Nothing ruins a beautiful day on the patio more than someone getting stung by a wasp. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to scare the wasps away from your patio. In this guide, you’ll learn about the best plants to repel wasps.
The best wasp repellent plants include simple flowers (geraniums, marigolds), herbs (mint, basil, lemongrass), vegetables (cucumber), evergreen trees, and even carnivorous plants (like pitcher plants). For the most success, use a combination of these plants for a wasp-free summer on your patio.
There are several easy-to-grow plants that wasps hate, and when you plant them in your garden or containers on your patio, you can keep wasps away.
Read on to discover some of the most effective plants for repelling plants.
13 Wasp Repellent Plants for Your Garden
Here are some of the best plants to consider for your outdoor patio area. They are great for creating an unfriendly wasp environment.
Wasps greatly dislike the smell of wormwood because it contains absinthe. Be careful when planting this plant since it can kill plants near it.
Grow wormwood in direct sun and soil with good drainage. Here’s more about growing wormwood at home.
Marigolds are a classic flower for companion planting. These flowers produce a smell that drives away several insects, including wasps.
For the best results, use red marigolds since wasps dislike these in particular. Marigolds grow easily, and you can harvest their seeds without much work.
Scare your wasps away with this beautifully fragrant plant. It does well in containers or on the ground.
Ensure that the soil dries out in between waterings and that this plant gets plenty of sun.
These trees can grow outdoors year-round, depending on where you live. When we lived in Cuenca, Ecuador, there were hundreds of Eucalyptus trees lining the rivers in the city. And the mountains above the city were also filled with them.
But now that we live in Nova Scotia, Canada we can’t grow them outside.
Mint is an ideal plant to drive away wasps because it provides a smell for your patio that you will enjoy while driving away wasps.
Consider growing mint in a container because it can spread easily if not under control.
Pennyroyal is a small plant that scares wasps away, thanks to its smell similar to mint. Consider this plant if you want something that does well in a container and is easy to grow.
Pennyroyal can be somewhat touchy about watering. So, make sure it gets plenty of water.
Basil is a great patio plant for its ability to drive wasps away and for its usefulness in your kitchen. Wasps hate the smell of basil.
If you want to grow basil, ensure it has access to plenty of sun and moist soil with good drainage.
Lemongrass is another herb that scares away wasps while creating a delicious scent for humans on the patio. The citrus-scented herb does best in warmer climates.
In the United States, it does best in hardiness zones 9 through 11. If you live in a colder area, you may want to plant your lemongrass in containers so that you can bring them inside in the winter.
You may know Thyme as a kitchen staple, but did you know it effectively deters wasps? This herb comes in many varieties. Most of those types produce white or lavender flowers.
Thyme does well in USDA zones 5 through 9. They enjoy plenty of sun and dry air. Make sure this herb is in soil with plenty of drainage.
Not only are geraniums good at repelling wasps, but they make ideal container plants.
Since these flowers do not produce much pollen, wasps and bees are not very interested in the blooms. The insects also do not enjoy the smell produced by geraniums.
Geranium essential oil is also an effective wasp repellent.
You may recognize citronella since it plays a part in many insect repellants. The plant works just as effectively as products made with the scent.
Grow this plant with plenty of sun and soil with good drainage.
The wormwood plant is semi-evergreen, but full evergreens can also drive away wasps.
Many insects hate the smell of evergreens, so they will avoid your patio if you plant plenty of them near it.
Cucumber plants are a highly effective wasp and bee deterrent, thanks to their acidity and bitterness. The one drawback to this plant is that it can be a bit more difficult to grow than many of the other plants and herbs on this list.
Make sure that you provide proper staking for the cucumbers. If you do not have space to grow cucumbers on your patio, the peels of cucumbers can also be an effective deterrent.
13. Pitcher Plants (and Other Carnivorous Plants)
While other plants on this list drive wasps away because of their smell, pitcher plants keep your patio wasp-free for a different reason.
Since pitcher plants are carnivorous, they lure and eat wasps and other insects.
These plants’ needs can be somewhat demanding since they like distilled water or rainwater. They do not like water with minerals. Pitcher plants also like full, direct sun.
Questions about Repelling Wasps
What is the best plant for keeping wasps away?
There is not necessarily a single plant that works the best when it comes to repelling wasps. Your best bet is to try a few different plants in combination.
As a result, you can gauge which plants do best in your particular garden and patio conditions.
The method of repelling wasps with plants will work best in a small area. The larger the area, the harder it will be to create a zone that’s unfriendly for wasps.
What plants attract wasps?
The most attractive plants to wasps include fruit trees and flowers that produce a lot of nectar. If you are concerned about wasps, keep these plants away from your patio.
Wasps are attracted to fig trees, apple, peach, mulberry, and cherry trees. They like the nectar in the flowers and the sugar available with rotting fruit.
In general, bees and wasps like yellow or blue flowers and trumpet-shaped flowers. So, cut these colors and shapes out of your garden to reduce the presence of wasps. Instead, stick to red flowers that wasps and bees do not like.
How else can I keep wasps away?
Besides strategically planting wasp-repelling plants, there are a few steps you can take to keep wasps away from your patio.
The most important step you can take is cleaning your patio area regularly. Keep it free of fallen fruit or other detritus such as cardboard since wasps may use those items as a breeding ground.
If you can not grow plants directly on or near your patio, you can still use herbs to keep wasps away. Try growing the wasp-repelling plants elsewhere and infusing them into water.
You can also use essential oils if you can not grow herbs. Spray the repellent around your patio.
You can also encourage specific animals that eat wasps to live nearby.
Learn the differences between: Bee vs Wasp vs Hornet (15 Ways)
Will you say goodbye to wasps? With the addition of a few simple plants, you can spend your time relaxing on your patio instead of fretting about the threat of getting stung. Now, you can feel safe and enjoy a beautifully scented patio.
Which plant(s) are you planning on using to repel wasps? I would love to hear what’s working for you.
- About the Author
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Dena Haines is a co-founder and writer at The Buginator. And is working to make it the best resource for taking back the outdoors from biting, stinging pests.
She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and photography at Storyteller Tech. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she runs with her husband, Bryan.