We’ve had a few days in the 80s here in the mountains and it’s getting me SO excited for hanging outdoors this summer. But I know that with summer comes mosquitos… and I’m totally one of those people who gets eaten alive all summer long. I’ve started to also plan garden beds, which means I’ve been researching options for plants that keep away the bugs, too. While I know nothing will keep bugs away forever (and that some bugs are beneficial), I would still like to keep them at bay a bit. There are so many plant varieties out there that do this, but here are my top picks. I’d love to know your faves, too!
Enjoy A Bug-Free Backyard This Summer Thanks to These Plants That Keep Away the Bugs
I pretty much plant marigolds every year in my gardens because they are such a cute, cheerful flower that also benefits certain edible plants when planted together (aka co-planting). It turns out that marigolds are well-known for bug repelling properties, too! Pesky bugs like mosquitos and whiteflies hate the scent of marigolds. They also attract good bugs that attack and kill aphids, so if you have an outbreak of those in your garden, try planting some marigolds! Just keep in mind that some repelling properties can take time to be effective.
Just like marigolds, planting lavender is a no-brainer for me. I can’t wait to add even more to the cabin gardens! Aside from smelling lovely, lavender plants are known to repel moths, fleas, mosquitos and even flies — which is why I had so much of it planted around our old chicken yard! You can also harvest bouquets of lavender to hang by your windows and doors so that flies don’t come inside your home.
I’m pretty sure we all know that citronella repels bugs like mosquitos, so why not plant lemongrass plants which is where citronella oil is derived? Plus, you will always have fresh lemongrass on hand for cooking. Win win!
Speaking of delicious… I always grow rosemary as well and was pleased to find out that it also contains bug repelling properties. Mosquitos hate it, making rosemary one of my faves. Also, fear not if you don’t have a ton of garden space — rosemary is really low maintenance and grows well in containers!
The Allium family includes plants such as chives, leeks, shallots or even just ornamentals. These plants keep away bugs thanks to their strong fragrance. Plus they look cool when they bloom into big globe-shaped clusters of tiny flowers. They’re great for repelling cabbage worms, aphids, and slugs among others.
Additional plants that repel bugs:
- Mint (my personal fave is Kentucky sweet mint for cocktails!)
- Bee balm/horsemint
Do you have some fave plants that repel pesky bugs? Let me know!