10 Plants That Repel Pests: Natural Solutions for a Happy Garden

Gardening can be a rewarding hobby, but pests can often ruin the hard work we’ve put into cultivating our plants. When planning our gardens, choosing the right plants can help naturally deter unwanted insects and pests.

I’ve put together a list of ten plants that can help keep pests at bay while adding beauty and diversity to our gardens. These plants are easy to incorporate into any outdoor space and can provide an eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.

1) Lavender

I love having lavender in my garden. The scent is soothing, and it keeps pests like mosquitoes and moths away. Lavender is easy to grow and thrives in sunny spots with well-drained soil.

Every time I brush past the lavender, its fragrance fills the air. It adds beauty and function to my outdoor space.

2) Marigold

Marigolds are some of my favorite plants to keep pests away. Their bright orange and yellow blooms not only add color to my garden but also deter a wide range of insects.

I often plant marigolds near my vegetables. They release a scent that repels mosquitoes, aphids, and even tomato hornworms. It’s a natural way to protect my garden without using chemicals.

Marigolds are easy to grow. They thrive in full sun and well-drained soil, making them a perfect addition to any garden.

3) Basil

I love growing basil in my garden. It’s fantastic at repelling mosquitoes and houseflies. Plus, the fresh leaves are perfect for cooking.

Basil is really easy to grow in pots or directly in the ground. It needs plenty of sunlight and regular water.

Having basil around keeps my garden smelling amazing and helps keep pests away naturally.

4) Lemongrass


I love lemongrass for its fresh, citrusy scent. It’s not just great in teas and culinary dishes, it also repels pests effectively.

Mosquitoes, in particular, can’t stand the smell of lemongrass. Planting it around my garden helps keep these pesky insects at bay.

Besides mosquitoes, lemongrass can also deter whiteflies and aphids. It’s a natural, fragrant solution to keeping those critters away.

5) Rosemary

Rosemary is a fragrant herb that not only adds flavor to my dishes but also helps keep pests at bay.

I love how easy it is to grow in my garden or even in a small pot on my windowsill. The strong scent of rosemary deters mosquitoes, flies, and moths, making it a natural pest repellent.

It’s hardy and requires minimal care, thriving in well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.

6) Peppermint

I love using peppermint in my garden. The refreshing scent is fantastic for keeping mosquitoes, ants, and spiders at bay.

Peppermint can be easily grown in pots or in the ground. Just make sure it gets enough water and partial sunlight.

I also enjoy making peppermint tea with fresh leaves. The aroma itself helps to deter pests naturally.

7) Chrysanthemum

I love having Chrysanthemums in my garden. They are not just pretty flowers. These bright beauties also help keep pests at bay.

Chrysanthemums contain a natural chemical called pyrethrin. This substance is effective against ants, fleas, and roaches.

Planting them near doors and windows can create a natural barrier. Plus, they add a lovely splash of color to any garden or yard.

8) Petunias

I always find petunias to be a delightful addition to my garden. Their vibrant colors can brighten any space while keeping pest insects at bay.

These beautiful flowers emit a lovely fragrance that aphids, tomato hornworms, and asparagus beetles find quite unappealing.

Planting them near vegetables and fruits can add natural beauty and extra protection against unwanted pests.

9) Garlic


I love using garlic in my garden to keep pests at bay. It works wonders because of its strong odor, which many insects can’t stand.

I’ve found that planting garlic near roses can help protect them from aphids. Plus, garlic is easy to grow and doesn’t require much maintenance.

I often crush garlic cloves to make a natural insecticide spray. It’s effective against a range of pests and is safe for the environment.

10) Catnip


Catnip isn’t just for your feline friends—it’s also a great pest repellent.

When I plant catnip in my garden, I notice fewer mosquitoes. This plant releases nepetalactone, a compound that bugs dislike.

I also find catnip effective against aphids and beetles. It’s an easy-to-grow herb that can double as a pest deterrent and a treat for pets.

Benefits of Using Plants to Repel Pests

Using plants to repel pests offers an environmentally friendly and affordable method of pest control. There are specific advantages to consider when integrating this approach into your garden or home.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control

One of the most compelling benefits is the environmental impact. Traditional pesticides can harm the ecosystem, affecting beneficial insects, soil health, and even water quality. Plants such as marigolds, lavender, and basil release natural compounds that deter pests without toxic chemicals.

Using plants aligns with natural cycles, promoting biodiversity. Introducing pest-repelling plants can attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, enhancing garden health. This method avoids the negative effects of chemical runoff, making it a sustainable choice for long-term garden health.

Cost-Effective Solution

Growing pest-repelling plants is also a cost-effective solution. While pesticides can be expensive and require repeated applications, many of these plants require minimal maintenance once established. For example, lemongrass and rosemary grow well with minimal water and care, continuing to ward off pests year-round.

Potential savings extend beyond just purchasing fewer pesticides. Healthier plants have lower rates of disease and damage, reducing replacement costs. By using natural pest deterrents, you may also see lower health care costs, as you reduce exposure to harmful chemicals within your living space.

This approach provides a budget-friendly, ecologically friendly solution to maintaining a healthy and vibrant garden, balancing cost savings with long-term benefits.

How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Pest-Repelling Plants

To get the best results from pest-repelling plants, it’s essential to strategically place them and use companion planting techniques.

Strategic Plant Placement

Where you place your pest-repelling plants can make a big difference. Position them around the perimeter of your garden to create a natural barrier. Consider that certain pests are more active in specific areas, such as near entrances or water sources. By placing plants like marigolds or lavender near these spots, you’ll create a more effective defense.

Also, think vertically. Use hanging baskets or plant stands to introduce pest-repelling plants at different heights. This can deter flying insects more effectively. If you have raised beds, placing these plants along the edges can help guard your vegetables.

Lastly, avoid overcrowding. Plants need space to thrive and release their natural oils, which are responsible for repelling pests. When plants are too close together, they may not grow as effectively, reducing their ability to serve as a pest deterrent.


Companion Planting Techniques

Pairing pest-repelling plants with specific crops can enhance their effectiveness. For instance, basil can be planted near tomatoes to keep aphids and other bugs at bay. This not only protects your tomato plants but also supports the basil’s growth.

Another useful combination is chives with carrots. Chives can protect carrots from carrot flies, while the carrots benefit from better growth. Experiment with different pairings to see what works best in your garden.

Additionally, rotating plant combinations each season helps in managing persistent pests. By changing the plant layout, you make it harder for pests to establish themselves in your garden. This practice keeps your plants healthier and more productive across seasons.

Companion planting not only protects your garden but can also improve the flavor and growth of your plants. Remember to research and plan which plants work best together for optimal results.

Common Pests and the Plants That Repel Them

Protecting your garden from pests can be a challenge, but certain plants can naturally repel mosquitoes, aphids, and rodents. Here are some effective options for keeping these common pests at bay.


Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance; they can also carry diseases. Lemongrass is a champion at repelling mosquitoes due to its high citronella content. I’ve found planting lemongrass around patios and seating areas keeps these insects away.

Lavender is another great choice. Its pleasant smell to us is repellent to mosquitoes. You can use both potted lavender plants around your garden and dried lavender in sachets inside your home.

Marigolds also do a fantastic job. Their scent, though a bit strong, is something mosquitoes tend to avoid. Planting marigolds near doorways or windows can act as a natural barrier.


Aphids can damage a wide range of plants by sucking out their sap. Nasturtiums are wonderful because they draw aphids away from valuable plants. I often plant nasturtiums near my vegetable garden as both a trap crop and a lovely addition.

Planting garlic can also help. It’s known not only for its culinary uses but also for its pest-repelling properties. Mixing garlic into garden borders or creating garlic sprays can deter aphids effectively.

Chives are another useful option. Besides being great for cooking, chives release a scent that aphids find unpleasant. Potted chives around the garden can help keep those pesky insects at bay.


Rodents can wreak havoc in gardens, but certain plants can help deter them. Mint is very effective against rodents. I have mint planted in various spots around my garden, and I’ve noticed a significant decrease in rodent activity.

Daffodils are toxic to rodents, making them an excellent choice for repelling these pests. Plus, they add beauty with their bright blooms in spring.

Garlic works here too. Its pungent odor can drive away rodents just as effectively as it does aphids. Planting garlic bulbs along the perimeter of your garden is a strategy worth trying.