11 Garden Plants to Help Keep Bugs Away

The summer season is in full swing, although the sunshine isn’t always consistent with living in the UK.

Hopefully, you are getting your garden all ready for friends and family to visit, but you’re starting to get worried about the increasing numbers of bugs and flies that keep lingering around in the air. 

Bugs and insects can appear for a number of different reasons, that can, a lot of the time, be out of our control.

There is however a number of plants that you can purchase and plant that will discourage these insects from wanting to hang around. 

Here are some great plants for your garden that will help keep bugs away this summer:

11 Garden Plants to Help Keep Bugs Away |

Table of Contents


Marigolds are a fantastic plant to have in your garden as they will deter many different types of bugs. They are also good at keeping other pests such as mosquitos and rabbits.



Chrysanthemums are great for a number of different reasons, but one of the best is that they can be grown in pots and will produce beautiful flowers too. Chrysanthemum plants have been found to deter flies and fleas.

Chrysanthemums 1


These plants produce an aroma that is great for getting rid of pesky flies and mosquitoes, but it’s not their only benefit; Lavenders can help with healing wounds and creating more of a calming environment too!



Mint is a fantastic plant that can be grown in pots or the ground. They will produce leaves and stems, but it’s also known to have wonderful scents for fighting off pesky bugs such as mosquitoes!

mint plant


Basil is a great plant to have in the kitchen as it can be used for cooking, but they also work well in your garden because of their wonderful scents. Basil plants are known to keep bugs and flies away from eating vegetables that are growing close by.

basil plant

Citronella grass

Everyone knows that citronella is the main ingredient in mosquitos repellents. It’s also a great plant that you can grow in your garden to keep other insects away.

Citronella grass


Petunias are a beautiful plant to have in your garden and they also make it one of the best for keeping bugs away too. They produce lovely flowers that can be used to cover up areas where there is no other plants, but it’s their bug-repelling properties that make this a great place for them.


Bay leaves

Bay leaves are a bit more unusual plant to be using for your garden, but they can also help with keeping bugs away too. They make an excellent addition to potpourri and other scented items as well.

Bay Leaves


Garlic is a great plant to have in the kitchen, but they also work well in your garden because of their strong scent. Garlic plants are known for repelling bugs like mosquitoes and flies.


Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is fantastic for repelling pests because of its strong scent. This herb may not be the best for growing in pots because of high water requirements, but it’s a great plant to have near the entrance to your home so that pests stay away from it too.

lemon balm


Lemongrass can be planted near the back of your garden to keep mosquitoes away. Lemongrass is a great plant for keeping pesky insects at bay because it has been shown that this fragrant grass attracts bugs and keeps them from coming in contact with you. Not only does it help keep pests out, but it can also help keep pests from invading your garden.

Lemongrass is a perennial plant that needs to be planted in the ground, so it does best in moist soil conditions and will need an ample amount of water throughout its life. This fragrant grass grows up to three feet tall with long stalks and small leaves.


Frequently Asked Questions

Chilli powder will not deter cats from entering your garden. It is meant more for use in gardens to keep away rabbits, deer and other animals that may eat the plants.

This is a good question. Peppermint plants produce oils that can keep the bugs away, but they also attract them to it as well. You will need to use other methods in order for this plant alone to work effectively and not have an adverse effect on your environment by attracting more pests than you are trying to get rid of.

Tomatoes themselves act as a deterrent by producing natural chemicals which make them distasteful and unpleasant for pests such as aphids, beetles, earwigs, and slugs to eat.

While there are many plant options to help keep bugs away, one of the most effective plants is citronella. Citronella has a strong smell that mosquitoes dislike and can be grown as an annual or perennial in warmer climates like Florida where it will grow up to two feet tall. It's best to put this plant near open windows so you can enjoy the smell.

This plant is also helpful because it's a mosquito repellent that comes in handy for outdoor activities like camping or fishing trips. It needs at least six hours of sunlight every day to grow but will need more if grown indoors as an annual.

As mentioned above, another plant that relies on strong smells to ward off pests is garlic. Garlic will grow up to two feet tall and needs full sun exposure with at least six hours of sunlight per day in order for it to thrive as well as rich, fertile soil.

You can also spray a diluted mixture of water and cloves onto vegetables if bugs are becoming an issue or you may want to use more potent chemicals like pyrethrum which should be sprayed sparingly so the smell doesn't stick around too long.

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Oliver Wright

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