Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TT-Gardening to repel bugs

There are several herbs that naturally repel bugs.

Gardening to repel bugs
Gardening to repel bugs

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  • *Pennyroyal (**European-Mentha pulegium and American-Hedeoma pulegioides aka false pennroyal.) Repel mosquitos, fleas and household flies. It is toxic if ingested by pets or humans.

  • Rosemary This is the best Mosquito repellent in our garden. You can throw a sprig on the grill too for added protection. Bonus-Cats don't like this plant.

  • Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) Those allergic to ragweed do not want to plant this. Pyrethrin found in the seeds are toxic to bugs. Keep away from pregnant women because pyrethrin stimulates the uterus.

  • Catnip (Nepeta Cataria) 10x more effective than DEET. Will attract cats! Cats who sniff react to the nepetalactone. When ingested it's a sedative.

  • *Wormwood-(Artemisia absinthium)Do not plant with edible herbs. It is consider poisonous. Cats tend to stay away but take precautionary steps. Plant in a container.

  • Tansy (Tanacetum) relative of Feverfew. Crush the leaves and rub on an animals fur to repel fleas.( Tansy mustard is different than this plant and is toxic to pets)

  • *Marigolds Last year we had a few angry bumble bees who fed on this plant. I planted along the walk way and they would chase us at times. I would plant away from a heavy traffic area, more towards the middle of a garden. These will take over in the ground but require a lot of water in pots.

Gardening to repel bugs
Gardening to repel bugs
  • *Pennyroyal
  • Mint
  • Tansy

  • Catnip
  • *Chives
  • *Pennyroyal
  • Mint-Mentha spp.
  • Tansy

  • Lemongrass

Japanese Beetle
Gardening to repel bugs
  • *Geranium
  • Tansy


  • Citronella & Lemongrass
  • *Marigold
  • *Pennyroyal
  • *Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Patchouli

  • *Wormwood
  • Mint
  • Citronella

We have two pots of Lemongrass on the deck which might move to under the deck in time.
The walkway to the grill has one pennyroyal and one Lemongrass on either side. I will miss my marigolds but I will never forget that Bumble Bee sting.

We have one more section to consider, behind the grill. My husband wants something of interest that grows tall yet not wide. I just want the bugs to go away. Sorry but this momma has sensitive skin and wants to enjoy the outdoors with her son. My main concern is naturally repelling the mosquito.

Lavender, Rosemary, Patchouli, Mint and Geranium create a relaxing and bug free area with their intoxicating aroma. My favorites are lavender and patchouli while others prefer Rosemary and Mint.

*Toxic to pets
**Read the labels.

What will you be planting this year?

If you plant herbs then check out 

Lavender and Sage Centerpiece.

 Past Tips and Tricks Thursdays


  1. is the topsy tervy at the top of the page yours? I want to do mine on a deck like your is. What did you use for the rod? All the other ones I see online are done on the dirt with a re-bar rod going into the ground. Thanks

    1. Hi Sandi. It is similar. We bought it at the Philadelphia Flower Show. I will try to get the manufacturer's name. They offered a discount in person. You don't have to drill holes in the pot as it uses the drainage holes. We just had a really windy season and it hasn't moved. It can be tricky to water. I wouldn't plant anything that likes moist soil.