Best Plants To Keep Bugs Away

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Your garden will never be able to thrive if bugs continually eat your plants. Pests can also make it difficult to enjoy time outside and perform yard work. So, what are the best plants to keep bugs away?

The best plants to keep bugs away are lavender, mint, chives, citronella, and marigolds. Plants like basil, garlic, petunia, and lemon thyme are also great natural bug repellents. Rosemary and bay leaves can also keep bugs away outside and even indoors if you dry and hang them.

It’s important to consider how much sunlight and what kind of soil these bug-repelling plants require. You can protect the other plants in your garden if you plant mint, lavender, and basil near them. Follow along as we highlight the best plants to keep bugs away and what their ideal growing conditions are.

Plants That Keep Bugs Away

Whether it be lavender or basil, many plants keep bugs away. The ideal bug-repelling plants for you vary based on how much space you have and what kind of pests are in your garden. Let’s look at the best plants to keep bugs away.

1. Lavender

Even though lavender smells great, it can keep bugs away from your garden. Some homeowners even bring lavender indoors, let it dry, and hang it up. The oils in lavender leaves are quite aromatic and bugs can’t stand the scent.

Ideally, you should plant lavender in an area where it can get as much sun exposure as possible. This will ensure that it can grow and thrive.

2. Mint

While mint smells good to many people, most bugs despise its scent. That is because it contains menthol which is a powerful and natural bug repellent. Other pests, such as mice and shrews, will avoid the mint in your yard as well.

You can also keep bugs out of your house if you put mint essential oils in a diffuser. Spiders will always avoid menthol and mint.

3. Chives

Not only will chives keep deer and animals away from your plants, but they will also keep bugs out of your garden. Chives smell strongly like onions, and most animals and bugs avoid them. Plant chives to keep everything from rabbits and deer to beetles and spider mites away from your plants.

Chives will only thrive if you plant them in full sun with soil that can drain well. They are perennials as well so they should thrive throughout the year if you take great care of them.

4. Citronella

Citronella grass is one of the best solutions to keep bugs away from your garden. Plant citronella if you have a problem with mosquitoes in your yard. While it isn’t the most visually appealing type of grass, it can work miracles to protect the other plants in your yard and make the space more comfortable.

This tall grass is easy to grow and it grows tall quickly. However, you must be careful as you don’t want to plant it in full sun. Citronella grass requires filtered sunlight, so it works well in a yard with several trees.

5. Marigolds

Marigolds are by far the most visually appealing natural bug repellent. They can protect the other plants in your garden from mosquitoes and squash worms. It also helps to plant marigolds near your tomatoes as they can stop worms and mites from destroying them.

Marigolds require full sun to grow well. They can bloom anytime between early summer and late fall, so you have a large window of opportunity to grow marigolds and keep bugs away from your plants.

6. Petunias

Plant petunias to keep bugs away. They are beautiful, and aromatic, and can naturally repel bugs. Petunias can repel aphids, beetles, and mites, which can all pose a threat to your garden.

They can also repel mosquitoes, so it’s a great idea to plant petunias in an outdoor area where you spend a lot of time. Try to plant your petunias in an open area with little shade as they require as much sunlight as possible.

7. Basil

Basil is yet another aromatic plant that appeals to people but repels bugs. The oils in basil are what make the plant so delicious. However, much like menthol in mint, these oils are strong enough to keep bugs away.

Many homeowners plant basil near marigolds because they can easily cohabitate in the same soil space. It’s a great idea to plant it near vegetables that fall victim to bug bites to reduce the damage.

8. Garlic

Garlic is a sure way to keep bugs out of your garden. Whether you plant garlic or simply place cloves in your garden, you will see fewer bugs. Garlic requires plenty of sunlight, so you need to be careful about where you plant it.

You can also scatter garlic oil around your plants to keep insects and small animals away. The oil won’t damage your healthy plants, but it will smell quite strong.

9. Rosemary

Much like basil and garlic, rosemary is just as great for cooking as it is for repelling insects. Rosemary can protect nearby plants from bugs. You can also bring some dried rosemary inside to keep bugs out of the house.

Some homeowners plant rosemary in several places because it doesn’t have a long range. It also helps that rosemary looks gorgeous so you don’t have to worry about throwing off your garden’s aesthetic.

10. Bay Leaves

Mosquitoes and cockroaches are among the most annoying and even scary insects. Bay leaves can repel both of these repulsive insects. Similar to basil in both appearance and smell, bay leaves are just as effective outside as they are indoors.

Place dried bay leaves on the ground or in your cabinets and closets if you have cockroaches inside. You don’t even need to plant leaves to keep bugs away. Simply scatter bay leaves in your garden around plants that frequently get bitten.

11. Lemon Thyme

Lemon thyme is a natural insect repellent, and mosquitoes avoid it at all costs. While planting lemon thyme can repel bugs, burning it can have an even stronger effect. For example, burning lemon thyme sprigs works the same way as burning citronella.

Simply pluck some lemon thyme sprigs, place them on a dish, and burn them. This will keep the mosquitoes away from you and your friends while you spend time outdoors.

Is There A Plant That Kills Bugs?

Chrysanthemums can kill bugs if they eat them. The oil within chrysanthemums can both repel and kill bugs. Many people drop chrysanthemum extract onto plants that attract lots of pests.

They are perennial, but many homeowners must plant them again each year because they don’t always come back on their own. Simply invest in some extracts if you cannot grow chrysanthemums in your garden.

Summing It Up

Lavender, mint, chives, and citronella are the best plants to keep bugs away. Plants like marigolds and petunias are quite aromatic and the smell is off-putting to most bugs. Strong-smelling plants such as basil, garlic, and rosemary can also keep bugs away.

If you don’t have room in your garden, you can simply use extracts instead. For example, garlic and chrysanthemum extract can repel and even kill some bugs, such as beetles and mites.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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