Bug Repellent Outdoor Centrepiece

Let me show you how to make a bug repellent outdoor centrepiece for your patio table.

Flowering plants in tin bucket.

I couldn’t wait to make an outdoor centrepiece for my patio table but didn’t want one that would attract bees. I’m allergic to bees and my kids freak out when bugs come around when we’re eating. I do love the lavender I have in my tall planters but don’t want the lavender (which attracts bees) on our outdoor table. We don’t get a lot of bugs like mosquitos where we live but I thought it would be good to be pro-active in case we had them this summer. A bug repellent outdoor centrepiece is the perfect idea for a summer table setting!

I’m also participating in a Styled + Set Summer Home Style blog tour hosted by my friend Lory of Designthusiasm. If you are coming here from Jennifer of Town and Country Living, welcome!

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  • metal container (I already had on hand) or planter pot
  • rocks (or styrofoam packing peanuts) if container doesn’t have drainage
  • bug repellent plants: I used petunias and lemongrass (marigolds, basil, chrysanthemums, chives, mint, rosemary are others that repel bugs such as mosquitos)
  • grassy plant – sedge (I added this in the corner corner for height)
  • container soil
  • gardening gloves


1. Find a container or planter for your plants and determine how many plants you’ll need. The lemongrass I found at my local nursery were a bit sparse so I picked up another grass to complement the arrangement.

2. Fill the bottom of your container with rocks or styrofoam packing peanuts (like in this popular post of mine) to help drain the water away from the plants’ roots.

3. Because of the oblong shape of the container, I made a diagonal pattern with the grass in one corner and the opposite corner the lemongrass. Add soil then carefully remove the plant from the plastic container. Wriggle the ends of the roots a bit. Using a spade or just your hand, make a hole and push the plant in. Tuck it down so it doesn’t easily pull up and add a bit more soil around it.

4. I filled in the middle with petunias in a diagonal row. Give it a watering before adding it to your table top.

How to plant plants in a container step by step.

I love the way it turned out! I’ve since added feet to the container which elevates it off the table.

Lemongrass and petunias in galvanized bucket.

I kept the rest of the table simple with my favorite enamelware plates and acrylic wine glasses.

Outdoor table with white plates and plant in centre.

Above view of petunias and lemongrass in bucket with table setting.
Flowering plants in bucket, grey fence, outdoor table.
Outdoor table setting with grey painted fence.
Outdoor table set for a meal with lavender and grey fence.

I’ve since updated it and added some ceramic pot feet to it!

I hope you feel inspired to make your own bug repellent outdoor centrepiece this summer.

See my short video on my bug repellent centrepiece!

Next on the tour is Courtney from French Country Cottage. You can see all the tours below.

Make sure to pin it for later!

Bug Repellent Outdoor Centrepiece - So Much Better With Age

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  1. Love how your outdoor bug repellent centerpiece turned out! The all white/green in galvanized tub is so cute and one that would look so nice in my yard. Great idea and thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Great outdoor tablescape – and your centerpiece is awesome.

    But I CANNOT even believe you said you don’t get many mosquitos where you live.
    Holy smokes do you even know how lucky you are? Ours are TERRIBLE – just the worst thing and will be soooo bad this summer b/c of all the rain. Those little nasty blood-suckers just love them some standing water. Hello perfect breeding ground for skeeters. Ugh.
    I am itchy just thinking about it haha.

    1. I know, Michele, it’s odd. We live with so much rain but we’re also by the ocean so maybe they get blown away? We also don’t have much standing water around. When we go camping there are always mosquitos though. Hopefully this helps!
      Hugs, Jamie

  3. What a great idea this is, Jamie! I always use petunias outside, but had no idea they repel bugs!! And your centerpiece is so pretty besides… 🙂

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