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Plants That Repel Insects

Published by Nanni on Friday, July 27, 2012

Photo credit by Smabs Sputzer

Gardeners who are bothered by the need for insecticides may want to hone their horticultural know-how. There are plenty of plants that repel insects, which makes the yard eco-friendly but causes the pesky critters to take a quick u-turn rather than stopping and staying for a while. Would you know which plants to include in your landscape?

Lemongrass stalks act as mosquito repellants. These ornamental grasses are excellent flora choices for borders, along walkways and also underneath windows. Plant them close to the birdbath or around the backyard pond. Fond of sunlight, this hardy grass does well with lots of water, and it can grow rather tall, if left uncut. Even better, while pruning it back, it emits a slight lemony scent; Vietnamese cuisine fans price lemongrass also for its use within tofu and fried food dishes.

Basil is a tasty herb that spaghetti fans know very well. It also discourages the presence of flies and, to a lesser extent, mosquitoes. Basil requires a fertile soil to thrive, but if composting is part of your gardening pastime, then basil can ensure that flies will not take advantage of the heap’s nearness. Plant basil also around the home’s trash cans or recycling bins for added protection.

Mint is lovely in tees and with just a bit of chocolate. Plant it outside in the garden, and ants will not bother the home. Another pest that this insect repellant plant keeps at bay is the flea. Remember that mint does not do well in full sun and should have at least partial shade for the hottest part of the day. In return, it gives you just a bit of leeway when it comes to faithful watering. Every so often, walk past the plant and bruise a few leaves with your fingers; the mint scent is pleasing and reinforces the plant’s anti-insect properties.

Catnip makes the soil and surrounding area inhospitable to cockroaches. Loosely related to the mint plant, it can nonetheless withstand full sun. The tiny flowers are gorgeous, especially if you have a lot of catnip in the yard. This is an excellent choice to plant near the foundation – but not so close as to invite watering of the house – and also near the front door. There is, unfortunately, a huge drawback to planting catnip: cats. Considered by many the pot for cats, catnip attracts felines from far and wide to your yard. On the upside, this makes catnips not only one of the plants that repel insects but also one that prevents the presence of mice, rats and other smaller animals. On the downside, your yard may suddenly feature various bathroom areas for cats, become loud with cats in heat and feature catnip that is chewed and gnawed pretty close to the stalks.

Avoid Common Mistakes When Searching for Plants That Repel Insects

Even while plants that repel insects do a phenomenal job of cutting down on the number of pests that invade the yard, they cannot completely eradicate these insects. There will always be small pockets of these pests around. Remember also that – for all the annoyance of having ants to contend with – they fulfill crucial functions within the garden’s ecosystem.

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