Plants That Repel Insects

Growing vegetables and plants that repel insects is an eco-friendly and sustainable way to minimize problems associated with infestations from garden insects and pests. And, whether you have a flower garden or a vegetable garden, there are plenty of bug-repelling plants to choose from.

Herbs That Repel Insects

Plants that Repel Insects: BorageGrowing flowers that repel insects isn't the only way to keep your garden pest free. There are plenty of herbs that bugs find offensive too. For instance:

  • Growing chives and other alliums (like onions and garlic) is an easy and pretty way to repel common garden pests like ants, aphids and flea beetles. Plus, many alliums are perennials that require little care and maintenance.

  • For an insect-repelling herb garden, try growing rosemary and sage. Both rosemary and sage repel vegetable-destroying garden bugs like cabbage moths and carrot flies.

  • Need plants that repels insects that feed on tomatoes? Try growing basil and borage.

  • While it can get quickly out of control if not properly contained, mint is another easy-to-grow plant that repels bugs like cabbage moths and ants.

Vegetable Plants That Repel Insects

Plants that repel insects: radishesWhile most of the plants that repel insects are vegetables (in fact, it's those delicious vegetables that are attracting hungry insects and pests to your garden to begin with!), there are a couple of vegetables that you can grow to help deter bad buggers. For instance:

  • If you're looking for a way to save your cucumbers, squash and melons this year, try growing radishes. Radishes repel cucumber beetles (which feed on all of those tasty, low-growing garden treats).

  • An unexpected plant for repelling insects, celery (okay, celery extract) has been shown to be quite effective against garden pests like white cabbage moths.

  • Grow beans and potatoes close together (but not interplanted) and they'll work together to protect one another: The potatoes will repel Mexican bean beetles and the beans will repel Colorado potato beetles.

Flowers that Repel Insects

Plants that Repel Insects: MarigoldsJust because you want to grow plants that repel insects doesn't mean you're stuck growing just onions and herbs—there are quite a few pretty, low-maintenance flowers that repel bugs too. For instance:

  • Plant marigolds for a bug-repellent flower that earns its garden space. In fact, French marigolds repel a host of garden pests, including whiteflies, tomato hornworms, bean beetles, cucumber beetles, nematodes and asparagus beetles.

  • Plant nasturtium (an annual edible flower) to repel squash bugs and whiteflies.

  • To repel Japanese beetles, grow rue and white-flowered geraniums.

What bug-repelling plants do you grow? Have you found some plants that repel insects better than others?

Images graciously provided by thea0211, lclettuce and wikimedia. Thanks!