Many plants repel gnats, and we are positive that you will find what you are looking for in this article.

7 Plants That Repel Gnats

From lemon thyme, lavender and garlic, there is plenty to choose from. You may be asking how I will be able to grow them?

Continue reading to get the answers to this question and more!

List of Plants That Repel Gnats Effectively

1. Lemon Thyme

It is a herbaceous perennial that belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is native to Southern Europe. It is widely used for culinary and ornamental purposes. The plant is a natural way of repelling gnats, like fruit flies, that do not have an odor; rather, it gives off a, as the name suggests, citrusy aroma that helps ward off gnats. Even though having indoor plants that repel flies sounds exciting, you should keep an eye out for your pets near the plant, as it can be poisonous if eaten in large quantities.

Lemon Thyme

– Growing Season

The plant shows optimal growth when planted in the fall. However, you can plant a young plant directly in spring. Its growth rate depends on the medium of growth; if you grow it from seeds, it takes approximately twenty-eight days for the seeds to germinate.

It blooms in July with beautiful fragrant lilac flowers that repel bugs. The maximum height you will see the plant growing is 12 inches, up to 18 inches wide.

– Specific Needs

It grows happily in full sun with dry to medium, well-drained, and neutral soil. It is a low-maintenance plant, meaning watering it weekly or even once every few weeks keeps it happy and thriving. Herbs and fertilizers often do get along well. You can add organic compost to it at the time of planting.

The plant is easily propagated through stem cuttings. All you need is a 4-inch long stem cutting just below the leaf node, and remove any leaves it might have.

After preparing your stem cutting, please place it in distilled water in a container and allow it to rest at a spot that receives a good amount of sunlight. Roots emerge in a few weeks, and you can transplant the cutting into the desired pot.

To help the plant achieve the results quicker, place a bowl filled with apple cider vinegar and many drops of liquid soap near the plant.

2. Lavender

Lavender is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the Lamiaceae family and is native to the Mediterranean region. The plant is a favorite among many plant owners for its beautiful bloom and fragrance and because it helps prevent gnats.


However, pets, specifically dogs, should not be allowed near lavender. These plants contain a certain chemical that is toxic if consumed in abundance.

– Growing Season

The plant springs yearly with green-gray foliage and blooms upright lilac flower spikes, appearing like a poised shrub. Plant it in spring right after the soil has warmed up a bit and the risk of frost is over. It grows at a moderate pace and can be up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

– Specific Needs

Lavender prefers growing in full sun with dry, well-drained, and alkaline soil. It is a drought-tolerant plant but not until it has fully established, and until then, it needs watering regularly, especially during its first growing season.

Once the plant has matured, it can survive without water for a long period; too much water makes it prone to fungal diseases and root rot. Adding a handful of compost to the hole when planting it is enough to last it a lifetime. Your plant will thank you later.

The fragrant plant is best propagated through softwood or hardwood cuttings. Take a 3-inch long cutting from the shoot of a healthy plant. Take a seed-starting mix in a small pot and moisten it with water. Next, dip the cut end of the cutting into a hormone that stimulates growth and place it in the mix. If you already have lavender growing outside, think no more of how to get rid of outdoor gnats naturally.

3. Garlic

Garlic, a vegetable bulb, belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family and is native to Asia. It is used Worldwide as a flavoring agent in cooking and has beneficial health properties. While the fragrance is attractive for some, its aroma is something that the gnats do not look forward to.


Most households already have garlic in stock but if not, consider adding it to your plant collection and relieve yourselves of worries like how to repel gnats indoors. Like gnats, dogs also do not show much fondness towards garlic plants. Try to place your indoor or outdoor garlic plant somewhere inaccessible for your dogs.

– Growing Season

Plant garlic in the fall, preferably a couple of months before the first frost is due. It has a relatively slower growth rate and takes nine months for the plant to deliver a big harvest, mostly near mid-spring or summer. The plant is 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide when it has matured.

– Specific Needs

A full sun and moist and well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH make the best combination for a garlic plant to thrive. The plant has an easygoing nature and does not require much water. You can keep your plant happy with as little water as 1 inch per week.

Add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil at the time of planting, and as soon as you see new leaves emerging, do not hesitate to add a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Garlic is the easiest plant to propagate. All you need are a few good-quality bulbs to keep aside for the next growing season.

4. Basil

Basil, or Sweet Basil, belongs to the Lamiaceae family, also known as the Mint family. It is one of the many effective herb indoor plants that repel gnats and flies.


The plant is a perennial herb that is grown as an annual, too, and is native to Central Africa to Southeast Asia. The slightly lemony aromatic leaves are a sure way to repel insects. Basil is one of the few herb plants that are not toxic to pets. So, plant away!

– Growing Season

Basil grows in warm and sunny weather. It has a fast growth rate and grows happily in gardens and containers. The plant has deep green leaves that can sometimes be purple too. The fragrant leaves do not have one specific texture; they are mostly smooth and often wrinkled and make great mosquito repellents.

You might not see it blooming many flowers, but whatever it does bloom, bees are for sure seen lingering around. The plant reaches a maximum height of 24 inches and the same width.

– Specific Needs

Although the plant is a full-sun lover, it appreciates shade in extremely hot weather conditions. The soil needs to be rich with an acidic to alkaline pH. Water the plant regularly, but make sure that the soil is well-draining. You can add mulch to keep the moisture locked in.

The quickest and easiest way to propagate basil is through stem cuttings. Take a four- to a 6-inch long stem, cut it just beneath the node, and remove any excess leaves.

Now that you have prepared your cutting, place it in a glass of water and make sure you change the water daily. You will see significant root growth within ten to fourteen days.

5. Marigolds

Marigolds are herbaceous annuals that belong to the Asteraceae family and are native to Southern North America. They are low-maintenance plants, and their strong peppery aroma repels gnats.


Marigolds are toxic to pets but are not life-threatening. They cause slight irritation when in contact with the skin.

– Growing Season

These plants complete their life cycle in a single growing season. They have a fast growth rate that enables them to reach maturity within a few months. The plants can be as small as 4 inches, as tall as 48 inches, and 6 to 24 inches wide.

They bloom around summertime with yellow, orange, white, red, and gold flowers. The blooms of these plants are different for each kind. For example, African Marigolds have 4-inch double-petal flowers, while Mexican Marigolds have 2 to 4-inch bright yellow flowers. 

Regardless of the type, these flowers assume a daisy-like appearance.

– Specific Needs

Marigolds prefer growing in full sun and evenly moist, well-drained soils with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Water the plants regularly after transplanting or planting them. They become drought-tolerant as they mature but would not say no to weekly watering.

You only need to add fertilizer to these plants if the soil used is not up to the mark. The best thing to do to marigolds is deadheading them regularly.

Propagating marigolds from seeds is the easiest. Plant the seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before the last frost date. However, seeds germinate more quickly outdoors. You might not even have to grow new marigold plants if you already have them growing somewhere, as they can self-seed. Please sit back and relax to watch it repel mosquitoes like no other.

6. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are perennials but can be grown as annuals, and they belong to the Asteraceae family, commonly known as the Daisy family. They are native to Asia and Northeastern Europe.


These fragrant plants are widely used for culinary purposes. Their strong scent is just right for warding off those never-ending gnats, including fungus gnats. These plants are toxic if consumed by animals in large quantities. They have more adverse effects on cats as compared to dogs.

– Growing Season

These repellent plants need a fairly good amount of time to establish themselves in the ground fully. They are best planted in spring and left on their own to take their due time to mature and become hardy till summer and fall.

The mesmerizing shades of bloom, like gold, off-white, yellow, bronze, pink, burgundy, etc., make these plants a must-have in your plant collection. The maximum height these plants can reach is 2 to 3 feet.

– Specific Needs

These plants require full sun exposure and rich and moist soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH to exhibit their best growth behavior. Mums can never have enough water. Water them regularly to ensure that the top 1 inch of the soil is consistently moist.

Ensure that the soil is well-draining, or consequences, like root rot, are likely to occur. Superphosphate fertilizers help in root growth but should only be added when the threat of frost has passed. Chrysanthemums are propagated through seeds, division, and cuttings. However, the easiest way to propagate them is through division. 

Divide the plants you have been growing for at least two years, as the young plants need a stronger root system. Every spring, pick plants at least 6 inches tall and divide and transplant them 18 inches apart.

7. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a perennial annual herb, also called Sweet Rush, that belongs to the family of Poaceae and is native to Asia. This plant is grown for ornamental and culinary purposes.


The plant’s sweet lemony fragrance and essential oils play an effective role in keeping gnats far away. Make your homemade gnat repellent by infusing lemongrass in water to spray around the house.

– Growing Season

Lemongrass is best grown in spring after the danger of frost has passed. It thrives in hot and humid climates. The plant has a fast growth rate and can be as tall as 4 to 6 feet and the same wide.

When grown in tropical regions, lemongrass plants bear large compound flowers on spikes. A typical lemongrass plant lives up to four years.

– Specific Needs

Favorable growing conditions for lemongrass include full sun exposure and rich and loamy soil with a neutral pH. It is essential to water the plants enough to keep the soil wet and not soggy. Watering the plant 1 inch per week is enough to make it thrive.

A nitrogen-rich fertilizer is a lemongrass plant’s favorite food. The plant shows its best behavior when fed throughout the growing season. Manure tea also helps add trace nutrients.

Lemongrass is easily propagated through division. The first step is to take the whole root ball out of the pot. Divide the root ball into pieces and then replant them immediately. Water thoroughly after planting and regularly to help the roots develop.


Gnats are a common problem that most of us face, and most of us have given up on finding an effective solution. If this is the situation, there are plenty of gnat-repelling plants that we are sure you must only have tried now. Whatever plant you decide to have for taking care of the never-going gnats, even for a tiny fruit fly, always remember the following important points from the article above:

  • Garlic is the best gnat repellent if you love having a strong-scented plant.
  • How to repel gnats outside without having to put much thought behind it? Lavender ensures that the gnats are nowhere to be seen around and have a visually striking effect simultaneously.
  • If citrusy scents do not bother you, lemongrass is an excellent choice for repelling gnats.

After discovering these plants and their gnat-repelling properties, you can choose what will work best.


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