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If you enjoy gardening, chances are you’ve had to fight with mosquitoes while you work.
There are many insect repellents that help keep bugs away, but most smell unpleasant and can cause rashes on sensitive skin.
We’ve already talked about how you can use your garden more for its looks by planting flowers that attract butterflies. The same concept can be used to repel pests naturally, too. Simply employ any of these beautiful plants to make your garden not only beautiful, but work for you.
Plants That Repel Pests Naturally:
Zone Hardiness: 9-10
If you live in a warm area, lemongrass may be a good plant to try. Lemongrass contains citronella oil, which is famously used to outdoor candles to repel pests naturally. The grass also has a lemony flavor and is used to make tea.
Even if you live in an area cooler than 9-10, you may still be able to grow this plant. Lemongrass is very low-maintenance and grows well in containers. Just bring the pot in when the weather gets cold.
Zone Hardiness: 5-10
Repels: Mosquitoes, moths, fleas, flies
Lavender is as easy to grow as it is beautiful. The shrub features intense blue, violet or lilac flowers that form in whorls. The plant gives off a lovely scent that is often used in potporri.
That same lovely fragrance helps repel pests naturally from your home. It’s believed that the scent is so strong it hinders a mosquito’s sense of smell.
Zone Hardiness: 4-10
Repels: Mosquitoes, carrot flies, asparagus beetles, whiteflies, houseflies
Basil isn’t just great for pasta dishes; they’re also great at driving away houseflies and mosquitoes. It grows well in most climates, and if yours is a little too cold, it can be grown indoors in containers, too. That makes it easy to grab on your way to the porch or while you’re cooking a savory sauce.
Zone Hardiness: 3-9
Repels: Roaches, ants, Japanese beetles, ticks, silverfish, lice, bedbugs, root-knot nematodes
Mums are gorgeous plants that come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They have distinct flowers that grow in clusters and are made up of many small petals. They’re also great natural insecticides, with the ability to drive off roaches, ticks, ants and more.
They aren’t just dangerous to insects. They are also toxic to cats, dogs and horses. If you decide to use this plant, make sure you plant it in an area they can’t reach.
Zone Hardiness: 3-4
Repels: Ants, flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, weevils, Colorado potato beetles, cabbage loopers, cockroaches
For a more cat-friendly approach to pest-control, consider catnip. Catnip is most famously known as a safe “drug” for kitties, but are also great pest repellents that can drive off ants, aphids, beetles and more. Catnip’s relatives, peppermint and spearmint, also repel pests naturally well.
They’re easy to grow, but can overcome your garden if left alone(this is also true for mint plants). Instead of planting them right in your garden, plant them in containers in high-traffic outdoor areas instead. Once the plant is completely established, you can dry cuttings for your cats. They will love you for it.
Zone Hardiness: 9-11
Repels: Aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, squash bugs
Petunias are known for their ruffled petals that come in shades of white, pink, red, yellow, blue, or purple. The petals themselves have little hairs that can trap insects and absorb their nutrients. This makes them ideal for keeping many pests away including aphids, beetles, and more.
What plants do double-duty in your garden? Let us know in the comments down below!