Plants That Keep Insects Away

Hi, someone told me that there are plants that keep insects away. Do you know the names of any? I hate using all those bugs sprays!! Thanks so much!! Suzy



Hi Suzy,

It is true, there are plants that keep insects away from you and your garden. If you are having an outdoor party, wouldn’t it be great to surround the area with decorative plants that would keep mosquitoes and other annoying pests away from your guests. Plants that discourage these unwanted visitors seem to work in two ways; first by interfering with an insects sense of smell, and secondly by producing a scent that attracts the insects to a different part of your outdoor area. One of the best things about plants that keep insects away is that unlike lotions and sprays, they don’t have to be constantly replaced to stay effective. Some of my favorite plants that keep insects away are: citronella, chrysanthemums, rosemary, lavender, scented geraniums, catmint (catnip), and especially marigolds.

Citronella Grass: Citronella, is used in candles to repel insects. Citronella grass can be planted to keep flying insects away. Citronella Grass also seems to have a calming effect on barking dogs.

Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemums are good at keeping away aphids, ticks, leafhoppers, and spider mites. Plant Mums around your vegetable garden to protect the plants.

Yellow Chrysanthemum Plant

Rosemary: The woody scent of Rosemary keeps mosquitoes away. You can also cook with the leaves of this herb.

Lavender: Lavender, when planted in the garden, in containers, or even dried and placed near doors and windows repels gnats and mosquitoes.

Scented Geraniums: Lemon scented geraniums, which have an aroma similar to citronella, are excellent at repelling mosquitoes.

Catmint (Catnip): Catmint is a member of the mint family and very easy to plant and grow. Various studies have shown that catmint is 10 times more effective at getting rid of mosquitoes than deet, the main ingredient in most commercial insect repellents.

Marigolds: Marigolds, which contain a chemical called thiopenes, are often planted to keep harmful insects away from other plants in the garden (especially tomatoes). Marigolds also repel mosquitoes.