Pests are one of the most common reasons for gardeners to turn to toxic pesticides. However, there are plenty of natural alternatives, including flowers and herbs, which can keep pests away without you worrying about the chemical side effects.
Here are some flowers and herbs you can grow or buy on your next payday that are guaranteed to repel pests.
The scent of lavender is pleasing to humans, but it can be extremely irritating when breathed in by insects. In fact, the scent of lavender is so strong that it can even help keep away fleas on your pets.
If you have a problem with moths at home or in your closet, store your clothes in airtight containers with a few drops of lavender oil to keep them away.
You can also use it as a companion plant for broccoli and cabbage because these plants will naturally repel carrot flies, aphids, and cabbage worms.
Lavender works well next to roses because the fragrance drives away small beetles and Japanese beetles that eat rose petals, though not aphids or thrips which commonly infect rose plants.
Lavender is also good next to rosemary because when the leaves are crushed, they release an odor that deters potato bugs and Mexican bean beetles. Plus, you’ll always have fresh herbs for cooking.
Basil is a natural pest repellent that wards off flies and mosquitoes, making it an ideal herb to grow near dining areas or in your garden.
You can also use the fresh leaves in cooking, but these fragrant herbs are best infused into oils and tinctures to make effective bug repellents.
After harvesting, you can dry the leaves and make them into decorative sachets that can be placed around your furnished apartment or added to bouquets of flowers to keep bugs away.
3. Scented Geraniums
Scented geraniums (pelargonium) are a great choice for your garden. Not only can they be grown indoors and out, but they’re also pest repellent and the leaves can be used in cooking.
These plants are highly aromatic, making them perfect companions to other fragrant herbs like rosemary and lavender. They also make a pleasant tea when steeped in hot water.
This plant grows best under full sun conditions but can tolerate partial shade as well. The soil should be fertile, acidic, and well-drained as the roots easily rot in soggy soil.
Scented geraniums can grow up to four feet tall and often have colorful blossoms resembling camellias or small roses that bloom from May through October, depending on where you live.
If you want to keep pests out of your garden but are not a big fan of lavender, mint is a great option. It’s highly effective at keeping ants and aphids away.
Plus, it’s so pretty that kids love picking it and handing it to you. Just make sure your plants don’t spread too much.
Some varieties of mint can be pretty invasive. Most mint varieties are perennials, which means they come back every year with little maintenance from you.
However, they can quickly take over your yard or garden beds if left unchecked.
If this happens in your home (or if you have other neighbors who aren’t fans of the smell), it’s easy to pull up and transplant the overgrown plants when the temperature is milder.
Marigolds are a great way to keep pests away without using pesticides or chemical-based repellents. They’re also easy to plant, grow quickly, and make the soil healthier for other plants you want to plant in the future.
Marigolds repel mosquitoes, flies, and other insects that can cause damage to your garden. Their leaves contain an oil that makes them taste terrible for aphids, beetles, and other insects.
Rather than exposing yourself or your family to chemicals from pesticides, feel free to grow plants and herbs that act as an effective pest-repellant. You could grow this yourself or gift them to a loved one.