Plants That Repel Insects in Gardens - Dengarden - Home and Garden
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Plants That Repel Insects in Gardens

Angela, though not a natural green thumb, has studied gardening in order to better care for her yard.

Have your garden be fresh and green without pesky bugs with these certain tricks.

Have your garden be fresh and green without pesky bugs with these certain tricks.

Growing an Organic Garden

Keeping harmful insects out of your garden seems to be a constant battle. Although we want to keep the bugs away, chemicals that promise to keep these bugs can have harmful side effects to the plants, our children and pets, and the land. Having a basic understanding of what plants detract what creatures will help assist you in growing a healthy and organic garden, whether you want flowers that are safe for your children to handle or fruits and vegetables that are safe to eat.

Plants To Grow To Get Rid of Pests

Pest ProblemPlant to Grow

Ants

mint, lavender, rosemary, garlic, thyme

Aphids

buckwheat, basil, catnip, garlic

Mosquitos

peppermint, rosemary, marigold, lemon balm, garlic, clove, eucalyptus, tea leaves, lavendar

Japanese Beetles

tansy, rue, garlic, catnip

Slugs

rosemary, daffodils

Photo of Garlic

Garlic repels more than just your date, plant it in the garden to keep away the pesky pests.

Garlic repels more than just your date, plant it in the garden to keep away the pesky pests.

Garlic Repels Japanese Beatles, Aphids, Mosquitoes and More

If you need to keep Japanese beetles, aphids, mosquitoes away, garlic is a great plant to grow. For one, it is very easy to grow and extremely effective at keeping insects away. Garlic is a good choice when you want a plant that takes up little space, although there are some foods you do not want to plant it near, such as legumes (beans), strawberries, potatoes, and peas. These do not grow well with the garlic plant. Also, garlic is one plant that needs to be moved from year to year, as it does not grow well in soil two years in a row.

If you want to use garlic as a repellent, then you want to plant them in a circle surrounding the garden that you want to protect. Many choose to plant garlic around cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts to ward away aphids since aphids are very attracted to all four of these veggies. The one downside to planting garlic as a deterrent is a smell. If you plant too many, it may overpower the pleasant scents that often comes from a well-tended garden.

Another option is to use garlic in a water solution. Then spray the solution on plants to protect them from nasty bugs.

A Pretty Rosemary Photo

Rosemary is very pretty and good to plant around picnic areas.

Rosemary is very pretty and good to plant around picnic areas.

Rosemary Keeps Mosquitoes, Slugs, and Gnats Away

Rosemary is a beautiful herb that has leaves similar to pine needles with varying colors of blossoms. Not only does it smell nice, but it also repels mosquitoes, cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles, gnats, and slugs. Unfortunately, they are not the easiest plant to grow, and it is best to start it from a large nursery plant rather than a seed because it takes a while to fill in as a plant.

Once grown, it is a very tolerant plant, as long as the temperature does not drop below thirty degrees. If it drops below thirty in your area, you may want to consider planting it in a pot, where you can bring it inside on nights you know it will be freezing. Potted rosemary is great to put around your picnic area to keep away the mosquitoes.

Tansy Picture

These take up lots of room in a garden and harmful to animals, although repel a large amount of creatures.

These take up lots of room in a garden and harmful to animals, although repel a large amount of creatures.

Tansy Repels Japanese Beatles, Fleas, Flies, Mosquitoes, Moths and Mice

Tansies are an attractive choice if you want to keep away a large variety of bugs, including Japanese beetles, squash bugs, cucumber beetles, mosquitoes, moths, flies, and more. The biggest drawback is it can become a nuisance in the garden because it grows very easily. Most people choose to plant this near squash and cucumbers because it works as a great companion plant and wards away some of squashes and cucumbers' worst predators. It also makes a great companion plant for most vegetables and flowers.

It is a huge plant and can grow six feet tall, although it usually only reaches three feet. If you have livestock on your property, you do not want to grow this plant, as it can be fatal to these animals. Even if you plant them far away from your animals, the seeds can spread across fields and grow wild in their pasture.

Mint

Should be planted inside a flower pot, because it can be very invasive otherwise.

Should be planted inside a flower pot, because it can be very invasive otherwise.

Plant Mint To Repel Mice and Ants

Mint is a great plant to have around your house. It keeps ants and mice away. When the leaves are crushed or even rubbed, they are most effective as a natural repellent; therefore, choose a place where they will be accidentally stepped on or rubbed against is not necessarily a bad thing. The one drawback to choosing mint is that you want to be mindful of how you plant this very invasive plant. One great way to prevent mint from crowding other plants is by digging a hole large enough for a large flowering pot. Plant the flowering pot in the ground, then fill it with dirt and plant the mint within the container, which will limit where the mint will grow, and it can be easily maintained. Each spring, you will need to dig up and repot it, because pots will begin to break down, allowing the roots to spread.

Lavender

Gorgeous addition to your garden.

Gorgeous addition to your garden.

Lavender Keeps Moths, Fleas, and Mosquitoes Away

Lavender is a beautiful, pleasant smelling choice when warding off harmful bugs from your garden. It can be challenging to grow and is often not chosen due to its high maintenance. It does best in rocky, dry land; therefore, not generally ideal in most gardens. If you want to incorporate it into your garden, the Hidcote and the Munstead are the best choice in wetter climates. Munsteads are usually bluish-purple flowers, whereas Hidcotes are dark purple. Aside from its ability to keep away some nuisance bugs, it also grows well with the majority of vegetables and flowers; therefore, it makes a great companion plant. When dried and placed in a satchel, they keep moths out of your closets and drawers.

To choose the best herb to protect your garden, you want to keep in mind how invasive it is, is it harmful to animals, and what odor does it have. Also, keep in mind what insects are most prevalent in your area. Once you have chosen what plant you want to grow, choose carefully where and how you plant them. For instance, make sure mint will be confined to an area, like in a flower pot underground, to prevent it from affecting other plants. Also, make sure that the herb you choose grows well with the plants you are planning to protect. For instance, do not plant garlic near your strawberries. Last, but not least, have fun, make your garden beautiful, and easy to maintain.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Do Oak trees weep sap?

Answer: Oak trees do not naturally drip sap. If an oak tree is dripping sap, then there may be something wrong with the tree.

© 2012 Angela Michelle Schultz

Comments

CarolynAnn Straub on April 09, 2019:

How do we keep roses from dying black leaves?

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 17, 2012:

Livestock would have to eat it on a regular basis to make it fatal, but mostly it will upset their stomach, one time use. It has a chemical called PA or pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which upsets their stomach. I am not sure which part of the plant contains this toxin.

I have not heard of it being bad for chickens, but it is bad for horses.

rbm on May 17, 2012:

Interesting what you say about Tansies. What is it that is fatal to livestock, their leaves, flowers, or the whole plant? And what about chickens, is it bad for them too?

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 09, 2012:

Goodlady, I did not run across one that deters snakes. My mom would like to plant that one, if it is found. LOL

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 09, 2012:

Alicia, feel free to share your success or troubles. It will help all of us who want to use plants.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on May 09, 2012:

How interesting. We have a massive rosemary bush outside the bedroom window which is perfect since we live in a mosquito area ( actually I'd noticed how few we are getting since the bush grew so big) hmmm. And we have a massive lavender which I'm pleased deters mice. It's not deterring snakes though; saw a nice one having a sleep under there last summer.

I'm telling my daughter in law about the tansy since she hates bugs...the smaller the bug the more she hates them.

Wonderful Hub, thanks.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 08, 2012:

Thank you for all the useful suggestions for repelling pests naturally, angela_michelle. I would much rather repel pests in my garden with plants than with chemicals! I'll keep the information in this hub in mind as I plan my garden this year.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 08, 2012:

I am so glad to hear that it works!

lasertekservices from Fargo, North Dakota on May 08, 2012:

I have mint in my garden. It definitely repels insects.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 08, 2012:

Especially in areas like your porch where you might sit.

Melody Collins from United States on May 08, 2012:

I have got to plant some rosemary. Where I live we ALL have to battle gnats. They drive us all crazy and we mostly lose the war. I wonder if planting enough rosemary might help! Thanks for the Idea.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 08, 2012:

Chrissie, that is a good question. Actually tansy is dangerous for dogs. I don't believe the rest of them are. I know there are ivys that are bad for dogs. Tansy won't kill your dog, but it could upset their stomach.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 08, 2012:

Just Ask Susan, yeah, they might love garlic, but it's a good idea. Put them in a pot, so that way if they are bothered by the dogs, you can move them.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on May 08, 2012:

I was thinking maybe planting garlic in and around my patio area to keep the mosquitoes away but my dogs love garlic and would probably eat it.

chrissieklinger from Pennsylvania on May 08, 2012:

I'm looking forward to planting some of these near my veggies this year. Would tansy, or any of these, be dangerous to dogs?

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 08, 2012:

I should try planting spearmint, I bet I'd love it!

hirundine from Nelson, B.C. Canada on May 08, 2012:

Haha! ........ Nope, mint loves to spread but i find it an attraction. I have two or three different ones. My fave is spearmint and is lovely in gin and tonic. No problem, just weed it from areas I want.

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 08, 2012:

I did read that about Rosemary, and unfortunately I think a lot of these can cause allergies to flare in the right person.

By the way, have you not had any success in containing mint?

hirundine from Nelson, B.C. Canada on May 08, 2012:

While not a sufferer, Tansy causes people with allergies some discomfort. It grows wild in southern British Columbia. A plant with natural dying ability.

Rosemary, I have to keep in a pot because it is intolerant to cold. It is also intolerant of low light conditions and find a grow lamp useful on it through January. Also susceptible to spider-mites. However one is rewarded with delightful rosemary fragrance throughout winter. As well as herbage for cooking. These days my garden is small, living in a small town environment. Yet apart from garlic, which I grow on an occasional basis. All of those plants can be found in my yard.

BTW. I would not count on a pot to contain mint? ....... lovely hub as usual michelle_angela!

Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on May 08, 2012:

Oh, I should probably point that out as well. Thanks!

Dianna Mendez on May 07, 2012:

I had to laugh at your caption "garlic repels more than your date." I did use garlic in a small garden once and it did keep those pesky rabbits and deer away. Thanks for the wonderful share for gardening. Voted up.