Plants that Repel Insects

Most plants have natural substances and aromas that repel many garden insects. These types of plants are a bonus to gardeners who like doing other activities rather than spending time spraying their plants with insect repellents. Below is a list of plants that are known to repel harmful insects.


Lavender, a gorgeous shrub that gives off a strong and sweet aroma, is known to repel ticks, moths and mice. It grows best in dry climates and rarely needs to be watered.


Geraniums come in a variety of types. However all geraniums have one thing in common: they love lots of sun and rich soil that drains well. Compost added to the soil will give these plants an extra boost in growth. The strong citrus aroma of some scented geraniums repels mosquitoes. All other types of geraniums are known to repel cabbage worms and red spider mites.


Garlic, a tasty plant used as a recipe in various meals, repels aphids, apple scabs, borers, Japanese beetles, peach leaf curl disease and spider mites. Garlic is planted in the fall and grows best in semi-dry climates.


Marigolds are gorgeous flowers that come in various shades of yellow, orange, burgundy and bi-colors. Their unpleasant fragrance repels most insects, especially Mexican bean beetles, asparagus beetles, tomato worms, and nematodes. They grow well in direct sunlight but need continuous care.


Sunflowers are one flower plant that is known to attract birds and harmless insects, such as bees and butterflies, to gardens. As their name suggests, sunflowers are lovers of the sun and warm weather. They repel armyworms and grow best in the spring and summer.


Rosemary, a herb known to cure various illnesses, stimulate appetites and aid in digestion, is a perennial shrub that is native to the Mediterranean countries, Spain and Portugal. The potent scent this plant gives off repels harmful insects such as bean beetles, cabbage moth and carrot flies.


Sage is an evergreen perennial shrub that is commonly used as a medicinal herb and as a spice to season meat and poultry. This plant grows well in warm, sunny climates, and prefers to be planted in well-drained soil. Sage is known to repel most insects, especially bean beetles, slugs, carrot flies and cabbage moth.


Oregano plants tend to grow best in remote mountainous areas that are free of all pollution. These plants can grow well in most types of soil as long as they are planted in areas that receive lots of sunshine. Oil extracted from this plant is used to treat diarrhea, colds, upset stomachs and more serious illnesses. It is also as an essential oil that is commonly used to stimulate physical energy. Oregano plants are known to repel cabbage butterflies and cucumber beetles.


Catnip is a hardy perennial that belongs to the mint family. While it’s sweet aroma attracts most felines, its scent repels harmful insects such as ants, aphids, cockroaches, flea beetles and Japanese beetles. This plant requires very little care and grows well in areas that get very little moisture.

Other plants that are resilient to harmful insects include, but are not limited to, Tansy, Cosmos, Pennyroyals, Rue, Chrysanthemums, Mint, Thai Lemon Grass, Parsley, Nasturtiums, Radish and Flax.


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