Using plants as insect repellent

Many gardeners plant flowers around their vegetable gardens. Did you know that this helps keep away pests, as well as beautifying the area? Work towards an organic garden by incorporating some of the flowers below into your garden plan.


Marigolds are a great beginner plant – forgiving, colorful, and easy to grow. An added benefit is keeping mosquitos and aphids at bay. Their scent also helps keep rabbits out of the veggies.

Nasturtiums attract squash bugs and aphids. This may sound counter-intuitive, but attracting these pests to the flowers mean they are not feeding on your vegetables. Nasturtiums will also attract pollinators that eat aphids. Planting them near cabbage, kale, potatoes, broccoli, and squash can help keep your vegetables bug-free.

Chrysanthemum oil is used in some insect repellents, with good reason. The pyrethrum that they produce repels Japanese beetles, fleas, ticks, and ants.

Orange Cosmos

White and orange cosmos are beneficial in the garden because they attract green lacewings. The lacewings, in turn, eat aphids and other plant-eating insects.

Unlike most sun-loving flowers, hyssop’s pointed purple blossoms grow well in shady corners of the garden. They repel cabbage moths, which nibble on cabbage, kale, and broccoli.

Petunias deter squash bugs, asparagus beetles, and tomato hornworms. They also offer a splash of color to your garden.


Look at the ingredient list on a natural insect repellent, like Nantucket Spider, and you will find a variety of herbs that you can grow to help keep mosquitos and ticks at bay around your yard. Mint, lemon grass, rosemary, and lavender can all provide beautiful, fragrant, and tasty alternatives to chemical sprays.

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