Wasp repellent plants are a must if you like to spend time in your garden. Unfortunately, these annoying pests can attack you or a child if someone walks by their nest.
Our gardening team is here to share 17 plants that effectively deter wasps and discourage them from building a nest in your backyard.
List of Plants That Repel Wasps
If you want to grow perennial plants that repel wasps, then mint should be on top of your list. These pests are annoyed and driven away by the fragrant essential oils that the leaves of this plant produce, so they won’t come near your garden or even build a nest. On the other hand, the fragrant purple or white flowers will attract bees and butterflies, so they’ll work for you if you want plants that repel wasps but not bees for your pollinator garden.
This fragrant herb prefers partial shade but can survive in a sunny location if you water it more frequently. In extremely shady spots, it will be leggy and not as fragrant.
Although it’s an excellent wasp repellent, this herb should be kept away from other plants in your garden as it can spread aggressively. When the long stems grow too long, they flop over and can grow new roots where they touch the ground. In addition, it’s toxic to animals if ingested, so it should be kept away from your pets.
Artemisia, or common wormwood, is part of the daisy family, but you’ll unlikely see any flowers growing on this plant. However, in some cases, you might see some small yellow and white blooms growing between the filagree-like leaves.
Wormwood is mainly grown for its showy silver-green foliage. It’s a low-maintenance plant when you grow it in a sunny location. It can tolerate different pH levels and prefers well-draining soil.
– Why Wasps Hate Them
This plant family contains about 300 species, and they all produce a pungent smell that deters wasps and other pests away. Wormwood also contains absinthe, which can kill these insects, so they’ll stay away from your garden when you grow it.
However, be careful because it can be mildly toxic to humans and highly toxic to pets, so you need to consider another plant if you want to grow pet safe wasp repellent plants. Wormwood can also spread quickly in your garden, killing other plants.
3. Venus Flytrap
Venus flytrap is one of the most fascinating carnivorous plants that feed on wasps, flies, and other annoying bugs in your garden. People usually grow it for its interestingly-looking foliage, which feeds on pests in your garden and can successfully keep them away.
This plant prefers full sun and partial shade and thrives in acidic, moist soil. When you see a flower blooming in summer, you should pick it off because this will save the plant’s energy.
– How It Keeps Wasps Away
The trap of the plant is a modified leaf made of two parts connected by a hinge, and the presence of nectar will attract bugs, including wasps. When the bug touches one of the sensitive hairs inside the trap, it closes and starts digesting it, so wasps won’t get near it.
If grown inside the house, you’ll have to feed the plant flies and gnats, but be careful because every Venus flytrap plant only has a preset number of times in its life that it can trap bugs.
These flowers are among the most potent flowering plants that can eliminate the risk of having a wasp colony in your garden. Open-center varieties will attract bees to your garden, but these flowers produce a strong spicy smell that paper wasps don’t like. The flowers usually have warm colors like yellow, gold, orange, and red, and some of the blooms are bi-colored.
These are fast-growing annuals, finishing their life cycle in a single season. You can plant the seeds after the last frost, and they start blooming after six to eight weeks. They’re usually grown to deter pests away from other nearby plants.
– Care Tips
These colorful flowers need continuous deadheading to encourage blooming. If you have a tall variety, you can strip off the lower leaves and push the stem into the soil to help strengthen the root system. Shade can make the plant become too leggy, and you should avoid letting the ground become too dry.
Wasps have a fantastic sense of smell, so fragrant plants like thyme will keep them away from your garden. Moreover, it’s a great herb to grow because it can be used for cooking when combined with other ingredients such as garlic and olive oil to add a fresh taste.
Thyme is a fast-growing plant that matures and gets ready for harvest in a few months. It’s a great addition to your garden because it will get rid of wasps, but its tiny white or pink flowers will attract bees, so you can still have a pollinator garden.
– Growing Conditions
Thyme is adaptable to different growing conditions but thrives in dry weather. It can grow long stalks, form cascades, or be an excellent ground cover. You should grow it in a sunny spot, and once established, it can be watered once a month. It actually thrives in poor soil, so it will be a good choice for spots where other plants won’t survive.
6. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is an herb with medicinal history and can also be used in cooking. It’s a fast grower when grown outside and can be an excellent addition to your indoor garden, so it will be what you need if you want a wasp repellent for house. In optimum conditions, Melissa officinalis can grow to be one foot tall in a single season.
This herb survives in sunny locations, but too much sunlight can burn the leaf tips. You should grow it in sandy, well-draining soil and water only when the soil is dry.
– Special Features
Melissa officinalis has oval-shaped leaves with a pungent citrusy smell that wasps dislike. This plant is prone to issues like powdery mildew, root rot, and browning leaves when grown indoors. If you’re using it for cooking, you should harvest the leaves when you notice new growth because they taste bitter once the plant starts blooming.
7. Purple Pitcher Plant
Pitcher plants feed on insects, including wasps, and the purple pitcher plant will be an excellent wasp deterrent to grow in your garden. However, it’s a slow grower, sometimes needing about five years to reach maturity. Some species reach a height of 18 inches, and the plant usually grows purple flowers in late spring and early summer.
It thrives in poor acidic soil but needs to be consistently moist. This is why it will be a great choice if you have boggy soil or want to grow a plant near your pond. It loves the full sun but can survive in partial shade in hot climates.
– How It Keeps Wasps Away
This plant grows in soil that doesn’t contain enough nutrients, so it tries to supplement its diet using its pitcher-like blooms. Wasps and other insects are attracted to the plant’s bright and fragrant flowers, and the inside of the pitchers are waxy and slippery, so the bugs struggle to get out and eventually fall to the bottom, where they drown in rainwater.
8. Citronella Grass
Citronella is a source of citronella essential oil, which is a natural wasp deterrent, so you can grow it in your garden if you’ve been looking for plants that repel wasps and mosquitoes. It thrives in warm climates because it’s native to Sri Lanka, but in a cold climate, you can grow it in an indoor pot to protect it from the low temperatures.
This is a fast-growing plant, and the leaves release a fresh lemon scent when crushed. It grows to be about four feet wide, so it will be an interesting focal point in your landscape. Light brown flowers will grow on top of the lance-shaped leaves and stay in bloom throughout summer and fall.
– Growing Conditions
Citronella grass thrives in full sun but appreciates some afternoon shade. It needs plenty of water and well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Adding a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in the spring will boost its growth, but make sure to remove the seed heads to prevent the undesired spread of this plant, as it can quickly become invasive.
The fragrance of silver dollar tree is known to elevate the mood, help with relaxation, and relieve tension, but wasps disagree. Wasps hate the smell of the fragrant oils of this plant, so you can easily apply it to your skin enjoy a summer picnic.
Growing up to 60 feet in its Australian natural habitat, this plant will usually reach a maximum height of 10 feet in your garden. It has silvery blue-green leaves and grows white and red flowers in summer.
This plant has very specific growing conditions, so you need to grow it in a sunny spot, making sure that no taller plants or trees will block the sunlight. You also need to make sure that there’s enough space to allow the roots to spread.
Just like other essential oils, the fragrant menthol-like oil can cause skin irritation. All parts of this pretty plant are toxic to animals and humans.
It’s apparent that humans and wasps have different tastes regarding what they consider appealing fragrances because the fragrance of this herb is guaranteed to keep these insects away from your garden. This is one of the most ancient herbs known to man and has long been grown for its medicinal, ritual, and culinary uses, in addition to its refreshing peppermint oil.
This is a maintenance-free plant, and you can grow it inside and outside the house. It can tolerate full or partial sun and different types of soil. It loves moisture but won’t tolerate constantly soggy soil.
– Special Features
Peppermint is actually a hybrid between watermint and spearmint. You can grow it in poor soil, where other plants won’t survive, and it spreads fast. However, most gardeners prefer to grow it in containers because it can become invasive.
It grows short-lived pink flowers in July and August, and fertilizing should be avoided as it affects the herb’s flavor. It’s so hardy that it can grow in large containers, and it will work for you if you need to grow wasp repellent plants for deck.
11. Hardy Geranium
With 422 species of Geranium or crane’s-bill plants, you won’t struggle to find a suitable variety to grow in your garden for natural pest control. The flowers grow like they’re floating on top of the leaves, and they come in shades of blue, pink, purple, and white. Although a lot of flowers attract wasps, geraniums aren’t among them.
These plants are tolerant of different light exposure conditions, but they thrive in full sun, which encourages more blooming. You can water them only when the soil gets dry, but if you grow these flowers in full sun, they’ll need more frequent watering. They prefer medium-moisture well-draining soil but can tolerate various pH levels.
– Why Wasps Dislike Them
Crane’s bill plant has cup-shaped flowers that attract bees and butterflies, but they contain several chemicals like linalool, nerol, and geraniol that wasps find extremely repulsive. This is why you can grow these flowers along hedges and in garden borders to keep these annoying pests away from your garden.
While it doesn’t have the most attractive name, the stinking palm plant is very potent at repelling pests, including wasps, fleas, gnats, and mosquitoes. This is a spreading plant with upright stalks and purple flowers that bloom in late summer. When the leaves are crushed, they emit a strong fragrance that wasps find repulsive, so they will stir away from your garden.
It’s a good starter plant for beginner gardeners because it’s pretty easy to take care of. It thrives in partial sunlight but can tolerate full sun with adequate moisture. It needs to be planted in rich soil that has been amended with organic matter to support its growth.
As the plant grows, the leaves droop. When they touch the ground, these leaves can grow into new plants that can easily become invasive and take over your garden. Although some people used to harvest the leaves of this fragrant plant to flavor tea, this is no longer considered a good idea. Scientific research shows that the concentrated oils of this plant are toxic to pets and humans, so they should be avoided.
Cucumbers represent a great addition to your vegetable garden if you want to repel bees and wasps, keeping them away from nearby plants. These bugs aren’t fond of the bitterness of the cucumber peels, so they’ll find somewhere else to feed, and you can keep your plants in perfect health.
Since these plants grow vertically, they need trellises or any other similar structure to save space and keep them supported. This will also keep the fruit cleaner and will facilitate detecting any pests or diseases.
– Growing Conditions
These veggies have a long growing season, and some varieties can be ready for harvest only 50 days after planting. They need to grow in high temperatures and should be watered regularly, most especially during the fruiting season.
The plants thrive in full sun and can tolerate different types of soil. If you can’t grow cucumbers, you can scatter their peels to make your garden a wasp-free zone.
There are tens of varieties of basil, and although these delicious culinary herbs appeal to humans, they’re wasp-deterring plants. Basil plants are originally from India, and they’re widely used in Italian cuisine. The plant can reach a height of 24 inches and is also grown as an indoor herb.
For better growth, you need to grow basil plants in a location where they can receive between six to eight hours of full sun. However, in very hot climates, they prefer partial shade. These plants thrive in moist, well-draining soil, and adding mulch will keep them healthier.
– Special Features
Leaf colors vary by variety, so some of them could be deep green while others could be purple. Different varieties also emit various fragrances that range from being lemony and fresh to the warm smell of cinnamon and licorice, and this fragrance repels wasps and keeps them away from your garden. In warm weather, pruning should be done every six weeks to encourage new growth. The flowers stay in bloom from June until frost and are edible.
Lemongrass is a lawn plant that increases curb appeal and can also be a delicious culinary addition. It has green-gray leaves that emit a strong scent when crushed. This lemon-like smell disrupts the wasps’ sensitive olfactory systems, so they will stay away from your garden.
Even in hotter climates, lemongrass will thrive in full sun, as shade will make the leaves sparse and the plant more prone to pest infestations. It prefers rich, loamy soil and needs regular watering. Once established, lemongrass can become more drought-resistant.
This fragrant plant contains cyanogenic glycosides and other chemical compounds that are mildly toxic to pets and horses. It needs to grow in a warm and humid environment that resembles its natural habitat. So if you can’t provide these growing conditions, you might consider growing it in an indoor pot, where you can use a humidifier to keep it healthy. However, indoor potted plants are less drought-tolerant than outdoor plants.
Delicious tomatoes are edible fleshy fruits that humans love, but wasps and mosquitoes can’t tolerate their smell. This is why they will be a great addition to your vegetable garden if you’re trying to keep these annoying pests away from your plants. There are several varieties of tomatoes that you can grow in your garden, and most of them are fast growers.
Some tomato varieties take about 80 days to be ready for harvest, but it’s best to start your indoor seedlings about six weeks before the last frost. They’re prone to tomato hornworms, aphids, and spider mites, so you need to keep an eye on them to deal with any pests before they destroy your plants.
– Care Tips
You should grow tomatoes in well-draining soil with enough organic matter and keep them constantly moist throughout the growing season. They need to receive at least eight hours of full sun to stay healthy, and you can plant your tomatoes in a raised garden bed to warm early in the season. The plants need to be spaced adequately, and adding trellises for support is essential.
If you’re looking for flowers that repel wasps, hyacinths won’t disappoint you. They produce a fragrance that wasps can’t tolerate, so you won’t find any wasp nests near them. The plant grows brightly colored tubular flowers that can be noticed from a distance, and they’re easy-to-take-care-of perennials for beginners.
Hyacinths are tolerant of full sun and partial shade, and they can start and bloom in the early spring before other plants so you won’t have to worry much about taller plants shading them. They can accept any type of soil but won’t tolerate boggy soil, so you should allow the ground to dry out, even during the winter.
– Planting Ideas
You can grow these flowers outdoors or in indoor pots, but they need to be kept away from kids and pets because they’re toxic. This means that they won’t work for you if you want wasp repellent plants safe for cats. The flowers come in shades of white, blue, purple, pink, and red, so they can grow as a backdrop for cup-shaped tulips and daffodils. Staking is recommended for taller varieties.
Although they can be a real nuisance in your garden, there are different herbs, plants, and flowers that can keep wasps away.
- The artemisia plant family contains about 300 species, and they all produce a pungent smell that deters wasps and other pests.
- Some plants like mint will keep wasps away but appeal to bees, so you can still have a pollinator garden.
- Hyacinths produce a fragrance that wasps can’t tolerate, so you won’t find any wasp nests near them.
- Some plants emit strong fragrances that sensitive wasps hate, and these act like natural pest deterrents.
- Wasps are strongly repelled by minty and lemony smells, and they avoid plants that contain chemicals that are toxic to them.
With all these planting suggestions, you can definitely keep your outdoor area wasp-free just by paying more attention to the varieties you grow in your backyard.
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