7 Plants and Herbs That Repel Insects - Backyard Boss
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7 Plants and Herbs That Repel Insects

While insects are an integral part of the world’s ecosystem, they can be highly annoying for human beings. Their bites are often painful, they carry germs, and the constant buzzing can get on your nerves.

The good news is that you can keep them out of your home by placing some pest-repelling plants and herbs nearby. If you are wondering which plants drive away the bugs, keep reading!

1. Basil

Basil in a container
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Basil is a popular aromatic herb found in many cuisines worldwide, especially Italian. It has broad green leaves that look aesthetically pleasing around your kitchen. Most importantly, it keeps mosquitoes, fruit flies, houseflies, and gnats at bay. 

You can grow basil indoors in pots with enriched potting soil or a potting mix for indoor herbs. Place them in a spot with abundant sunlight for at least six hours daily. To keep the plant thriving, water it frequently to maintain moist soil. Whenever the pot feels light or the soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water your herb!

2. Lavender

Lavender in a Field
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Lavender is a beautiful perennial known for its many attributes. Its relaxing fragrance makes it a popular addition to oils and candles for a soothing effect. The same smell, however, is amazing for repelling fleas, moths, mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches, and numerous other pests. Keep a potted lavender plant or a bunch of lavender blooms indoors to drive the bugs away. 

Plant lavender in a pot filled with good-quality, well-draining, aerated potting soil with a pH between 6.5 and 8. Keep it in an area of your home with at least six hours of sunlight and good air circulation. Stick your finger in the soil to check if the plant is ready for a drink, and if the soil feels dry, water it.

3. Sage

sage leaves on white surface
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Sage is another perennial with a pleasing aroma that deters many insects, including moths and silverfish. You can grow the herb in hanging baskets or pots or burn its dried leaves for an immediate effect. You can also store the leaves in a sachet and place them in areas more susceptible to infestation, such as your bathrooms or kitchen drawers.

You can plant sage in small 12-inch pots with soil-based compost. It thrives in full sun and with regular watering when the soil feels dry. However, it does not appreciate overwatering or waterlogged soil, so drain any accumulated water from the tray under the pot after watering. 

4. Marigold

Yellow/Orange Signet Marigold Bloom
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Marigolds are cheerful plants with vibrant flowers and a distinct scent that drives away insects, such as flies, mosquitos, midges, and gnats. They also repel mice! Place the ornamental plant at your home entrance and on the windowsill to prevent the bugs from entering. Ensure that your chosen spot receives at least five hours of sunlight. 

Choose a soil-based potting mix and add a slow-release granular fertilizer to grow marigolds. Direct the spout of the watering can at the base of the plant to irrigate the roots once the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.   

5. Rosemary

Rosemary in small pots
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Rosemary is another flavorful herb armed with bug-repelling abilities. It is incredibly competent at keeping pesky pests, such as moths, mosquitoes, and flies, far away from its surrounding. A few herb sprigs can also enhance the flavor of a simple grilled chicken by manifolds. 

To grow rosemary in your home, opt for well-draining, fertile potting soil with a pH between 6 and 7. It also prefers at least six hours of direct sunlight and watering whenever the top inch of the soil dries out. 

6. Chrysanthemum

yellow flower
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Chrysanthemums are another flowering plant with delightful blooms in an array of colors. They are highly effective in deterring numerous insects from invading their space, including spider mites, ants, ticks, roaches, and fleas.

Grow chrysanthemums in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. The best place for growing the plant is on a sunny windowsill with at least six hours of direct sunlight. Water them when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil feels dry.  

7. Lemongrass

Hand planting and cutting lemongrass aromatic herb
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Lemongrass’s prowess at driving away insects is common knowledge since many bug-repellent sprays, lotions, and candles use citronella, an essential oil found in plant stalks and leaves. It is most effective against mosquitos, ants, ticks, gnats, and flies. Once you chase away the insects, use the stems in soups, stir-fries, and curries for a refreshing citrus flavor.   

Lemongrass does best in loamy, rich, well-draining soil at a pH of 5 to 8.4. It needs plenty of sunlight, at least six to eight hours daily, to thrive. Anything less and the plant will start to deteriorate. Check the soil frequently and water it whenever it feels dry.    

Banish the Bugs

Once the temperature gets warmer, the balmy air and blooming vegetation attract insects, which roam around and bring germs to your home. Fortunately, numerous plants with distinctive smells keep these pests at bay. Moreover, they are either great ornamental plants or perfect to enhance your culinary abilities!

So, which bug-repellent plant are you most likely to grow at home? Share below in the comments, along with any questions and suggestions!