Nothing hurts a green finger more than pests in the garden. Unfortunately, bugs, insects, weeds and pests are commonplace in a healthy home garden. But all is not lost– there are a few plants that naturally repel pests without having to douse the area in industrial-grade pesticide. And the more plants, the better, right? Here is a rundown of plants that keep bugs away:
Marigolds are very popular in Indian homes thanks to their use in festivities. Who knew they had insect-repelling benefits, too! Marigolds keep mosquitos at bay and drive away aphids, which are bugs that suck sap from plants. The scent from the flowers also chases away whiteflies, known to plague tomato plants. To take care of your useful little marigolds, water them once every week and avoid adding fertilizer.
Chrysanthemums are yet another type of ornamental plants that keep bugs away. Their natural fragrance repels beetles, bed bugs, ants, silverfish, even ticks. This makes them perfect for a house with pets and human inhabitants! Water your chrysanthemum plant once every week without fail and pinch off dead flowers immediately so you can increase bloom time.
Basil has a whole host of benefits, one of them being repelling insects. The herb primarily affects house flies and mosquitos, making them an ideal addition to kitchen gardens and balconies. They’re also a handy plant to have around when you want to add a little flavour to Italian cuisine! Keep your basil plant in a warm sunny spot so it thrives and water it at the base, instead of over the leaves.
Pitcher plants don’t repel bugs, per se– they eat them. These carnivorous plants still fall under the category of ‘plants that keep bugs away’ because they instantly attract bugs of all kinds including flies, wasps and beetles. Pitcher plants are a tad difficult to grow in home gardens because of how sensitive they are to levels of moisture and sunlight. Your best bet is to grow the plant in a pot that’s sitting in a saucerful of water. Take care not to overwater– the soil needs to be moist and not wet.
Rosemary is known to repel insects that are harmful to vegetable plants and mosquitoes too. The natural oil in the plant is unpleasant to many insects and keeps them away. Cuttings and sprays made of the plant are equally effective and last long in the fridge! The variation in size and types make this plant an ideal home garden option. They can be planted in flower beds, container boxes, pots, even landscaped gardens.
If you’re an ‘insect magnet’ or your house is, or if your home garden is often overrun with pests, then these plants that keep bugs away are your natural, cost-effective saviours. However, keep in mind that just growing these plants won’t ensure that your home is completely pest-free!