Plants that repel termites can help you deal with severe infestations before termite damage can be too difficult to control. Unfortunately, these pests can quickly feed on the wooden structures inside your house, in addition to its foundations.

Plants That Repel Termites

Luckily, our gardening team will tell you about 11 plant species that termites dislike, so you can use them for pest control to keep these pesky critters away.

List of Termite Repellent Plants

1. Garlic

Garlic is usually grown in gardens as a tasty edible vegetable, but it also deters different pests because of its pungent smell that drives them away. However, in the case of termites, these insects will avoid your garden because of the amino acids in the garlic.

These amino acids turn into allicin, which starves the termites to death. You can also pair it with a medicine like Spectracide Terminate 16 oz. Termite Killing Foam to keep them away.

Garlic drives termites away

You can grow plants in the spring or fall, and they thrive in full sun. However, bulbs should be grown in nutrient-rich soil because garlic is a heavy feeder. It has moderate watering requirements and grows slowly. 

– Issues

Growing garlic close to other heavy feeders from the allium family will affect your plants, so you need to give them enough space to grow. As a matter of fact, you should avoid areas where chives or onions have been growing for a few years because they’ll already be nutrient-depleted and won’t support your garlic.

You should also be careful about picking the right spot for your garlic because this plant is toxic to pets.

2. Daisies

Daisies don’t directly kill termites, but their sweet scent attracts several termite predators like ladybugs and centipedes, so they’ll be less tempted to invade your garden and build their colonies. Daisy flowers feature rays of red, white, or pink petals surrounding the yellow center, and some varieties grow double-petaled flowers.

Combining them with scented geraniums that repel termites will help put these pests under control. You can also use a commercial termite killer like Terro Carpenter Ant/Termite Killer to control the population of these pests.

Daisies help put pests under control

These flowers can be a great addition to a wildflower garden or a pollinator garden because they attract bees and butterflies. They’re quite easy to maintain and should be provided with full sun exposure to stay healthy.

However, some partial shade is needed in the intense summer heat. They can grow in different types of soil, but they should be kept moist.

– Problems

Despite the beautiful look of daisies, these plants are toxic to pets and humans, so you should be careful about growing them in your garden. Garden borders are suitable for growing these flowers because you can have more control over their growth habits.

In optimal conditions, these plants can quickly become invasive in your garden as they spread aggressively, affecting the growth of nearby plants.

3. Vetiver Grass

Choosing the right grass cover for your lawn can help deter termites and push them to build their colonies away from your property. Vetiver grass contains certain compounds that termites don’t like, so they’re unlikely to infest your property if you grow this grass in your outdoor space.

Termites don't like Vetiver Grass

This grass will thrive in a hot and humid climate, so if you live in a very cold climate, you need to find another termite deterrent. It can tolerate some shade, but it thrives in full sun. The leaves are thin and erect, and in the summer, the grass will grow small purple-brown flowers.

– Why You Should Grow It

This plant is usually used for soil restoration as it fights erosion, but you can also grow it as the best ground cover to prevent termites. The roots dig deep into the ground, sometimes to a depth of 10 feet, holding the particles together. 

The essential oils can be used to get rid of termites, ticks, and roaches, and the grass is very drought-resistant. It can be established in different types of soil and can tolerate the presence of heavy metals that other plants won’t withstand.

4. Catmint

What smell do termites hate? The answer is easy. This aromatic herb contains a chemical compound called nepetalactone, which is very potent at keeping termites away from your garden because they hate its smell.

It has beautiful gray-green lace-like foliage, and beautiful pink, white, or lavender flowers grow in the spring.

Aromatic Catmint Herbs

Catmint plants can either grow as border plants or need to be grown against another structure for support. All varieties of these plants thrive on neglect, so they work for beginner gardeners.

– Growing Conditions

In lean soil and dry conditions, you’ll get the best yield and flowering of this plant. It thrives in full sun but can withstand some partial shade. It needs to grow in well-draining soil and will become drought-resistant once established.

However, continuous watering is required for the first season.

5. Marigolds

Fruit trees are among the most popular plants that attract termites, and growing marigolds around them will help keep these annoying and dangerous pests away.

As a matter of fact, marigolds are potent at keeping different pests away from your garden, thanks to their unique pungent smell. This odor comes from a gas that sensitive termites can detect, so they’ll avoid your garden.

Marigolds help keep dangerous pests away

Marigolds come in beautiful warm colors like red, orange, gold, and yellow. Some varieties are bi-colored, adding to your garden’s beauty when grown in flower beds. With their daisy-like appearance, these flowers will quickly change the look of your garden because they grow pretty fast. They’re also straightforward to maintain once established.

– Care Tips

In order to provide your marigolds with optimal growing conditions, you should grow them in full sun, as too much shade will make the plant become leggy and will affect flowering.

They can survive in many soil types, and they need to be watered regularly, especially in dry weather. Once they have established a strong root system, they’ll become drought-tolerant. Deadheading will encourage non-stop flowering that will take place all summer.

6. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is among the most popular lawn and garden plants because it’s edible, produces a fresh citrusy smell, and also increases curb appeal. However, the pungent citronella scent repels termites and other garden pests, so this plant will be a great addition to your garden if you want a natural method to drive pests away.

Lemongrass produces a fresh citrusy smell

This grass prefers full sun, as the shade weakens the plant, making it more prone to diseases and pest infestations. It will need regular watering until the root system gets established and will thrive in rich, well-draining soil.

– What You Need To Look Out For

Although it’s a natural pest repellent that protects your garden from various pest attacks, this plant contains cyanogenic glycosides, which can kill pets and horses when consumed in large quantities. This means that you need to think carefully before picking a spot to grow it in your garden.

In some climates, maintaining the right growing conditions for lemongrass can be difficult, so you might want to grow it as a container plant to deter termites and keep them away from your house by keeping it against a window sill or in a patio.

7. Mint

The mint scent is one of the strongest natural pest control methods that will make termites retreat and build their colonies away from your land. This strong fresh earthy smell is too overwhelming for termites and can also drive different pests like wasps away from your garden.


You can also mix the mint oil with some coffee grounds and scatter it around your garden to keep termites and other pests away. Chili peppers will also work because termites can sense the heat.

Mint is a sun-loving herb, and in the summer, the tiny purple and white flowers will attract different pollinators to your garden. In shady conditions, the plant will become too leggy and won’t be as fragrant. It thrives in rich, well-draining soil and needs to be watered regularly.

– Issues

Although this is an edible herb, you should keep it away from pets because it contains toxic compounds that can kill them. Without monitoring, mint plants will invade your garden and deprive nearby plants of essential nutrients.

The leaves flop over and new roots will grow from where they touch the ground, so you need to prune your plant regularly.

8. Eucalyptus

There are several types of eucalyptus trees that you can grow in your garden because the essential oils from this plant contain eucalyptol, which produces a strong smell that termites dislike.

Moreover, eucalyptus oil is a crucial ingredient in several bug-repellent sprays, so you can mix it with other ingredients to protect your garden from pest attacks.

Eucalyptus have strong smell that termites dislike

The essential oil from this plant is usually used for relaxation and as wasp and mosquito repellent. But this plant is toxic to animals and humans, so you should think carefully about the perfect spot to plant it if you have curious kids and pets. Moreover, the scented oil can cause skin inflammation.

– Growing Conditions

Eucalyptus trees need to grow in a sunny position where there’s enough room for their big root systems to spread without being obstructed by nearby plants. In deep sandy soil, this plant will produce white or red flowers that contrast beautifully with the gray-green foliage.

Although some of these trees can reach a height of 60 feet in their natural habitat, in your garden, the tree might grow to about ten feet tall.

9. Iris

The beautiful iris flowers can help with termite control in your garden by attracting dragonflies. Dragonflies feed on termites, so they will help you get rid of them to protect your garden.

There are 300 varieties of irises that grow from bulbs or rhizomes, and the blooming season will vary by variety. However, most varieties will bloom in the summer.

Iris flowers can help with termite control

Iris plants need to grow in well-draining, rich soil and thrive in full sun to maintain the flowers’ vibrant look. They need to be watered regularly, but too much water can lead to rot and kill the plants. Adding compost to the soil in the spring will boost flowering and keep the plants in excellent health.

– Special Features

Iris flowers can be bearded or beardless, and the bearded ones have tiny hairs that grow along the falls or drooping petals. The flowers come in varying shades of purple, blue, yellow, and white, and they make amazing cut flowers.

Iris plants are toxic to humans and pets, so you need to think carefully before picking a spot to grow them.

10. Tea Tree

The manuka shrub has needle-like leaves that produce a strong aroma when crushed. You can grow it along your garden’s border or in a container because it has a moderately slow growth rate, so you won’t have to worry about repotting it often.

Bees that feed on its flowers produce delicious manuka honey. 

Termites Dislike Tea Tree Plant

The shrubs grow summer white, pink, and red blooms that add beauty to your garden. You need to leave about ten feet of space around each plant to allow the roots to spread properly.

These plants thrive in fertile, acidic soil with full sun exposure. Some shade can be tolerated, but flowering won’t be as abundant. The soil should be watered regularly, but boggy soil can lead to root rot.

– Why Termites Dislike This Plant

These are among the best trees that repel termites because they hate the scent of the oil. You can even mix it with other ingredients and spray it along your garden’s borders to deter these dangerous pests. Moreover, the flowers attract bugs that feed on termites, which will help regulate their presence.

11. Chrysanthemum

Garden mums are late-season bloomers that come in shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, purple, green, white, bronze, and maroon, adding beauty to your garden when the other flowers have started to fade.

They’re fast growers blooming in their first season and pair beautifully with early-season bloomers.

termites loathe Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums contain pyrethrin, which termites loathe, so growing them on the ground will help drive them away from your property. However, because these plants are toxic to pets and humans, you need to think carefully before choosing the right spot to plant them.

– Care Tips

Mums survive in different types of soil, but they thrive in rich, well-draining soil with full sun exposure. In warmer climates, some partial shade will benefit the plant, but too much shade will affect flowering.

These plants require a lot of water, especially during the blooming season. Regular fertilizing throughout the growing season is recommended.


Protecting your property from the attacks of termites is crucial, as these pests can destroy the foundations of your home in no time. Some plants will help keep them away, and when combined with commercial solutions like Harris Termite Powder, you can control their presence as they’re quite difficult to get rid of.

  • Termites will avoid plants with strong and pungent smells such as garlic.
  • Some scents and odors naturally repel termites, like minty and citrusy smells from mint and eucalyptus plants.
  • Some plants like iris plants indirectly fight off termites because they attract their predators.
  • You can mix the oils from some of the termite-repelling plants and spray them around your garden and different entry points to keep them away from your house.

Getting rid of termites isn’t the easiest job, but with our suggested landscaping to prevent termites, you know that you can successfully keep them under control!

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