You know that mammals hibernate in winter. But did you know that insects enter diapause? They dig into the ground or hide in tree bark, and their metabolic rate stays just high enough to keep them alive. That’s why, when spring rolls around, they seem to appear instantaneously in your garden. This year, you can prepare in advance to fight off the bugs, rodents and more that will inevitably appear in your backyard. Plan to plant these eight flowers that deter pests to keep unwanted guests at bay.
The good news about planting chrysanthemums in your garden is that they’re beautiful. They come in a slew of different colors, so you can create a gorgeous floral display. Onlookers will have no idea you’ve planted them to fight off pests.
But chrysanthemums contain an element called pyrethrum that’s toxic to insects, yet safe for humans and pets. It’s such an effective pest deterrent that it’s often used in store-bought pesticides. Some of the bugs you can repel with pyrethrum include:
- Bed bugs
- Japanese beetles
So, plant a bed full of chrysanthemums to keep all of these pests at bay.
Borage makes a great accompaniment to your flourishing vegetable garden. Plus, it blossoms with sweet, blue flowers — in other words, they’re pretty and practical.
You should be especially interested in this flower if you have a tomato garden. Borage tends to keep tomato hornworms at bay.
If you successfully grow both tomatoes and borage, you’re in for yet another treat: tasty seasonal salads. You can put both the red fruit and the blue flowers onto your dishes. The edible blooms have a cucumber-like flavor, making them perfect for noshing in the summertime.
Sunflowers are the perfect addition to your garden if pests have already moved into the area.
The big, bright, golden flowers attract pests away from other, more delicate plants. For example, aphids favor the blooms, and ants will set up camp underneath them.
But the sunflower is much stronger than other flowers and plants that might be plagued by such bugs. So, add them to your garden to distract pests and move them onto a blossom that can survive in spite of a few insects.
You can bring more color into your garden by planting some petunias. Wait until the danger of overnight frost has dissipated before adding these flowers, though.
Once you add petunias, though, you’ll have yet another strong pest deterrent. These flowers repel asparagus beetles, tomato worms, aphids, leafhoppers and more.
A border of marigolds by your door and around your vegetables will keep your home and garden safe from a handful of pests.
It turns out that rabbits, plant lice and mosquitoes detest the scent of these flowers. So, plant them in your garden to protect your plants from hungry bunnies. A perimeter around your yard could help ward off mosquitoes, too.
You can start growing marigolds indoors from seeds about 60 days before spring rolls around. You’ll save money by nurturing your own seedlings, rather than buying grown flowers from a greenhouse.
6. Four O’Clock Flowers
You’re probably thinking that this is a strange name for a plant. However, four o’clock flowers’ moniker fits them perfectly: these blooms close up during the day, but they expand in the late afternoon to reveal their colorful petals.
Of course, you’re not just looking for a flower that puts on a show in your garden. These blossoms have bug-repelling power to offer you, too. Namely, they draw in Japanese beetles, but a toxic ingredient within the flower will kill the pests.
There’s only one issue: four o’clock flowers can also be toxic to animals and humans. So, plant them thoughtfully to protect pets and children.
That soothing smell of lavender that helps put you to sleep is actually a scent that bugs hate.
So, plant lavender in your garden to keep mosquitoes and gnats away. Your best bet is to plant it by your window so you get to enjoy the scent while these pests avoid entering your open panes.
If aphids have been a problem in your vegetable garden before, then try planting some nasturtiums near the beds. Aphids love this flower — so much so that they’ll ditch your prized pickings to munch on the flower instead.
Nasturtium won’t get rid of the aphids, but they’ll keep them off of other plants. Plus, having all of them in one spot will attract aphid-eating bugs to move in, too. So, the flower works as an aphid trap — one that’ll naturally protect the rest of your garden.
A Few More of the Best Plants To Deter Pests
Not all pest-fighting plants are flowering ones. If you want to diversify your garden, try these plants to bulk up your flowers’ bug-fighting abilities.
Plant basil near your tomatoes for a divine aroma and mosquito- and fly-fighting properties.
Mint also repels stinging pests — specifically, it keeps mosquitoes away. Mint can also ward off ants and spiders, too. Just beware when you plant it that this herb has a tendency to spread quickly.
Another pest-fighting herb, chives do flower — so, you get a kitchen-ready ingredient and a bit of bloom for your garden. Chives also work to repel Japanese beetles, as well as carrot rust flies. Some apple growers even plant them near their trees because they find that the plant prevents the fruit from scabbing.
Have a wasp problem? Dill can help with that. The go-to herb for pickle makers keeps wasps away, and it attracts tomato hornworms away from your veggies.
Plant Your Flowers That Deter Pests
It’s counterintuitive to think that there are flowers that deter pests. But the above eight blooms — as well as the selection of bug-fighting herbs — prove that you can naturally protect your garden this summer and beyond.
And if you need extra help keeping bugs and rodents away, we can help with that. Contact us today to set up a pest-control appointment.