Create Your Garden

Wonderful Plants That Repel Insects

Companion Planting to Deter Garden Pests

Companion Planting, Repel Insects, Deter Insects, Companion Plants, Vegetable Garden

Plants have natural defense mechanisms against insects, such as producing chemicals that are toxic or unpalatable to them. Some plants also release pheromones or have physical structures that can deter insects. Additionally, companion planting, where different plants are grown together, can also help repel pests.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil, Ocimum basilicum, Sweet Basil

Borage (Borago officinalis)

  • The Plant: Native to the Mediterranean region, Borage is a spreading annual boasting a profusion of open racemes of beautiful, star-shaped, bright blue flowers from early summer to the first frost. The flowers are also edible with a fresh cucumber flavor.
  • Attracts / Repels: Borage deters cabbageworm and tomato hornworm. It also acts as a slug and snail trap, deterring these garden pests from your favorite vegetables. It also attracts a wide variety of beneficial insects, such as parasitic wasps, hoverflies, and lacewings, which prey on garden pests. Borage is a magnet for bees, honeybees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
  • Hardiness: Annual plant
  • Sun: Full sun or light shade
  • Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil. However, it tolerates nutrient-poor soils.
  • Companions: Borage is an excellent companion plant in the garden, adding trace minerals to the soil and aiding any plants it is interplanted with by increasing their resistance to pests and disease. It does well with cabbage, strawberries, summer squash or winter squash, and tomatoes.

Borage, Cool Tankard, Talewort, Tailwort

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

  • The Plant: Calendula is a showy hardy annual with aromatic foliage and a profusion of pretty daisy-like flowers over a long season. Prized by gardeners, it has also been used for many centuries for a range of culinary and medicinal purposes.
  • Attracts / Repels: Calendula deters asparagus beetle, tomato hornworm, and root-knot nematodes. It is also mosquito repellent. Butterflies, bees, and other pollinators and beneficial insects are drawn to the flowers.
  • Hardiness: Short-lived tender perennial in USDA zones 9-11. Grown as an annual elsewhere.
  • Sun: Full sun. Some afternoon shade is tolerated in hot summer areas.
  • Soil: Light, poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Companions: Calendula is a good companion plant for cucumber, tomatoes, peas, carrots, asparagus, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, or broccoli.

Pot Marigold, English Marigold, Poet's Marigold, Common Marigold, Scotch Marigold, Calendula officinalis

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Catmint, Catnep, Catnip, Cat in Clover, Cat's Heal-All

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

  • The plant: Chives have been a popular culinary herb used in cooking for over 5000 years. Grown for the mild onion flavor of their leaves and their pretty flowers, Chives are rewarding little plants to grow outdoors in the garden or indoors in pots.
  • Attracts / Repels: Chives flowers attract bees and other pollinators to the garden, while their onion scent helps deter carrot fly, Japanese beetle, and aphids.
  • Hardiness: USDA zones 3-9.
  • Sun: Full sun. Tolerates some shade in hot summer climates.
  • Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil
  • Companions: Chives are good companions to tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, roses, squash, strawberries, sunflowers, and aromatic herbs such as dill, marjoram, parsley, and tarragon. Chives are bad companions for beans and peas.

chives, allium schoenoprasum, herb, aromatic herb

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

  • The Plant: A popular culinary herb noted for its attractive foliage and flowers, dill is an upright annual with feathery, aromatic, blue-green foliage and beautiful flat umbels of tiny yellow flowers in summer.
  • Attracts / Repels: Dill repels cabbage looper, cabbageworm , and tomato hornworms. It also attracts beneficial insects, including ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies, which feed on aphids and other pests. The nectar and pollen the flowers produce attract pollinators such as honeybees and bumblebees, which can help improve overall crop yields.
  • Hardiness: Annual plant
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Soil: Rich, light, well-drained soil
  • Companions: Dill is often planted with vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, potatoes, and tomatoes, which benefit from the insect-repelling properties of dill.

Dill, anethum graveolens, herb, aromatic herb

Garlic (Allium sativum)

  • The Plant: Cultivated for several thousand years, garlic is a perennial vegetable grown as an annual herb. It is related to onions, leeks, and chives and produces aromatic, strongly flavored, edible bulbs which consist of teardrop-shaped cloves enclosed in a white, inedible, parchment-like skin. In late spring, thin, edible, long, green shoots sprout from the ground.

Garlic, Churl's Treacle, Clown's Treacle, Common Garlic, Poor Man's Treacle, Stinking Rose, Rustic Treacle, Camphor of the Poor, Nectar of the Gods, Serpent Garlic, Rocambole

Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

  • The Plant: Hyssop is an upright, clump-forming perennial with attractive spikes of small, tubular, lavender to purple flowers from early summer to early fall.
  • Attracts / Repels: Hyssop repels cabbage looper and cabbageworm. The flowers attract bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
  • Hardiness: USDA zones 4-9
  • Sun: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil: Average, well-drained soil. Tolerates almost any soil, including dry soil.
  • Companions: Hyssop is a good companion plant for beets, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, chives, and onions.

Blue Giant Hyssop, Blue Giant-hyssop, Fragrant Giant Hyssop, Lavender Hyssop, Anise Hyssop

Mint (Mentha)

Mint, Spearmint, Peppermint, Mentha, Herb, Aromatic Herb

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

  • The Plant: Nasturtium is a popular annual or short-lived perennial with creeping or sprawling stems that command attention in any landscape. The plant boasts a profusion of long-stalked, edible, funnel-shaped flowers that stand out against the pretty foliage of rounded, parasol-like leaves.

Nasturtium, Common Nasturtium, Indian Cress, Mexican Cress, Peruvian Cress, Garden Nasturtium

Onion (Allium cepa)

  • The Plant: A staple in the kitchen, Onion is a biennial vegetable grown for its sweet to pungent bulbs and greens. Native to Asia, Onions have been cultivated for 5000 years and provide fantastic flavor to any meal.

Allium cepa, Onion, Onions, Shallot, Shallots, Tree Onion

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

  • The Plant: Oregano is a bushy, rhizomatous, woody-based perennial with square stems clothed with small, aromatic, rounded to ovate leaves. Each leaf is covered with many glands, which, when broken, exude the familiar fragrance of this herb. From midsummer to fall, loose panicles of tiny, two-lipped, pinkish-purple or white flowers are produced above the foliage.
  • Attracts / Repels: Oregano oil has antimicrobial properties and is used as a natural insecticide. Oregano helps deter certain pests and insects, such as the cabbage butterfly and the cucumber beetle. Flowers attract bees and beneficial insects.
  • Hardiness: USDA zones 4-8
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Soil: Any average, well-drained soil
  • Companions: Oregano is often grown alongside cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, pumpkin, and zucchini.

oregano, origanum vulgare, herb, aromatic herb

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

Parsley, Petroselinum crispum, herb, aromatic herb

Radish (Raphanus sativus)

Radish, Common Radish, Garden Radish

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, Herb, Aromatic Herb

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage, Garden Sage, Salvia officinalis, herb, aromatic herb

Savory (Satureja hortensis)

  • The Plant: Summer Savory is a bushy annual prized for its stiff, narrowly lance-shaped, aromatic, dark green leaves, which can be used fresh or dried to flavor food.
  • Attracts / Repels: Savory repels cabbage moths, Mexican bean beetles, and black aphids. It also attracts honey bees.
  • Hardiness: Annual plant
  • Sun: Full sun
  • Soil: Moderately fertile, preferably alkaline, dry to medium, well-drained soil
  • Companions: Savory is a good companion to beans, onions, parsley, rosemary, sage, and tarragon.

Summer Savory, St Julian's Herb, Satyricon, Stone Basil

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

  • The Plant: Tansy is an erect, rhizomatous perennial bearing flat-topped clusters of buttonlike, golden daisy flowers in mid to late summer. They are borne atop strongly-scented, fern-like fresh green foliage. The leaves are often harvested, dried, and used as potpourri.

Tansy, Buttons, Buttonweed, Ginger Plant, Golden Buttons, Hind-Heal, Immortality, Chrysanthemum vulgare

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

  • The Plant: Thyme is a dwarf, aromatic shrub primarily grown as a culinary herb in herb gardens. It forms a low cushion of branching, woody stems clothed with small, dark gray-green leaves. Spikes of small, whorled, white, or pink flowers appear in late spring to early summer.

Common Thyme, Garden Thyme, Pot-Herb Thyme, English Thyme, Tomillo

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

  • The Plant: Wormwood is an upright woody-based perennial with finely divided, highly aromatic silver-gray foliage. Tiny, insignificant yellowish flowers appear in dense, leafy, drooping panicles at the stem tips in summer. It is important to be cautious when using this plant as some of its components can be toxic if ingested.

Artemisia absinthium, Wormwood, Absinth, Absinthe, Common Wormwood, Girdle of St John, Green Ginger, Holy Seed, Lad's Love, Mingwort, Old Man, Old Woman, St John's Girdle, Warmot

Guide Information

Plant Type Herbs
Genus Origanum, Rosmarinus, Salvia, Nepeta, Thymus, Allium, Agastache, Tropaeolum, Ocimum, Mentha, Artemisia, Calendula
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

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