Grow Plants to Repel Insects

We love to grow herbs. We use them in our cooking, salads and for medicinal purposes. Did you know that it’s easy to Grow Plants to Repel Insects? It’s true!

Most of the herbs in the list below, can be grown in a permanent bed, in large pots or containers and some can be grown in hanging baskets. It is best to plant them in borders along patios, porches or decks. If that is not possible, consider planting them in large containers that you can place among your seating areas.

These plants to repel insects are all very aromatic and freely scent the air, especially when a breeze is blowing or they are touched. It is this fragrance that helps to keep the mosquitoes and gnats at bay.

Here is a list of some herbs you can grow that also help to repel insects. We grow all of them and I have included some photos of a few of them for you to see.

Grow Plants to Repel Insects

  • Basil – culinary and medicinal uses
  • Catnip – culinary and medicinal uses, and of course to make cats HAPPY
  • Citronella Scented Geranium
  • Eucalyptus 
  • Garlic – culinary and medicinal uses
  • Lavender – culinary and medicinal uses
  • Lemon balm – culinary and medicinal uses
  • Lemongrass – culinary and medicinal uses
  • Marigolds
  • Peppermint – culinary and medicinal uses
  • Rosemary – culinary and medicinal uses

Photos of Plants to Repel Insects

The photo at the top of this post is one of our two eucalyptus trees. Both are planted in large pots and we have them sitting on either side of our deck. I love the powdery gray leaves and the peeling bark. As I drive around Easter Carolina, I have seen quite a few large eucalyptus trees growing in people’s yards. I think the climate is perfect to grow these. Of course the smell is familiar and ours are very aromatic.


The photo to the right is one variety of scented geranium that naturally has a high level of citronella oil. I must say that I really do LOVE all of the scented geraniums and there are several to choose from.


This hardy herb is lemon balm or Melissa officinalis. It has a lovely lemony taste and smell. It makes a good iced or hot tea and can be used in cooking. It has many medicinal applications and the pure essential oil is rather expensive, $120 for just 1/2 an ounce! It is a very beneficial oil though.

Lemon Balm or Melissa can be grown in a variety of climates and it is a perennial that will spread and come back year after year.





The photo to the right is one of the many varieties of Rosemary that we grow. This is grown in a large pot and sits on our deck so that I can quickly cut some to use while I am cooking. Our other Rosemary plants are grown in beds around our home. Among them we are growing a variety that makes great BBQ skewers. The stems are long and thick so that they are easily inserted into the food to be cooked.

All of these herbs can be used to make teas, decoctions or tinctures that you can use to make your own insect repellent sprays.

I you are interested in learning how to make your own home-made spray or lotion, click here to read our article: Top 7 Mosquito Repellent Tips

We recommend the following books to help you grow plants to repel insects and for culinary and home remedy use:

Peterson Field Guide for Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and James A Duke.

Peterson Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants by Lee Allen Peterson

Backyard Medicine: Harvest and Make Your Own Herbal Remedies by Julie Bruton-Seal

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs by Clair Kowalchik

Your Backyard Herb Garden by Miranda Smith

Every Blessing,

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