flowers
But most importantly, add plants and flowers to breathe life into your outdoor living spaces.
Even if the backyard porch is covered, pot up some pretty container gardens with annual or perennial flowers.
Summer houseplants outdoors, but keep them out of direct sunlight so the leaves don’t scorch.
Whether you are a gardener or not, just adding one or two potted plants will liven up your outdoor living spaces.
How to Make a Backyard Porch Planter that Repels Mosquitos
I’ve been sharing a lot about container gardening lately. And that’s because they are so fun, easy to plant, and warm up outdoor living spaces.
Not to mention, they add a cozy seasonal vibe too.
But did you also know you can pot plants that repel mosquitos to keep the bugs away too?
I started doing it a few years ago with great success.
Some plants work better than others.
But there’s one plant that I think works THE BEST out of the whole list.
And I’m sharing how I incorporated this plant in my backyard porch containers this summer to keep the bugs away.
Wait until you see how pretty my outdoor planters look and learn how they are repelling mosquitos.
Plants that Keep Bugs Away
Before I share my backyard porch container gardens, here is a list of plants that keep bugs away. (The list is in no particular order.)
Plant these mosquito repelling plants around outdoor living spaces to keep bugs away.
- citronella geranium
- lemon balm
- nepeta (catmint)
- bee balm
Depending on the location of your outdoor living space, you may or may not have room to plant mosquito repelling plants in the ground.
If you lack garden space, simply pot them up like I did for the back porch.
As an aside, I prefer using larger planters to smaller ones because they don’t dry out as easily and you can fit more plants in them.
Quick Tip: keep larger planters on the lighter side so they can be moved around if you want to use them in a different location.
Supplies Needed to Plant a Garden That Repels Mosquitos and Other Annoying Bugs
Much like planting any other container garden, you’ll need a few supplies to design the planters.
While you can choose whatever plants you want, make sure you include a few plants from the list above.
- container or outdoor planter (unless planting direct in the ground)
- potting soil (garden soil if planting direct in the ground)
- garden tools
- plant food
- shovel or cup
How to Plant a Garden that Repels Bugs
Now that we have a list of plants that help repel mosquitos, let’s design a garden.
When planting a garden in containers, I consider the colors I want to decorate with.
Am I feeling pink and purple hues?
Or maybe bright sunny yellows?
At any rate, choose your color palette and seek plants that pair with the aesthetic.
Determine the Location
Does the area receive full sun, part sun, or shade?
It’s important to understand your light conditions so you choose the right plants.
Because my backyard porch is smaller, I planted mosquito repellent gardens in containers that will be light enough to move around so I can move them closer to the seating area.
So in general, I maintain them near the zen garden’s stone wall where they receive partial sunlight.
Pro-Tip: If you want to grow flowers that need more sun than you get under a covered porch, you can plant sun loving flowers. However, you’ll need to be proactive about pulling them out so they receive enough sunlight to thrive.
Choosing the Right Plants
Once the location is determined, it’s time to shop for plants.
If planting different plants together in the same container, make sure that they each have the same or similar light conditions as well as water conditions.
Don’t make the mistake of buying plants just because you love the look. That’s a surefire way to a garden fail.
So trust me when I say, read the plant tags.
Having an understanding of light and water conditions will help you take better care of your plants after the container garden is finished.
How to Design a Garden
While shopping around the garden nursery, I like to do is group potential plants together to see how they look together.
Are they aesthetically pleasing?
Look at foliage, blooms, plant size, and the overall plant habit.
Design Tips: If you are designing a container garden, consider using the thriller, filler, and spiller method of planter design. If planting directly in the ground, work in layers and groups of odd numbers.
Bug Repelling Plant Used in My Backyard Porch Planters
You’d be surprised to know that I only featured one plant from the mosquito repellent list above.
And it works SO WELL that only one is needed.
Can you guess what plant I featured this season?
Lemongrass plant is a lemon scented herb that helps repel mosquitos and other bugs. The leaves and oils are commonly used in food, beverages and medicines.
Because the lemongrass plant has a grassy appearance, I made that the feature plant in my container gardens near the back porch.
List of Plants Used in My Backyard Planters
While I designed a few planters, I used mostly the same plants in each one but grouped them differently.
You can create a deconstructed look with one type of plant per container, or you can use the thriller, filler, and spiller method of design to group several in one planter.
This season, I gravitated to lots of pretty pink hues, so here’s what I used in my backyard porch planters.
- Superwave petunias ‘bubblegum pink’ and ‘limoncello’
- Colocasia – Elephant Ears
- Coleus (several varieties)
- Mandevilla Vine
How to Plant a Container Garden that Repels Mosquitos
- Gather supplies.
- Add potting soil to the container with a hand trowel so the plants have some soil to sit in.
- Check the planting depth by adding your plants while still in their plastic nursery pots. You want the soil line to match up with about an inch down from the top of the container. If more soil is needed to get the right depth, add more.
- Before planting, arrange plants using the thriller, filler and spiller method.
- Remove plants from plastic pots and fan out the roots before setting them in the container. This encourages the roots to grow out into the potting soil.
- Backfill with potting soil, tamping it down as you go to remove the air pockets.
- Add a slow-release fertilizer to the container, water, and enjoy!
How Close Should Mosquito Repellent Plants Be to an Outdoor Living Space?
If you want to ensure bugs are not an issue, plant mosquito repellent plants in close proximity to where you’ll be hanging outdoors.
That said, I have a few planters potted up with my lemongrass out in the zen garden and we have not had a bug problem on the back porch AT ALL!
And I can say that because bugs are pretty active up in the backyard garden as well as just outside our beautiful green garden fence that leads to the formal garden.
Before potting these planters up, we had lots of gnats and mosquitos, but not anymore!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me on the back porch!
If you make these planters, let me know how they work for you.
Next up on the porch tour is my good friend Jessica from The Old Barn Company.
Summer Porch Ideas from 8 Amazing Bloggers
5 Front Porch Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make // Old Barn Company
Easy Decor For A Small Cottage Porch // Cottage in the Mitten
Three Simple Ideas for a Welcoming Midsummer Front Porch // Pasha is Home
Summer Ice Cream Party on the Porch // White Arrows Home
Mid Summer Deck Tour // A Life Unfolding
Inexpensive Porch Makeover // The Glitzy Pear
7 Summer Porch Ideas // Trueman’s Treasures
Backyard Porch Ideas with Planters That Keep Bugs Away // Bricks ‘n Blooms
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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo
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