With summer approaching thoughts turn to outdoor barbecues and get togethers with friends and family. With that though comes the dreaded bugs that invade your space and are generally a nuisance for all involved. The mosquito is probably the ones that comes to mind first for most people, but there are a number of other pesky bugs to deal with like flies and gnats that can be just as annoying. I know personally how annoying those little flies can be, and how persistent they can be in swarming you. But there is hope in keeping pests away. Today, we’ll look at 5 plants that you can plant to help keep the bug away with this summer, and all without any nasty sprays or chemicals!
The key ingredient in most of these plants is their scent, or rather, what produces their scent. A lot of the chemicals that make up the scents are unpleasant to certain pests, and are actually able to repel them. Many of these plants work great when simply planted, but can also be crushed to further release their scent and provide more protection from pesky bugs. This makes the following plants all natural bug repellents.
To start, we have mint which is an excellent replant that is also super easy to grow. Mint is in fact so easy to grow that it’s likely to take over a whole garden if left unchecked; so make sure to segment it off and keep an eye on it.
Mint on it’s own is a great plant with a strong scent that keeps away a wide range of bugs. You can also try crushing it other to further release its scent, or use mint infused oil to create a cheap, natural bug spray. Mint is our first choice due to its fast growing speed.
Mint Care Tips
As we mentioned, mint is very easy to grow is difficult to kill. They require a good deal of indirect light, roughly about 4 hours per day. Other than that, check the soil every few days and water when dry. Outside of that, mint doesn’t require any special care, and will grow quite quickly.
Another great plant with a strong scent is catnip. Catnip is great at repelling pests as the scent is generally a turn off. For strong protection, consider crushing it up or using an oil infused with the plant. Alternatively, you can simply plant catnip in an area you wish to keep pests out of. Be sure to plant a good amount to really allow that scent to build up.
The only downside here is that cats are likely to go crazy for it. If you’re a cat owner it might be better to pick another plant or you’ll be trading one headache for another.
Catnip Care Tips
Catnip does best in areas that get a good amount of light. While they can grow in lower light and partial shade, you should make sure they’re not showing signs of inadequate light. This is not normally an issue in the summer, but may become one in the winter when light intensity drop. Outside of that though, catnip is fairly easy to grow and does well both indoors and out.
Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant flower that humans love and pests hate. Lavender has been show to keep away various types of pests such as mosquitoes, fleas, and flies, among others. The scent of lavender is what keep pests away, which is luckily something we can enjoy. Lavender makes a wonderful garden plant, but you can also grow it indoors to keep the pests out of your house.
If you’re looking for aesthetic value along with bug replant properties it’s hard to beat lavender. Compared to some of the other herbs on this list, lavender’s bright purple flowers really adds some color to their garden.
Lavender Growing Tips
Lavender is an easy plant to grow for, but should get about 4-6 hours of bright light per day. While it can survive on less than this, you’re unlikely to get those beautiful blooms. Lavender is also quite drought tolerant, so it’s a good plant if you’re the type that tends to forget to water from time to time.
Not only does it keep you safe from vampires, but garlic is also shown to drive away insects as well. That’s also not to mention the culinary and health benefits you receive when growing this plant.
The chemicals that produce Garlic’s pungent scent are shown to repel mosquitoes as well as other pests. There’s event some anecdotal evidence to suggest that a high garlic diet can also prevent being bitten without having to use replant. This doesn’t really have any scientific backing though, so don’t feel like you need to be consuming cloves at a time. For best effect, crush up a few cloves to really release the scent.
Garlic Growing Tips
Compared to the plant’s we’ve seen so far, garlic is a bit more difficult to grow. That’s not say it’s hard though, it just takes a bit more effort.
Start by choosing a high light location. Garlic needs about 8+ hours of light per day in order to bear harvestable cloves. You may also want to regularly fertilize it during the spring/summer, do so roughly once per month.
Citronella is a a natural oil that is often seen is various mosquito repellent items like candles, but it’s also natural found in lemongrass. This makes lemongrass an excellent repellent of mosquitoes, as well as several other pesky bugs. Being that lemongrass can grow quite large, it can do wonders to cut down on the bug population near your home.
Note that lemon grass is not one plant, but an umbrella term for a variety of them. All of them however produce citronella, which is what you’re looking for to keep the bugs away.
Lemongrass Growing Tips
Lemongrass does best in hot locations with lots of sun. Make sure you provide it an area with full sun, and also give it enough space to really spread out. For water, check the soil often and water when dry. During the peak of summer, you’ll likely water more than during the cooler months of spring or fall.
Plants That Keep Away Pests
If any of these plants interest you we’ve added affiliate links to Amazon to get started with a batch of seeds. These links directly support us, we get a small commission for every sale, and this helps us keep putting out content like this. We’ve also added links to other articles for the plants above so you can learn more about how to grow them.