Plants that repel rodents include different kinds of herbs, fruits, vegetables, and even seed-producing garden plants.

Beautiful Plants That Repel Rodents

Included in this group are onions, marigolds and lavender. These act as natural repelling plants without demanding extreme care.

Please keep reading to know more about these plants, what conditions they require and how they repel rats or rodents.

Best Plants That Repel Rodents From Your Garden

There are plants that attract rats, and there are plants that repel insects and rodents. Rodents are tiny creatures full of curiosity. They nibble on your flower beds, especially if you have grown plants that attract them. These rodents can easily enter your home and kitchen if not controlled in the garden.

Growing plants that act as natural pest control is one of the easy solutions to repel these harmful species. Utilize these plants in your landscaping to discourage rodents. Here is a list of plants that repel mice and snakes, and other kinds of rodents.

1. Chrysanthemum

The plant is known for its beautiful colors and patterns that add magnificence to your garden. Most plants of this genus are perennials or shrubs. Many have fragrant leaves that alternate along the stem.

Colorful Chrysanthemum Flowers

Some heads have both disk and ray flowers, while others have neither. Cultivated species and hybrids typically have big flower heads, whereas wild species have considerably smaller ones.

The plant’s flowers contain a unique combination of insecticidal chemicals; hence it is effective against rodents. It has the same effect on rats as on insects; however, a more severe exposure may be required for these larger mammals. The yellow cores of the blossoms are loaded with pyrethrin, the world’s most effective natural repellent.

– Growing Season

The prime growth period for this flowering plant variety occurs in the spring and early summer. This plant is typically classified into three flowering seasons: early, moderate, and late. Early flowers bloom in September, intermediates bloom in October, and late bloomers bloom in November.

– Specific Needs

The plant flourishes and produces the most flowers when planted in full light and given plenty of food and water. They should ideally be planted in early spring after all danger of frost has passed.

Grow in moist but well-drained soil with extra compost or well-rotted manure in a sunny and protected location. Mums require a continual supply of 40 – 120 parts per billion calcium, 30 – 60 parts per billion magnesium, and 25 – 75 parts per billion sulfur.

If your water lacks these components, double-check that the fertilizer supplies them. Most do not supply considerable levels of these three elements.

2. Onion

Onion is a commonly cultivated vegetable that belongs to the Amaryllis family of plants. The plant has an abundance of culinary use with essential nutrients. The common onion is a biennial bulb related to garlic, shallots, and chives.

Farming Onion Plants

Onions are hollow, tubular, blue-green leaves that arise from a bulb, which is a multilayered modified leaf structure. An external network of roots extends from the bottom of the bulb, and as the plant matures, the bulb may push partially above ground.

The strong odor of onions can temporarily discourage rodents, which are sensitive to spicy aromas. While many of us enjoy the flavor of this famous root crop, some small mammals may have an unfavorable reaction to it after swallowing it. It can be lethal when rats consume a small amount of raw onion.

– Growing Season

Onions require cool, pleasant conditions free of dampness and rain. As a result, the ideal months to cultivate onions are between November and February. The bulb can be grown in any open location or even in a container. However, make certain that the soil is fertile and porous. 

Onions thrive in temperate settings with little excessive heat or cold. Onion bulb formation is affected by the time of year they are sown. If you plant your onions too late in the season, they may not create fully formed bulbs. Onions are classified into two types: long-day onions and short-day onions.

– Specific Needs

Growing onions requires plenty of sunlight and sufficient drainage, and they thrive when the soil pH is between 6.0 and 6.8. Raised beds or rows constructed by mounding up soil are appropriate, particularly if your soil is heavy clay. Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) should be applied following soil test recommendations.

3. Marigold

This beautiful daisy-shaped flower belongs to the Tagetes species of the Aster family of plants. They are simple to grow, inexpensive, bloom consistently throughout the summer, and have little pest and disease issues. They are a popular warm-season annual with long-lasting, brilliant blooms.

Blooming Marigold Garden

Farmers and gardeners have used the dazzling plant for centuries for pest control. The roots of this plant release a toxic chemical called alpha-terphenyl which inhibits the rodents in the premises where it is planted.

– Growing Season

Young French and signet varieties can be planted from spring to midsummer. In contrast, tall African varieties are best planted immediately in the spring (after the frost threat has gone) because they mature and produce flowers more slowly.

In the spring, sow seeds straight into the garden once the soil has warmed up. Seeds can be started indoors, but they germinate so quickly outside that there is no advantage. On the other hand, African varieties are best purchased as young plants or started inside around 4 to 6 weeks before the last usual frost date.

– Specific Needs

This plant thrives in direct sunlight and can often tolerate extremely hot summers. Drought tolerance is higher in this plant’s African and signet varieties, while moisture tolerance is higher in the French variety. This plant is susceptible to powdery mildew and will not bloom properly if planted in shade and cool, moist locations.

Gold grows in practically any soil, although they thrive in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Dig down approximately 6 inches to loosen the soil, then mix in compost to enhance fertility and improve uniformity.

4. Lavender

The plant has a strong aromatic perfume that repels rodents, insects, and moths. Because rodents dislike the intense smell of this herb, most people regard it as a repellent. Alternative to cultivating this herb, scatter a few stalks around the base of the plant’s yard to create a barrier and keep rodents at bay.

Lavender Blossoms in Garden

This flowering plant is more than its purple color with a history of use as a holy herb in ancient times. It contains small branching and spreading shrubs with gray-green leaves and long-blooming branches. Flowers appear in either blue or lilac color.

– Growing Season

The plant is typically considered a summer flower. However, certain varieties bloom early in the spring with gorgeous blossoms. Others bloom late, with blooms appearing midsummer and lasting until late summer. Some bloom practically constantly from spring until the end of summer.

– Specific Needs

These plants demand direct sunshine to thrive properly and should be placed accordingly. Plants thrive on light to sandy, well-drained soils with a pH of 5.8 – 8.3. Lavender thrives in soils that are neutral to slightly alkaline. Once established, the plants are drought tolerant, but they require constant watering as they establish. Afternoon shade may help them grow in hot summer areas.

5. Rosemary

The plant is an aromatic Mediterranean shrub with fragrant, evergreen needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. The plant’s leaves have a strong aroma that keeps curious rodents away. You can scatter cut sprigs of this herb or even spray the oil found in this plant around doorways and windows where rodents could try to enter the house.

Rosemary Leaves in Garden

Apart from being an effective repellent, it is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals, which may help enhance the immune system and promote blood circulation. The herb is also a cognitive stimulant that can boost memory performance and quality. It has also been shown to improve alertness, intelligence, and focus.

– Growing Season

This flowering herb can be harvested almost any time of year, though it grows most actively in the spring and summer. And just before the plant blooms, the leaves are most tasty and aromatic. This herb is frost-hardy, so spring or autumn is the perfect season to plant it.

– Specific Needs

The plant thrives in full sunlight and well-drained soil. The soil should be maintained moist, although proper drainage is essential. Fertilize sparingly because too much fertilizer diminishes blossom and aroma.

To prevent foliar disease, enough air circulation is required. During the summer, potted plants can be placed outside in a sunny position but should be brought inside before the first frost.

6. Peppermint

It is a cross of M. Aquatica and M. spicata, two flowering plants with distinct smell characteristics. The plant is now used as an ornamental and culinary herb worldwide. It is a fast-growing perennial with the ability to spread swiftly. The leaves have a mild minty fragrance when they are undamaged. Crumpling and cutting the leaves releases more of the essential oils, which have pesticidal effects.

Leaves of Peppermint

The scent-producing phytochemicals in peppermint oil are pulegone and menthone. These are often employed to discourage rats. The oil is praised as an environmentally friendly and inexpensive repellent. Furthermore, it is an ethical choice because it does not necessarily harm rats.

If you have dense stands of this herb outside, you may choose to harvest the leaves and place them where you suspect there are rodents. You can also buy the extracted oil, dilute it with water, and use it as a repellent spray.

– Growing Season

The ideal season to plant it is early spring, after the last frost of the winter. It can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9. It can withstand brief bursts of frost but cannot tolerate temperatures that remain cold for extended periods.

– Specific Needs

This aromatic herb is a highly adaptable plant, but it thrives in a cool, damp climate with well-draining, loose, organically-rich soil. You may evaluate your soil’s nutrient balance and pH by doing a soil test because the pH of the soil should be between 5.5 and 6.0.

7. Bergamot

Bergamots are North American perennial plants widely grown as ornamentals to attract pollinators, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Bergamot herbs and bergamot orange have a distinctive flowery aroma and are widely used in fragrances and as flavorings.

Fruits of Bergamot

Linalool, limonene, and linalyl acetate are the main components in bergamot oil. Recent research has demonstrated its efficacy in deterring house mice, which dislike the oil’s pungent odor.

– Growing Season

The ideal season to grow bergamot is spring. Plant seeds 6 – 8 weeks before the last frost date or direct sow in early spring while a light frost is still feasible. When the first frost approaches, direct seeding is also possible in the fall. The ideal soil temperature for germination is 60 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The seeds should germinate after 10 – 40 days.

– Specific Needs

Bergamot enjoys direct sunlight but can tolerate light shade. It may only flower as much if it receives enough sunlight. Bergamot thrives in damp, rich loam soil with a pH of 6 to 8, while loam soils may lead the plant to flop around throughout the growing season.

8. Elderberry

Elderberry plants are frequently grown as decorative perennials because of their attractive blooms, fruits, and leaves. Some of the berries produced by elderberries are harmful to humans. However, most of the berries and blooms of this plant are high in antioxidants and vitamins, which may boost your immune system. They may help reduce inflammation, reduce stress, and protect your heart.

Fresh Elderberries on Plants

The fruits of the more common species can be consumed safely in cooked and fermented meals, but their bark, leaves, stems, and roots are frequently poisonous. Elderberry extract from the fruits and bark may be poisonous to rats and other mammals when taken in high quantities.

– Growing Season

Elderberries should be planted once the danger of frost has gone in the spring. Elderberry fruits typically develop during August and September. Clusters ripen in 5-15 days and are simple to harvest.

– Specific Needs

They thrive in regularly moist, fertile soils. They can withstand intermittent dryness and briefly damp soils, but they are unsuitable for sandy or swampy areas. The soil can be alkaline or acidic in terms of pH, although somewhat acidic (5.5 to 6.5) is preferable.


Crawling animals like rodents are unappealing, especially if they roam in your beautiful garden. To keep these creepy creatures away from your outdoor space and even indoors, you will have to grow some naturally deterring plants in your garden. These plants deter mammalian species like rats, squirrels, or mice and beautify your garden by their appearance.

  • Outdoor plants to keep rodents away include rosemary, lavender, onion, and marigold.
  • Shade plants that repel rodents include chrysanthemum, onion, and elderberry.
  • If you are looking for an answer to how to get rid of rats eating plants, you should plant mint plants as they have a strong fragrance that puts rats off.

Now that you know about the characteristics and specific needs of all these plants, it is easier for you to pick and choose. 


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