Plants With a Purpose-What to Grow This Spring

Spring planting season is almost here, and you’re probably starting to think about how to bring some color back into your yard. What you may not be thinking about is how plants can best serve your outdoor area and will help improve it year after year. These plants do more than just look good; they’ll keep away bugs, create natural barriers, and add tasty garnishes to your cocktails.


These plants are nature’s cure-all for pesky bugs. They not only bloom into beautiful floral displays but also naturally repel roaches, ants, Japanese beetles, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, spider mites, harlequin bugs, and root-knot nematodes. Chrysanthemum extracts are commonly used in household pesticides, and the plant naturally contains considerable amounts of the chemical pyrethrum, which is the active ingredient in bug repellent. Be warned that pyrethrum is also carcinogenic to humans, so this plant should not be planted in areas near fire pits or edible plants.


Lavender is an outstanding dual-purpose plant. It can be used to garnish dishes such as this lavender ice cream, or to repel insects. Lavender naturally repels moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes. It’s fragrant and beautiful, and it makes a perfect accent plant around your patio. Plant it in sunny areas and harvest regularly for a tasty snack or to try your hand at making lavender soap or body oil. Everything Lavender has all you need to know about how to get the most out of lavender in your home.  


Mint is a great way to add edible beauty to your patio area. Mint grows rapidly and is incredibly hearty, making it an easy way to cover a decent amount of space without a lot of effort. It will die back in the Winter and return just as strong in the Spring. It’s also great to mix into tea, chutney, jam, iced tea, or mojitos.


Holly is a great way to create a natural barrier to mark a pathway or deter intruders. This extremely hardy plant can be grown in most conditions, and it’s a perennial, meaning it will come back year after year. Many holly bushes remain green year-round as well, adding a welcome splash of color to your yard. Holly’s spiky leaves and dense branches also make it perfect for creating natural barriers around your yard and for discouraging unwanted guests from scaling your fence or peeking in your windows.


Let the fragrant mixture of sweet peas and vanilla fill the air around your backyard with this fragrant and beautiful tree. Wisteria is a scent producer, and you’ll be able to smell this lovely plant from a good distance away. Plant a few around your yard to keep it smelling fresh and pleasant through Spring and Summer. Wisteria can grow up to 28 feet high, so make sure to choose a place in your yard where it will have room to grow.

A few well-placed plants can do wonders to transform your backyard into a sanctuary of relaxation, without the added work of spraying harsh pesticides. The bonus of being able to snack on some of these great Spring plants makes them even better.