As soon as the weather brightens up, gardens, lawns, and backyards become targets for mice, lice, ants, rats, and all kinds of pests. More persistent ones don’t mind freezing temperatures, rains, and even deep snow, compelling gardeners to be prepared at all times.
Fortunately, we live in times when anti-pest tools and technologies are readily available on almost every corner. Even so, most people aren’t too fond of spraying their plants with hazardous chemicals while guard cats and dogs simply aren’t efficient at hunting certain nuisances, especially winged insects.
The best way to fight off unwanted pests while keeping beneficial insects in a natural, organic way is to start growing companion plants – beneficial crops that offer a variety of advantages, with pest control being the most important one.
The list of companion plants and flowers is quite long, but, good news, we’ve handpicked the most accessible ones that are as efficient at deterring common garden pests as they are easy to grow.
How do certain flowers deter and repel pests?
Looking to have a pest-free garden? Like most plants, flowers have physical and chemical defenses that keep them safe from potential threats. Although tamer types of flowers are too brittle to adequately shield themselves from bites, their scent is all they need to repel worms, beetles, cucumber beetles, and other annoying insects.
Some flowers let off enzymes and remarkably strong toxins that can keep even bigger mammals at bay; for instance, Thyme and Lavender have a very strong, distinct smell that can deter mice, rats, and in some cases even moles. A single spearmint plant will keep your garden free of aphids while a couple of Borage flowers will keep it clean of most types of worms and beetles.
The Brassica Rapa is the ultimate insect pests repellant that is helped by pretty much all growable vegetable plants in any given vegetable garden. It’s aided by beets, spinach, marigolds, sage, garlic, potatoes, thyme, beans, wormwoods, and most types of clover flowers.
This flower repels wireworms, cabbage worms, as well as weevils, and most species of cabbage loopers, although it’s not particularly effective against rodents and flying insects.
Celery is a vegetable plant with a flower that packs remarkably potent chemicals that can fight off a variety of pest insects, such as leafminers, aphids, armyworms, and cabbage loppers; it’s also able to handle whiteflies if they come too close.
Its growth is helped by bush beans, cabbages, and cucumbers while having it in your garden will help your cauliflowers, tomatoes, daisies, and leeks.
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Parsley’s cousin Parsnip doesn’t have many defensive mechanisms, but its flowers are exceptionally attractive to predatory insects.
Once ripe, Parsnip exudes Myristricin, which happens to be very toxic to house flies, aphids, and spider mites. Growing parsnip under any kind of fruit tree will also ring a dinner bell to flying predatory insects, such as Apple moths and Codling moths that will make short work of most types of worms and grubs in your garden.
This is the go to when discussing a natural insect repellent. A gorgeous plant that can deter a long list of pests from plant lice to tomato hornworms, and mosquitos to rabbits, Marigold is a perfect addition to any garden. They’re ideally planted during spring, although doing so a month or two into summertime shouldn’t harm their growth.
Additionally, pinching the tops from Marigolds will help them grow faster and bushier; since their repellent chemicals are in their flower heads, this is an excellent way to boost their efficiency. They don’t require frequent watering, but you should not soak their heads. Odorless Marigold are great for repelling Japanese Beetles.
Mint offers a myriad of medical benefits, and it’s remarkably simple to grow while requiring very little in terms of maintenance. It can be ground and used as tea, it’s very rich in nutrients, and can help with most disorders of the digestive tract. It can also deter a huge variety of insects, such as spiders, armyworms, and ants, although, on the downside, it spreads like wildfires.
Growing mint isn’t particularly demanding, and it can grow into a healthy plant in almost all kinds of conditions. If you’re looking for very effective ways to get rid of pest problems using pest-control plants – mint is your answer. But, remember to grow it in a pot as it is a very invasive plant.
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Chrysanths are popularly called Mums, and are arguably the best-rounded companion planting for battling garden pests. It can repel the most diverse range of harmful insects, both grounded and flying ones, including ants, beetles, roaches, mites, ticks, lice, and aphids, but it doesn’t fare well against rodents.
They are not particularly easy to grow, and there are numerous variables as far as their blooming time, but they’re well worth the effort.
The smell of Lavender may be more or less appealing to people, but it’s absolutely repulsive to bad bugs. Gnats, in particular, hate it so much that they won’t think twice about leaving a garden where this flower grows.
Although it’s not the most demanding flower to have in your garden, it does require frequent watering and pruning. It grows relatively fast, though, and its anti-pest chemicals become active even in the earliest stages of its blooming process. But the best of the beneficial bugs loves it – bees. It attracts bees while repelling a multitude of bugs that you don’t want – what more could you ask for?
Petunia flowers can be beneficial to your garden in more ways than one. They can grow in most types of soil with little regard to humidity, although they should be kept away from direct sunlight. These flowers repel aphids and most types of worms.
Even though it’s typically used to keep house flies away, the scent of Basil affects most worms and some species of beetles.
You should regularly water your basil plants, use relatively small amounts of fertilizer, and prune their leaves for faster growth. Other than that, Basil requires very little care and will bloom to be a very potent pest-repelling companion in no time.
Borage is a natural garden cultivator in the sense that it helps most vegetables and fruits grow faster and healthier. It also promotes faster and more efficient pollination as it attracts honeybees, but it also attracts numerous predatory insects (the good guys or good insects) that can make short work on pretty much any type of pest, regardless of their size.
Coriander flowers should be kept away from beans, peas, and similar seeds, and as close to cabbage, lettuce, and tomatoes as possible. This gorgeous flower attracts hoverflies and tachinid flies while naturally repelling aphids, whiteflies, most beetles, and spider mites.
We hope that this brief rundown was useful to you and that you have learned something new today about using flowers as a natural deterrent of pest control in your garden.
Whether you have a vegetable garden, herb garden, or flower garden, these plants are all great additions to help control common pests in your gardens. These flowers make a great replacement for chemical pesticides as their organic pest control of nuisances such as: squash bugs , cabbage moths, flea beetles, carrot flies, bed bugs, fungus gnats, fruit flies, potato bugs, and other pesky bugs keep us all healthier.