Plants that repel thrips are plentiful, and we are sure that you will find what you are looking for in this article. From basil to catnip to marigolds, you have the information at your fingertips!

Attractive Plants That Repel Thrips

How to get rid of these natural predators? Which plants are best suited for getting rid of thrips on plants?

Continue reading to know the answer to these questions and more.

Plants That Repel Thrips at Your Disposal

1. Basil

Basil is both a perennial and annual herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family, and its native areas include Central Africa and Southeast Asia. The herb is used worldwide in cuisines we are very fond of.

Harvesting Basil Leaves

The aromatic leaves are packed with flavors from slightly citrusy to cinnamon. It is the fragrance of the leaves that repels the thrips.

– Growing Season

All basil types are grown in warm climates. The leaves shades are either green or deep purple with a smooth or wrinkled texture. Its flowers are unnoticeable but serve as a center of attraction for the bees.

It is a fast-growing plant that thrives well both in gardens and containers. The maximum height and width the plant can attain are between 18 and 24 inches.

– Specific Needs

Basil grows happily in full sun but does appreciate a bit of shade in extremely hot climates. It needs exposure to full sunlight for six to eight hours a day. A balanced amount of sunlight minimizes the risk of diseases and ensures firmer plants.

The plant prefers rich, moist, well-draining soil with an acidic to alkaline pH. Amend the soil with compost for better growth results. There is no such thing as too much water when watering basil. Water your plant regularly, and ensure the soil is not soggy with all the watering. Fertilize the plant often as you harvest its leaves.

It does not tolerate cold and is one of the few plants that die as fall onsets. The easiest way to carry out the task is through cuttings. This method is not only fast, easy, and cheap, but it also maximizes your yield.

Take a four to 6-inch long stem cutting with a clean pair of scissors. Clip the cutting below the leaf node and remove the leaves at the bottom. Add your cutting to the water, place the glass in a spot that receives bright yet indirect sunlight, and change the water every two days. The roots emerge within ten to fourteen days.

Add insect control like bonide systemic insect control or bone insect control systemic granules. That will help to support the plants in repelling thrips.

2. Catnip

Also known as Catmint, Catnip belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is native to Europe and Asia. It is a perennial herb, meaning it has a larger lifespan than annuals.

Close View of Catnip

Flower thrips are not a problem with catnip around! Catnip contains an active compound called nepetalactone that attracts cats but repels insects like thrips. It grows well with brassicas and root vegetables.

– Growing Season

Plant catnip in spring when all the risks of frost have passed. Since the plant is a cat favorite, plant it at a spot where the cats have plenty of room to roll on it without damaging the surrounding plants.

It has a vigorous growth rate and covers the entire landscape if not kept an eye on. The plant matures in a single growing season and is 2 to 3 feet tall and the same wide with clusters of tiny blooms.

– Specific Needs

Catnip needs full sun, meaning a good six hours of sunlight. Scattered sunlight leads to abnormal growth and scattered foliage. However, it gets uncomfortable in intense heat.

These plants are not fussy regarding the soil type as long as it drains well. But, they do show a noteworthy difference in growth when planted in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soils.

The plants are drought-tolerant. Water the soil just enough to keep the soil moist and not soggy. Established plants do not need water unless there is a drought in your area.

Add compost to the soil when you plant the catnips to boost them. Other than this, these plants do not need any additional fertilizers. But, if the soil is not up to the mark, add an all-purpose liquid fertilizer. Catnips spread on their own, but if you want to propagate them, the easiest method is through cuttings. The cuttings also promote the parent plant’s bushier growth.

Take your cuttings in spring or early summer. The cuttings must be four to 6 inches long, just below the leaf node. Remove the leaves on the bottom end of the cuttings. Place these cuttings in water or a soilless potting mix. A thriving root system is achieved through both of these methods.

3. Scented-leaved Geraniums

These plants are tender perennials and annuals that belong to the Geraniaceae family and are native to Southern Africa. They are toxic to pets and somewhat toxic to human beings, so watch out.

Beautiful Flowers of Geraniums

Every pest and insect, including thrips, detests germaniums. They release fragrant essential oils attractive to humans but are the best insecticide for thrips.

– Growing Season

The best season to plant them is spring, after the threat of frost has passed. They grow at a slow to moderate pace and are 1 to 3 feet tall while 1 to 2 feet wide. 

These plants do not have a confined leaf shape. Some have small leaves while others have larger leaves. The shapes are also different, ranging from round to finely cut and lacelike.

– Specific Needs

The plants prefer to grow in full sun but also tolerate partial shade. Avoid growing these plants in shaded areas as it causes abnormal growth. Place your plants in a shaded area during very warm climates.

Please ensure the soil is well-draining and not too rich, as rich soils reduce the strength of plants grown for their fragrant oils. The plants do not have any specific soil pH requirements.

Do not water these plants excessively, as they are drought-tolerant. If the soil is slightly dry below the surface, water it just enough to moisten it.

Geraniums are not heavy feeders, so keep a light hand on fertilizers. They have a stronger fragrance when kept light. Potted plants need more fertilizers as compared to those grown in the ground. Feed the potted plants every three weeks with an all-purpose diluted fertilizer.

The easiest way to propagate them is through root cuttings. Take a 6-inch cutting and remove all the leaves except those growing at the top. Dip the exposed end into a rooting hormone and plant it into a moist vermicompost. Transplant it into a pot filled with potting mix.

4. Chives

Chives are herbaceous perennials that are members of the Amaryllidaceae family and are native to Europe, Asia, and North America. You might not see chives hyped on social media, but their strong smell repels thrips and protects the neighboring plants.

Farming Chives on Fields

Although chives do ward off thrips, some species still attack them. In this case, place sticky traps to help the plants get rid of thrips.

– Growing Season

Chives are a cool season crop, meaning the best season to grow them is spring and fall. They go through dormancy as soon as summer arrives and return to normal when it gets cold.

The plants have a rapid growth rate and reach maturity within two months when grown through seeds. They are small plants that are only 10 to 15 inches tall and the same width.

Chive plants have narrow bulbs that produce slender, tubular, bluish-green leaves that make up most of the plant’s height. The flowers are white, pink, purple, red, and edible.

– Specific Needs

Chives prefer to grow in full sun and tolerate partial shade as well. However, the shaded areas suppress the beauty of the flowers. But only let it remain in direct sunlight for a short time if your area experiences frequent droughts.

The plants produce the best harvest in well-draining, rich, and moist soils with a slightly acidic pH. Once mature, chives are drought-tolerant. But don’t let this stop you from watering them during the hot and dry weather conditions. Make sure to keep your chives consistently moist throughout the growing season.

These repelling plants do not have a large appetite, so they do not fertilize themselves often. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to give them a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in late spring or early summer.

The easiest way to propagate them is through division. Propagate every few years, even if you do not need new chive plants, to improve the health and productivity of the parent chive plants.

Deadhead the flowers immediately after their blooming period, or chives will soon invade your garden. The seeds do not spread once you deadhead them.

5. Garlic

Garlic belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family and is native to Asia. It is a vegetable bulb that is used as a flavoring agent in cuisines all over the world. Not only this, it is packed with health benefits.

Young Garlic Plant

Because of their strong smell, which you and us all love, it makes a great thrips-repelling plant. Thrips damage plants far more than we realize. Now is the time to add garlic to your plant collection.

– Growing Season

Garlic shows optimal growth when planted in the fall, roughly two months before the frost is due. The plant grows slowly and delivers harvest in about nine months, mostly near mid-spring or summer. The plant has slender, sword-shaped leaves attached to an underground stem and bears white to pinkish flowers in compact clusters on top of a flower stalk.

– Specific Needs

Although the plant grows underground, garlic loves sunlight. To get the maximum yield, plant them at a spot that receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight daily. The plant prefers a nutrient-rich, well-draining soil with an acidic to neutral pH. There is no need to add a chemical pesticide when you have garlic.

Garlic is not a fussy plant and does not have many watering needs. Water the plant about an inch per week to keep the soil moist, especially when the weather is warm.

The easiest plant to propagate is garlic. How, you may ask? Select and keep a few top-notch quality bulbs to plant in the next growing season. Please make sure you store them somewhere that has a high humidity level.

6. Rosemary

Rosemary is a herbaceous perennial that belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is homegrown in the Mediterranean region.

Purple Flowers of Rosemary

The sweet aroma of the leaves is enough to prevent thrips from lingering longer than they should have.

– Growing Season

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub grown all year round, but the harvest in summer has the sweetest flavor. It has a moderate growth rate that allows the plant to reach a height of 2 to 6  feet and a width of 2 to 4 feet.

The woody stems are covered with narrow and needle-like leaves. They curve downwards, are shiny green at the top, and are covered with fine hairs at the lower side. The flowers are small in shades of white, pink, purple, or blue.

– Specific Needs

Rosemary thrives in full sun and does not tolerate even a little bit of shade. A minimum of six hours of sunlight is what keeps rosemary happy. However, if the weather is warmer than usual, bring your outdoor rosemary plants indoors and place them near a window that receives sunlight throughout the day.

It prefers a well-draining, sandy, or loamy soil with a slightly acidic to neutral soil. The plant does not thrive well in heavy clay or wet soils. The plant is drought tolerant once it matures, and it is best to underwater rather than overwater them. Allow the soil to dry out between watering, so it does not get soggy.

Rosemary does not need heavy fertilizers. Add compost to it when you plant to boost its growth. Follow with a liquid fertilizer as per the directions on the product’s label.

Propagate rosemary through cuttings as it is easy and helps the parent plant grow better. Take cuttings in spring or summer. Cut a few inches long healthy stem and remove all the leaves except five. Put the cut end into a rooting hormone and place it in a potting mix. The roots develop in two or three weeks.

7. Oregano

Oregano is a perennial herb that belongs to the Lamiaceae family and is native to Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean.

Farming Oregano in Garden

It has anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-pest properties. Add a systemic pest control concentrate and get rid of those creepy thrips for good.

– Growing Season

Oregano is grown in spring once all the frost risks have passed. Some people prefer to plant it later in the summer for a consistent supply of warmth. The plant matures within eighty to ninety days but is ready to be harvested within six to eight weeks.

The plant is 1 to 2 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. It has fuzzy and oval-shaped leaves, and the flowers are tiny, purple, and tube-shaped that remain throughout summer.

– Specific Needs

The light requirements differ for different oregano species. Some mostly grow in full sun, while others prefer partial shade. A sandy loam soil is ideal for growing oregano with a slightly acidic to neutral pH.

Oregano withstands drought, but it does need about an inch of water per week. Allow the soil to dry between waterings. Too much water may cause root rot and fungal diseases. It does not need any fertilizer. Nutrient-rich fertilizers change the flavor of the leaves. The plant can thrive in poor soils.

To propagate oregano, take a healthy stem cutting diagonally just below the leaf node and remove the leaves. Please place it in water and place it in a location that gets bright but indirect sunlight. Replace the water every few days. The roots emerge within a week.

8. Marigolds

Marigolds belong to the Asteraceae family and are herbaceous annuals. They are native to Southern North America. Their peppery smell relieves you of the worry of how to get rid of thrips naturally.

Marigolds Blossoms in Garden

They are toxic to pets but in a non-life-threatening way. Try not to touch the plant, for you might experience slight irritation on the skin.

– Growing Season

Marigolds complete their life cycle in a single growing season. Their fast growth enables them to reach maturity within a few months. Their height varies between 4 and 48 inches, and their width ranges between 6 and 24 inches.

The plants bloom yellow, orange, and red flowers in summer, and the number of petals varies with the species.

– Specific Needs

Marigolds exhibit healthy growth in full sun. They show abnormal growth behavior when placed in shaded areas and flower infrequently. They are happy with any soil as long as it is not too acidic.

Water them regularly when you first plant them. Water the new plants daily if the weather is extremely hot, and keep the soil dry for up to two days. They do not need fertilizers to boost their growth.

The easiest way to propagate marigolds is through seeds. Sow your seeds six to eight weeks before the expected frost date. The seeds germinate quickly outdoors.


Plant damage due to thrips bite is something we all have experienced, and you must have tried remedies like insecticidal soap and neem oil but still, you are here looking for plants to deter thrips. But do not worry, as there are plenty of plants that not only get rid of thrips but are also great for companion planting. Whichever plant you decide on having for tackling those thrips, always remember the following points from the article above:

  • If you are looking for the ultimate way to kill thrips, garlic is the best choice.
  • Scented Geraniums not only deter thrips but also fill your space with a lovely fragrance.
  • Marigolds are ideal for getting rid of the thrips and creating a visual interest because of their warm-colored flowers.

After knowing more about these plants, which plant would you like to grow?


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