How to Make Your Backyard Smell Better?

Backyards can look great but smell awful and that can deter the family from spending time in them. It can also be a non-starter for entertaining. There are things you can do to improve the smell as well as the looks of your backyard. 

The key thing on how to make your backyard smell better is to locate the source of a bad smell. It could be a septic tank, an unkept drainage ditch, animal droppings, or a wild plant. Cleaning the source of the problem and planting nice-smelling plants will make your backyard smell like a dream. 

Locating the Problem

Finding the source of the smell is as easy as following your nose. The typical smell comes from a dog or cat urine or poop. If that’s the case, clean it up and spray it down with water. 

There could also be stagnant water that can be emptied or garbage that didn’t get pulled to the curb. Another possibility is a dead animal. That can be disposed of and the area sprayed down with water. 

The bad smell can also come from a neighbor’s yard. You may not be able to do anything about that smell but can use flowers and plants to help control odors in your backyard.

Freshening the Yard

You can concentrate on freshening your backyard once the object of the bad odor is removed. Several ways exist to do that including more landscaping and new flowers. 


Adding a water feature with steady, running water will do a lot to add a fresh smell to your yard. Running water creates freshness and moves air. It also adds a nice visual element. 

Read: How Do You Build A Simple Backyard?

Adding Plants

Plants are a great way to create a fresh smell for two reasons. First, they have flowers that smell great. Second, they produce oxygen which contributes positively to the air quality of your yard. 

Adding flowers, shrubs and herbs can create a wonderful mix of aromas and add visual interest. 

Flowering Plants For Aroma

The following flowers are awesome for producing good smells. Here are some to plant. 


There are hundreds of varieties of roses and all have nice smells, although each has different scents. A rose garden involves some work but can be an aroma delight. 


Gardenias are great plants because they can grow large and have evergreen leaves. Its white flowers are in abundance and are highly aromatic. 


Wisteria is climbing vines that are highly colorful with purple flowers and it covers fences and arches well. It is also a heavy scent that makes for an excellent greeting to your property. 

Chocolate Flower

These yellow-blooming flowers grow south in the United States and Mexico. They look like a daisy but smell like cocoa. The scent is strongest in mid-morning and dissipates by mid-afternoon as the petals close.

Read: How To Make A Dance Floor On The Backyard?


Heliotrope has large bundles of white or purple blooms but smells like vanilla or cherries. It was given the nickname of “cherry pie plant” for its delicious aroma. It blooms all summer so you can enjoy it the whole season.


Freesia is a popular plant with landscapers because it comes in many different colors and varieties. However, all freesia has a sweet smell that is highly distinctive. Freesia is so loved for its smell that it’s used in perfumes, soaps, lotions, and oils.

Stargazer Lily

Stargazer Lilies are one of many people’s favorite flowers because of their pink and white showcase look as well as their aroma. They aren’t terribly hard to grow and bloom mostly in the spring.

Read: What Is The Cheapest Way To Landscape A Backyard?

Herbs and Grasses

The following herbs and grasses make for both beautiful colors, delicious aromas and some can even help spice up your dinner!

Pineapple Sage

This plant has red blooms that have a spiky appearance. It has a pineapple scent and its leaves can give something extra to jams, drinks, and other recipes. 

Scentsation Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is typically a wild plant but can be easily planted in a backyard. It has yellow and white flowers in the spring and summer and then produces red berries later in the year. Its blooms can be used for jams and jellies.

German Chamomile

This flower has flowers that resemble daisies and the plant is great to use for tea. It needs good-draining soil and lots of sunshine. 


Mint is a great herb to plant because it not only has a good smell but repeals certain bugs. It can also be used in cooking. 


Thyme has a lighter but distinctive scent and can be planted in containers for easy retrieval while cooking. It can be combined with other herbs to create containers of scents.

Read: How To Find Crystals In Your Backyard?


Shrubs can add both height and dimension as well as a pleasant smell to your backyard.


Jasmine comes as shrubs or vines and is well-known for its smell. It can also be used to help make your home smell better. 

Butterfly Bush

A Butterfly Bush has wonderful flowers, a nice smell and a bonus of this shrub is that it attracts all varieties of butterflies to your yard.


Trees are wonderful ways to increase your property’s value. They can offer shade, fruit if they are fruit trees, and a nice smell.

Flowering Crabapple

The Flowering Crabapple tree is a small tree that produces pink blooms in the spring. The blooms are fragrant while in season. 


Magnolias are hardy trees that are seen mostly in the South. They have large white blooms that can fill a yard with fragrance and evergreen leaves that can be used for winter decorating. Some Other Thoughts

Achieving a nice smelling backyard is only half the battle. The other half is keeping it fresh. Water features or ponds will need to be kept clear of algae and muck. Trash cans should be washed out regularly and be sure to add products through your toilets that will help your septic break down solids.

Read: How To Build An Underground Room In Your Backyard?


How do I get rid of the dog poop smell in my yard?

You can keep poop cleaned up in your yard but smells can continue to linger. You can use a chemical to treat specific areas that are prone to be poop and urine areas. There are products like NaturVet, Nature’s Pure, and Simple Green to use. 

Why does my yard smell?

A constant mildew-type smell could come from overwatering. Excessive watering stops the grass from using oxygen. That leads to root rot. The lawn turns brown and the soil gets soft. That can result in fungus, animal feces, flies, and compost. 

Why does my yard smell stale?

A stale, old smell could be the result of a dying lawn. It is growing mold from dead grass. Fungus is starting to take over and must be controlled and removed. 

Why does my backyard have a fish smell?

Three things create a backyard fish smell. It could be fungal growth and that is the most likely culprit. It could also be rotting compost, which means bins need to be cleaned out. It can also be Bradford pear trees. They are not a favorite tree of landscapers because of the smell and problems they cause for other plants.

Where is the rotten egg smell coming from in my yard?

The most likely culprit of a rotten egg smell is hydrogen sulfide or sewer gas. It has a sickeningly sweet smell. This typically comes from a sewer or septic tank.