Plants that repel groundhogs include a variety of flowering plants that add beauty to your garden while also keeping your garden bugs-free. Which plants scare groundhogs? Some examples are water hyssop and ageratum.

8 Plants That Repel Groundhogs

How do these act as natural groundhog repellents and when is the best time to grow these plants – find answers to all these questions in this article.

List of Plants That Groundhogs Dislike

The easiest way to avoid the upsetting sight of your vegetable garden or backyard being invaded by bugs is to grow plants that prevent groundhogs. You may be looking for an alternative method of groundhog control because you don’t want to employ harmful chemicals to fumigate groundhog burrows. The other reason could be that the terrain of your property makes box trapping or live trapping unfeasible. Don’t worry anymore, and keep reading to explore a list of the best groundhog resistant plants.

1. Cayenne Pepper

These are red hot peppers grown for their spicy and tasty attributes by gardeners. The plant is a cultivar of the plant species Capsicum annuum (the same family as jalapenos, serrano peppers, and bell peppers). The mature cayenne plant produces long, waxy-skinned red peppers with green stems.

Cayenne Pepper

Pepper plants greatly control groundhogs. Another way of groundhog removal is to make a groundhog trap. Mix pepper and spices like cayenne and tabasco, talcum powder, human hair clippings, blood meal, and Epsom salt, and sprinkle it around your garden. All of these elements keep groundhogs away.

– Growing Season

The ideal time to plant this perennial is spring. It has a long growing season, so it will be ready for harvest between seventy and one hundred days after planting. The plant starts out green and then matures to a vivid red color, though both are edible.

– Specific Needs

These plants demand soil that is organically rich, wet, and well-drained. The pH of the soil should be slightly acidic to neutral. More acidic soil can result in spicier peppers than usual.

2. Water hyssop

Water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri) is a creeping, mat-forming perennial plant native to much of the world’s warm wetland habitats. Little succulent leaves cover stems that can grow up to 4 feet long, and small bell-shaped white blooms bloom from spring through fall—or even all year in warmer climates.

Water hyssop

Groundhogs particularly hate this plant because of the antioxidant compounds it contains. Moreover, water hyssop emits a pungent odor that deters groundhogs.

– Growing Season

It blooms from mid-spring to fall (year-round in temperate areas) and has a profusion of small, axillary, bell-shaped white flowers frequently tinted with blue or pink. They entice a wide range of tiny pollinators. Water Hyssop is a very adaptive plant that can grow submerged for several inches.

– Specific Needs

It performs best on moist to wet soils in full sun to partial shade. It tolerates various soil conditions ranging from waterlogged soil, brackish water, wind, and salt spray. The plant requires consistent wetness and will thrive in fresh or slightly brackish water and along the banks of streams, ponds, or aquariums.

3. Ageratum

Ageratum, often known as a floss flower, features little, whimsical blossoms that resemble tiny pom-poms coated in floss-like threads. They are regarded as one of the greatest cutting annuals.


Ageratum has been cultivated for many years because it provides a unique color in the floral world: blue. As a result, the flower is ideal for patriotic gardens. Ageratum is also available in various pink, purple, and white hues. Pollinators love all of these blooms, no matter what color they are.

It effectively repels groundhogs by emitting a scent that insects and bugs particularly hate. Ageratum also secretes coumarin, which is used in commercial pest repellents.

– Growing Season

Ageratum is typically planted from nursery bedding packets in the spring once danger of frost is over and the ground is warm. It can also be produced from seeds that have been started inside; the plant will flower 60 to 70 days after the seeds have sprouted.

– Specific Needs

Ageratum thrives in sunny areas with moist but well-drained soil treated with compost or peat moss—plant shorter varieties 6 inches apart and taller varieties 12 inches apart. Ageratums require damp conditions as they grow gradually.

4. Gaillardia

Gaillardia, commonly known as a blanket flower, is a short-lived perennial with daisy-like blossoms that is easy to grow. The plant develops a gently growing mound, and the popular name may reflect its ability to spread slowly and “blanket” an area. The plants reach a height of about 24 inches and a spread of around 20 inches.


Gaillardia is a plant that effectively deters groundhogs because they are toxic to insects and bugs. To maximize the repelling effect of this plant in your garden, you can utilize this perennial as a companion of plants that groundhogs feast on. These plants include marigolds, roses, and cabbage.

To keep groundhogs from entering your garden, use Irish spring soap. Hang a bar of soap on the garden fence or a plant pot. The soap is a highly effective repellent and keeps groundhogs from damaging your garden.

– Growing Season

Planting perennial gaillardias in the spring allows them to establish before summer droughts and winter cold. Plants should be spaced 12 – 24 inches apart and kept moist until established. Gaillardias planted from seed should be gradually hardened off (acclimatized to outside growing conditions) before planting out in late spring.

– Specific Needs

Plant gaillardia in a sunny border or large container in free-draining, low-nutrient soil (no fertilizer required). Gaillardias are drought-tolerant once established. Gaillardias, both annual and perennial, are easy to raise from seed or buy perennial varieties as plants.

5. Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a mint family herb. The leaves have a light lemon scent and are used in medicine and to flavor meals. Lemon balm contains compounds that appear to be relaxing and calming. It may also inhibit the growth of certain viruses and bacteria.

Lemon Balm

The leaves are severely wrinkled and vary in color from dark green to yellowish green, depending on the soil and environment. If you rub or crush the leaves, your fingers will smell sour and sweet, like lemons. The leaves resemble mint leaves in form and are from the same plant family.

Lemon balm emits an intensely pungent odor that works as insect and animal repellent. 

– Growing Season

Lemon balm is a perennial herb that thrives in cool climates—sow lemon balm in the spring around the typical last frost date. In the late summer, seeds can also be sowed. 

– Specific Needs

Water the plants thoroughly both before and after they are planted. Choose a planting location in the sun or light shade, with moist yet freely draining soil. Lemon balm can also be planted in large pots filled with soil-based compost, such as an 8-inch container.

6. Lavender

Lavender is a genus of roughly 30 plant species in the mint family (Lamiaceae), native to Mediterranean countries. Lavender species are popular in herb gardens due to their scented leaves and beautiful flowers.


The plants are commonly farmed for their essential oils, which are used to fragrance many items. The fragrance of this plant appears repulsive to many bugs and insects, including groundhogs. This is why this perennial shrub is used as an effective repellent. Lavender is also listed among the deer and groundhog resistant plants.

– Growing Season

The ideal season to plant lavender in early summer to fall. Flowering can begin as early as May (in locations with moderate summers and winters), with another rush of blossoms in June and another burst of color in late summer or fall.

– Specific Needs

Lavender grows best in full light and well-drained soil. Afternoon shade may help them grow in hot summer areas. It prefers low to moderately fertile organic soils, so don’t add organic matter to the soil before planting. Lavender thrives in soils that are neutral to slightly alkaline.

7. Nicotiana

Nicotiana is a big plant genus in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). A few species are lovely and have long been used as garden ornamentals. Nicotiana is one such species, with huge, dramatic leaves and spectacular, fragrant clusters of dangling white flowers that resemble a fireworks display.


The rough-textured leaves have glandular hairs that make them feel sticky and may cause dermatitis in sensitive people.

The brilliantly green leaves have clasping or winged petioles surrounding the stem, with the higher leaves having the most apparent. Nicotiana plants are perennial members of the tobacco family. Nicotianas are poisonous to garden pests; therefore, groundhogs avoid areas where they are planted.

– Growing Season

The ideal time to grow nicotiana plants is in spring. Sow nicotiana seeds under cover in early spring. Plant out into the garden once all danger of frost has gone, ensuring that young seedlings are well hardened off.

– Specific Needs

Nicotiana is a very simple plant to grow. They are delicate perennials that are frequently planted as annuals. The plants thrive and bloom best in partial sun all the way to full sun. These perennials prefer rich organic and well-draining soils. Before planting, incorporate a generous quantity of compost into the soil.

They prefer plenty of water and nutrients. They enjoy a lot of water but dislike moist soil. Keep the soil damp but not soggy. Apply fertilizer while planting and once a month throughout the season. Just before the first blooming phase, apply a high-phosphorous mix.

The leaves of these plants have a “sticky” texture. The leaves and stems collect debris, which is ugly. It can be tough to get rid of without damaging the leaves when weeding or adding compost or mulch; use caution.

8. Russian Sage

Russian sage is a lovely shrub with long, gray-green leaves and square, silvery-gray stems that generate an airy cloud of color in the late summer. The small tubular purple-blue flowers are placed in whorls along long stems. Hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies love the gorgeous tubular blossoms that bloom for an unusually long time.

Russian Sage

This mint species is native to Central Asia and has silvery-green leaves that emit a pungent aroma when crushed. This odor repels groundhogs and helps keep your garden bug-free.

If planted alone in a garden, Russian sage may fall prey to bugs and insects. The best way to maximize its repellent abilities is to know how to get rid of groundhogs under house?

– Growing Season

Although you can plant Russian sage from early spring to six weeks before frost, late spring is the best period. The soil is warm at this point, and plants should begin developing swiftly. Keep the soil wet as young plants establish if you plant Russian sage later in the summer.

– Specific Needs

Although you can plant Russian sage from early spring to six weeks before frost, late spring is the best period. The soil is warm at this point, and plants should begin developing swiftly.

Keep the soil wet as young plants establish if you plant Russian sage later in the summer.

Choose a site in full sun with well-drained soil of normal fertility. Planting Russian sage in partially shaded areas may lead it to sprawl.

During dry spells, water the plants seldom until they are established and thriving. Gravel is better than organic mulch for mulching around plants since it allows for better moisture evaporation.


Groundhogs are rodents that can cause significant damage to your lawns and gardens – they can wreak havoc in your garden because they are excellent diggers. And, because groundhogs are herbivores, they prefer feasting on the plants in your garden, so all of your efforts can be undone in a single afternoon. They surely make themselves a nuisance and before you start your assault, remember the following:

  • The best groundhog repellent plants are the ones that have a pungent odor and release toxins poisonous to bugs and pests. Examples include lavender and sage.
  • Groundhog resistant perennials include gaillardia, lavender, and water hyssop.
  • Groundhog resistant vegetables include ageratum and nicotiana.

We are sure that by now, you have all the ways to make your garden pest free. When you appropriately select the plants that can repel groundhogs, you will certainly love the outcome.


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