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Insect Repellant Plants


Insect Repellant Plants

Cristina Soriano

I know I’m not alone in saying that there have been many a time where a moment of outdoor bliss is interrupted by the buzzing of mosquitos. As a conservationist by nature (ha - get what I did there?), I don’t like using toxic insecticides that do more that just repel unwanted bugs. So here, dear readers, is a list of some natural repellants –all of which you can plant in your windowsill garden, patio plot or your lush lawn!


My favorite herb has purposes other than making food flavorful; the plant actually repels house flies and mosquitos. So plant these beauties and not only enjoy plates of pesto pasta, but a bug-free home as well!

Vibrant allium circles are delightful additions to any garden, but especially your vegetable garden. They repel small insects that feast on your growing vegetables, like slugs, aphids, carrot flies and cabbageworms.

Bushes of lavender always remind me of the rolling hills in the South of France, so I would never be opposed to having my backyard resemble those breathtaking vistas! With a crisp glass of rose in tow, I will not only feel like I’m in Provence, but I’ll be moth, flea, fly and mosquito free!

Fun fact: The oil in store-bought insecticides are made using chrysanthemum oil. Of course, with many other chemical additives, but there you go. The beautiful blooms repel against cockroaches, ants, ticks, lice, fleas, bedbugs, and spiders. A one stop shop, if you ask me!

Another favorite of mine, lemongrass is intoxicating and so soothing. Not only does it flavor Asian curries and steamed fish, but it repels mosquitos as well. In fact, citronella is a natural oil found in lemongrass. So rather than using chemically packed mosquito repellant, lather on lemongrass oil instead!

What I love about rosemary is that you can smell it from a mile away – and no matter where I am, I immediately dream about lamb chops. Not only is the hearty herb delicious on lamb, but also protects growing vegetables from pesky bugs. Rosemary repels mosquitos and veggie-eating bugs so plant them near your pumpkin patch for perfectly farmed produce!

Remember to grow your mint in designated pots rather than in the soil – you’ll find mint popping up in places where you don’t want it to be! It spreads quickly and is a very tenacious herb – it regrows year after year. Along with being so, well, rampant, it also repels mosquitos – so perhaps it’s not such a bad thing, after all.

Plant these bright yellow flowers to not only add bursts of sunshine into your garden, but to repel mosquitos, aphids and rabbits as well!


* Note: The watercolor bugs are made by my dear friend, Mita Corsini Bland. Click here to visit her stunning website. 

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