Pest Repellent Plants You will Love

How to make your Garden Pest Free

How to make your outside patio or garden space more fragrant and bug resistant


The best way to make your patio bug resistant is to grow plants that bugs hate. The great thing about this strategy is that most of these plants are delicious for humans and they smell great!


My favorite on this list is lavender. I love this plant. The artificial stuff they put in many bath and beauty products is a terrible representation of this beautiful plant. Real lavender is lightly floral and has a clean soapy smell.  When planting lavender, I recommend getting the Provence variety. This is the classical lavender with the long stalks and the best smelling one in my opinion.  Lavender likes hills and being against walls. Put next to the entrance to your house to keep flies from coming in.


Next on the list is basil. This is a very low maintenance plant, and so delicious.  It's a very unique flavor that's hard to describe but is one of the main ingredients in many Italian dishes.  One of the great things about basil is you can make a homemade bug spray with it. Pour 4 ounces of boiling water into a container holding 4 to 6 ounces of clean, fresh basil leaves (stems can be attached). Let the leaves steep for several hours.  Remove the leaves and squeeze all of the leaves’ moisture back in the water. Then thoroughly mix 4 ounces of (cheap!) vodka with the basil-water mixture. The vodka helps the spray be quick drying and more effective so don't leave it out. Pour into a spray bottle and store in the refrigerator and apply when going outdoors. Be sure to keep the spray away from your eyes, nose and mouth.


One of the hardiest pest repellent plants I know is rosemary.  This plant is faintly piney and delicious on chicken, pork, and vegetables. I've even put it in mac and cheese! This plant hates being constantly tended to. That's one of the greatest things about it. You just plant and leave it alone if it's in the ground. If it's in a planter pot, once a week watering is all it needs if it doesn't get rain. I have had rosemary plants survive the winter and come back, it's that hardy. 


Lemon Balm is great for driving away mosquitos.  This plant is a member of the mint family. Pests hate mint but humans find it delightful. My favorite use for this plant and its cousins is mojitos. This drink is so bright and simple. You just combine your harvested mint with some sugar and smash it together at the bottom of the glass to release the essential oils in the mint and add lime juice, rum and club soda. So simple and so delicious.  Be careful planting this in the ground. It will go everywhere! This plant is better potted so you can control where it goes.


Most members of the herb family are also pest repellent but these are some of my favorites. I always keep these around for their multi-purpose benefits.  I always have plenty of herbs to eat while I enjoy the outside on my patio without having to worry about the pests.