After spending hours planting carefully chosen flowers or tending lovingly to a vegetable patch, the sight of creepy crawlies will make any garden lover’s heart drop. While some can be hugely beneficial, helping to pollinate and cultivate various plants, there are many that quite rightly earn the title, ‘pest’!
Although there are many ways chemically in which you can attempt to eradicate these unwanted visitors, this can also have an adverse effect on the plants you’ve painstakingly maintained. Fortunately, there are an abundance of non-toxic ways to deter pesky bugs, mainly in the form of plants. So, instead of using pesticides and potentially damaging products, why not consider incorporating some plants that repel bugs in the garden?
The Best Plants That Repel Bugs For The Garden
Whether you have always been a keen gardener or have taken up the hobby during the pandemic, one thing that is always beyond frustrating are those nasty pests. Not only can they make a garden look unsightly, but they damage all your hard work and beautiful flowers. However, using chemical products such as pesticides to get rid of those annoying bugs can be doing more damage than good. The reason for this is that the chemicals can not only damage the plants themselves, but can also deter or kill wildlife that your garden vitally needs to look vibrant and colourful.
Thanks to mother nature, the natural resources we can choose from to repel pests are plentiful. You’d be surprised at how easily obtained they are and how quickly they can begin to protect your garden against unwanted guests. Some will almost definitely add to the beauty of your garden, while others will make tasty additions to certain recipes; demonstrating a multitude of benefits. As experts in landscape maintenance in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, we have a wealth of knowledge on everything plant related, including those best for your garden. To lend you a helping hand in your garden creations, here are the top 10 plants that could prove to be an ally to anyone with green fingers:
Commonly considered as nature’s pesticide, petunias are available in an array of bright colours. While they may look pretty and delicate from the outside, these flowers are fantastic at repelling a range of undesirable pests, including:
- Tomato Hornworms
- Asparagus Beetles
Not only are they easy to grow in an abundance of settings, such as containers, flower beds and hanging baskets, they also give off a liquorice-like scent that helps to drive away pests. If you’re looking for a help in planting your petunias, then J.Parkers has a fantastic guide that we think will come in handy. You can also contact our team for landscape maintenance in Northampton and the surrounding areas if you would like to completely redesign your garden, including planting petunias.
Although this may not be the prettiest of plants, its benefits to gardened areas, not to mention the kitchen, are endless. The strong smell that emanates from this herb helps to keep the following bugs away:
- Mosquito Eggs
- House Flies
The best way to keep basil in the gardens without it ruining your landscape is to keep a pot on your kitchen window ledge, which can help to keep pesky flies and mosquitoes away during the summer months. It’s also great in containers by the back door, where it’s easily accessible for use in the kitchen. In fact, Taste of Home has 40 easy and super tasty recipes including basil, so you can also use it to create delicious things to eat; as if there wasn’t a good enough reason already to invest in this pest repelling plant!
Basil plants can be picked up from garden centres and well as down the salad and veg section in supermarkets. We would recommend taking a look at the selection of basil plants on D.T.Brown, or for those that like to see their plants grow from seeds, you can find basil seeds on Sowseeds and a guide on how to grow them on Gardeners World.
One of the most effective pest repellents a gardener can buy is the chrysanthemum, which contains an ingredient named pyrethrum that effectively drives away many bugs, including:
- Japanese Beetles
- Spider Mites
Pyrethrum has the ability to kill jumping insects, making them a forceful enemy to garden pests. The ingredient is so effective, it is commonly used in natural insecticides used to spray on all kinds of flowers, plants and vegetables to ward off pests.
With over 130 years of experience in growing Chrysanthemums, Woolmans have an extensive list to choose from, enabling you to select a colour that will suit your garden.
This pretty star-shaped flower will self-sow once seeds have been planted and reappear each year. It is a great addition to any outside space, due to the fact that it not only attracts beneficial pollinators such as bees and wasps to your garden, but also repels pests that can get to your lovely garden vegetables. These include the following:
- Tomato Hornworms
- Cabbage Worms
As well as doing a great job in keeping pests away, it actually helps to build up the resistance of any surrounding plants. If herbal teas are something you enjoy, the leaves are also great to use in this way and are said to help battle stress, prevent allergies and strengthen the immune system. The Homestead Garden has an easy recipe you can follow if you’d like to use this multi-talented flower in tea. You can buy Borage at a great price from Suttons, and you’ll be reaping the benefits before you know it.
Moving away from the smaller insects for a minute, many gardeners suffer from the presence of larger pests. Our next pest repelling weapon is known as the Mole Plant and helps to keep away the following animals:
Not only are these all very unpleasant guests to have, but they can also wreak havoc on your garden in a very big way. Molehills and mice droppings can transform your garden from a lovely, relaxing space into a pest-infested enclosure, so the use of Mole Plant is highly recommended. Containing the ingredient, castor oil – a well-known mole repellent – makes this plant top of the list if your garden is being visited by these pesky creatures. Victoriana Nursery sells this plant and offers further information on the way in which it repels moles.
A close relation to the Marigold, this flower not only attracts many of the good guys, including hoverflies that help to keep pests such as aphids in check, but also deter the following not so helpful insects:
- Asparagus Beetle
- Tomato Hornworm
As well as proving to be an asset to all avid gardeners in terms of pest control, they’ll make a beautiful addition to any flower bed. With crimson backed, deep orange petals, they’re not only a potent pest repellent but a very pretty plant. You can pick some up in various quantities and colours from Sarah Raven.
These delicate flowers may not look it, but they are incredibly robust and help to repel a whole host of garden pests, including:
- Japanese Beetles
- Corn Earworm
It is said that geranium essential oil is great to drop on the skin if you are prone to mosquito bites during the summer months, so why not invest in some for yourself as well as your garden. You Garden have some of the plants on offer, providing you with the perfect opportunity to add their purple hues to your garden.
While many people like to add this plant chopped up to their roast lamb or mojito cocktail, it’s also a great addition to outside spaces in a bid to keep pests away. We all enjoy the refreshing smell that mint gives off, but ants particularly, absolutely hate it, along with the following pests:
- Slugs & Snails
When grown in the ground, mint grows aggressively, so it is best contained in pots and placed around the plants you are wanting to protect. You can even sprinkle some of the chopped up leaves around your garden and patio to ward off unwanted visitors. You can buy mint in various outlets, although we love the selection of differently scented mints on offer from Hetty’s Herbs & Plants.
These sound pretty lethal, and in the pest world, they are! Not only are they alluring and beautiful to look at, they prove to be very effective in literally capturing and ingesting garden pests such as these:
- House Flies
Usually quite exotic in appearance, these plants need to be placed in a sunny area in order to keep moist and do their job effectively. A popular carnivorous plant is the pitcher – the largest plant in the group. Their funnel-like appearance traps their prey and makes it almost impossible for them to escape. The plant then digests the insect and uses it for its own nutritional gain – brutal! 247 Pest Control has a great article detailing the best carnivorous plants when considering garden pests.
While many people love the smell of lavender, in the form of essential oils and lavender pillows, most bugs and insects hate it. In fact, the only insects to enjoy the scent are bees, which are very beneficial in terms of pollination. The most common pests to be deterred by this vibrant plant are the following:
- House Flies
Being a perennial herb in essence, this plant is drought resistant and once established, will stay in place almost all year round. Impact Plants have a lovely selection of pot grown lavender and shrubs to choose from, so you can select the best option for your outdoor setting.
Keeping Your Gardens Well Maintained
By now, you should have many ideas as to how you can keep those pesky creatures well away from your garden. Don’t let your efforts to create a haven of natural beauty be destroyed by any of the pests listed above, by arming your outside areas with protective plants. If you are in the process of preparing your garden for the next season and are in need of professional help, we have gardeners that specialise in all kinds of landscaping, from commercial maintenance in Milton Keynes to grounds maintenance in Northampton.