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15 Best Wasp Repellent Plants

Here are the best wasp repellent plants to include in your landscaping that are gorgeous and also keep those nasty wasps away without toxic chemicals. With kids and pets, here are some effective Natural Wasp Repellent Tips!

best wasp repellent plants

The Best Wasp Repellent Plants

Gardens are pleasant places to unwind with family or enjoy the fresh, beautiful flowers and herbs in the kitchen garden. A few honey bees here and there are harmless but it can easily escalate to several paper wasps and hornets. Many people develop an allergic reaction from wasp stings or other insect bites.

Such a scenario can quickly become dangerous as some people are allergic to wasps sting and, as for hornets, their sting can end up being fatal due to their large size.

So how do you keep your garden free from wasps and hornets? Fortunately, there are natural ways in which you can keep the wasps away without using pesticides. Read below as we get to discuss plants that you can grow within your garden and keep the pests away.

There are quite a few aromatic plants that will repel wasps because of their aroma or because other insects that wasps feed on are deterred. Using plants to deter wasps are amazing natural wasp repellents as they are healthier for your family and the environment than using chemicals and toxic sprays.

I’ve mentioned before how we actually do need wasps, as mean as they are. They eat pests that munch on our crops when no other bug will. I’d much rather have wasps do the job than pesticides, don’t you agree? But we sure don’t want the wasps flying around when we are eating outside or playing with our kids. They are especially scary for those allergic to wasps.

What plants repel wasps and bees?

Wasps are attracted to certain kinds of plants, so keeping these plants out of your yard is a good way to keep these insects away. Some plants that repel wasps and yellow jackets are those that are very aromatic as described below.

Unlike bees, wasps can sting repeatedly.

For plants and flowers, wasps are beneficial insects that aid in pollination. Wasps also feed on insects that harm plants. Since they protect our crops, make ecosystems thrive, sustain fruit and flowers, and might help us fight disease, wasps are actually beneficial and crucial to this world but that doesn’t mean we have to welcome them into our yards!

What plants repel wasps and bees?

Wasps are attracted to certain kinds of plants, so keeping these plants out of your yard is a good way to keep these insects away. Some plants that repel wasps and yellow jackets are those that are very aromatic as described below.

wormwood as wasp repellent

Wormwood Herb

Wormwood contains absinthe, a substance that is toxic to insects. Its pungent scent alerts bees and wasps of the potential danger so they usually stay away. Wormwood has silvery green leaves and has a pale yellow flower and is easy to incorporate into any flower bed.

Wormwood is an herb and the above-ground plant parts and oil are used for medicine. Wormwood is used for various digestion problems such as loss of appetite, upset stomach, gall bladder disease, and intestinal spasms.

Wormwood is a Healing Herb
Besides repelling wasps, wormwood is an amazing herb that is known to help heal cancer! It can also be used to treat anorexia, insomnia, anemia, a lack of appetite, flatulence, stomach aches, jaundice and indigestion. So it has so many benefits you can’t go wrong growing this herb.

To make wormwood tea, steep 1 tsp of dried wormwood herb (let it dry upside down) in boiling water for 5-15 minutes.


spearmint plants that repel wasps

Spearmint

According to Jordan Foster, a certified pest technician for 10 years at Fantastic Pest Control in UK, “[mint] is one of the most known plants that repels almost any insect and bug including wasps. The reason behind this is because mint vapors a strong scent which is not appreciated by the wasps. You can plant the mint in pots and leave them in your garden close to your home.”

This is one of my favorite wasp repellent plants that repel wasps because it smells good and it’s so easy to grow. But be advised to grow it away from other plants or grow it in a pot due to its invasive, spreading rhizomes.

You can also dig a hole in the ground and put the pot with the bottom cut out in the ground to keep the herb from spreading.

Spearmint prefers partial shade, but can flourish in full sun to mostly shade with well-draining, rich, moist soil and a pH of 6.5 to 7. Mint is easiest to grow from plants, but you can sow seed once the ground has warmed in the spring.

Also effective is this Homemade Wasp Repellent Spray using essential oils to prevent wasp stings when playing in the yard or hiking in the woods. It’s proven effective by a 2013 study in the Journal of Pest Management Science.

Read about using peppermint oil to keep wasps away.


thyme for wasp repellent

Thyme

Thyme is a perennial that pretty much grows itself and one of the best wasp deterrent plants. In fact, the more you fuss with it, the less hardy it will be. Thyme is most fragrant and flavorful when grown in dry, lean soil in full sun.

Too much moisture will rot the plants. Allow soil to go completely dry between watering, then soak thoroughly.

Thyme is an evergreen shrub that has been used in medicinal and culinary applications for thousands of years. Thyme can relieve stress, reduce respiratory issues, improve heart health, boost the strength of the immune system, protect against chronic diseases, stimulate blood flow, and prevent fungal infections.


eucalyptus plant for wasp repellent

Eucalyptus

Plant eucalyptus in mid to late spring or fall, depending on your location and climate. Be sure to water the tree both before and after planting. Dig the hole slightly larger than the root ball, and take care with the tree’s roots during planting, as they do not like being disturbed.

There’s no need to spread out the roots while planting, as this could damage their sensitive root system. Back fill the area and lightly tamp the soil to remove any air pockets.

Eucalyptus is an effective insect repellent and insecticide. In 1948, the United States officially registered eucalyptus oil as an insecticide and miticide, for killing mites and ticks.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is recommended by some as an insect repellant; it is effective at keeping mosquitoes away.


lemongrass for wasp repellent

Lemongrass

Lemongrass has natural insecticidal properties which causes it to repel mosquitoes and wasps, who hate the smell.

Lemongrass will need a lot of nitrogen, so you should fertilize at least monthly with either a standard or high-nitrogen formula. Water your plant regularly and don’t let it completely dry out, especially when the weather is very hot.

Once your plant gets to 3 feet or so in height, you may want to keep the tops of the leaves cut down even more than what you are taking for an actual harvest. This can help keep the size of the plant down.

While inside, a lemongrass plant needs as much sun as you can offer with a minimum of 6 hours a day. It may thrive as an indoor-only plant but you won’t get as many stalks from it.


Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal features rounded, bushy, purple flowers and small oval-shaped leaves running down brown stems. It deters wasps, chiggers, mosquitoes, fleas and ticks – it’s by far one of the best natural wasp repellent plants.

Pennyroyal can be propagated from seed, cuttings or spring division. The seed needs light to germinate but grows quickly once it sprouts. Plant them in prepared seed beds outside after all danger of frost. Sow the seed on the surface of the soil and mist the bed to moisten it.

Keep it moist and germination should occur in two weeks. European pennyroyal makes a wonderful trailing plant when grown in a hanging basket or at the edges of mixed color containers. American pennyroyal can be grown indoors in troughs or outside in the kitchen garden.

You can actually rub fresh leaves on your skin for a natural insect repellent! If you already have mosquito bites, pennyroyal leaves can be rubbed onto the bites to relieve the itch!


marigold wasp repellent

Marigolds

Wasps don’t enjoy the smell of marigolds, therefore they don’t come near them. Marigold are also beneficial in keeping other insects away like mosquitos.

Also, according to Foster, marigolds are “known to repel many flying insects and probably this is the reason why you can barely see wasps around it (as wasps feed on other insects and if there are no insects, no wasps can be spotted). The flower doesn’t need a lot of care. Just plant it directly in your garden, water it and that’s all.”


Ruta graveolens plant to repel wasps

Ruta Graveolens Can Keep Away Wasps

One of the best herbs to keep wasps away from your garden, and your home, is Rue (Ruta graveolens).

Rue is a small perennial herb, growing around 2 feet tall. It’s covered in oil glands that secrete a very strong odor. Many insects (and other animals) hate the smell of Rue, and it is very effective for keeping wasps away. It also keeps flies away from your bins, fleas from the dogs, and fruit flies from fruit trees.

Rue is easy to propagate from seed, root division, or cuttings so you can grow yourself an arsenal for free.

Make a repellent using rue
For areas where you need protection but can’t grow a plant, make a Rue repellent by infusing the leaves in boiling water. Use 2-3 tablespoons per cup of boiling water. Infuse for at least 10 minutes. Leave it to cool,
then use a spray bottle to spray it where you need it.

Please note that Rue applied directly to the skin can cause sensitivity, so don’t spray it on yourself or your pets.

As a nice side benefit, hang Rue leaves in your pantry and wardrobes to keep insects like cockroaches, moths, and silverfish away!

Pitcher Plants

Pitcher plants are unique in their way as they are carnivorous plants. They get most of their nutrients from the insects they ingest. One exceptional thing about them is that they don’t repel insects through scent, but they attract insects to the plant from their bright flowers. Once the insect lands on the flower, they get slippery. Hence, they slide into a pool of water, where they drown.

Cucumber Plant

Cucumbers are loved by most due to their versatile nature. You can either use them for your salad recipes or beauty purpose. However, wasps and bees get repelled by the plant due to the bitterness in the peels. You can grow a few of them within your kitchen garden or place the peels where the wasps frequently go to keep them away. Cucumber plants are some of the best small plants that don’t require a lot of care to grow them.

Red Geranium

Red geraniums have a bright red beautiful color and might help to repel wasps and hornets. The reason is that they have a scent that repels most of the stinging insects and, they don’t have pollen hence may be unattractive to these insects.

Basil

Basil is a good choice for your garden as you can use it in your kitchen. The scent is lovely in food but, it repels wasps and hornets. It is a versatile plant rich in flavors and also helpful in repelling stinging insects. Basil is actually very easy to grow and just requires a lot of direct sunlight, watering and adequate drainage.

Learn more about growing basil here.

Citronella

Citronella is commonly known for repelling mosquitoes to add to that, and its scent also repels wasps and bees. It can be grown either indoors or outdoors and, it needs at least six to eight hours of sunlight.

Clove

Cloves have a rich, spicy strong smell and, it’s a herb that you can’t miss in most households. However, the smell is not pleasant to wasps and hornets. You can plant a few in your kitchen garden or sprinkle some of the seeds in your garden.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm has a sweet fresh fruity scent which is terrific if you are having a yard get-together. It invites that freshness into your home. The smell, however, is not pleasant to wasps and hornets. You can plant a few in your yard as they love sunlight and, it also helps to keep off stinging insects. Lastly, the plant can be used in the kitchen while cooking. Some fresh lemon balm and spearmint makes a delicious infused water drink in the summertime so that’s a bonus to growing these herbs!

Evergreen Shrubs for Wasp Control

These bushes look great in the garden or yard, especially when they are maintained regularly. Not only that but wasps hate the shrubs because of the piney scent.

If you end up with a large wasp problem, make sure to make a few DIY Wasp Traps using sugar water in a two-liter bottle and hang it away from people and food sources. Using the wasp trap and taking preventative measures with the plants can help keep wasps away from your family and pets. 

More Helpful Posts about Wasps

Plants that attract wasps

Here are some plants that attract wasps that you wouldn’t want around your home!

  • Sweet Fennel
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Yarrow

Make sure you stay away from planting those wasp-attractive choices above and instead opt for one of those wasp repellent plants that keep wasps AWAY as detailed above!

Did you know this homemade wasp repellent using essential oils is backed by scientific study? Try it today!

homemade wasp repellent

If you do get stung, try these Home Remedies for Wasp Stings to take that pain away.

natural home remedies for wasp stings

“These are the tested and proven herbs and flowers you can try to repel wasps. Even though they will minimize the presence of the stingers, it won’t guarantee that wasps will be gone forever. You might still spot one or two here and there as they might have built nest somewhere close to the garden but far from the plants,” says Foster of Fantastic Pest Control. He goes on to say, “This is why we always recommend hiring a professional wasp exterminators as they will detect the nest and treat it properly. This way wasps will not have a reason to be around the garden or your house, and will build their nest somewhere else.”

Helpful Pest Control Resources

Peppermint Candle for Bugs

More posts like these Plants that Repel Hornets and Wasps

Wasp Repellent Tips to prevent wasps and yellow jackets from coming around.

DIY Wasp Trap to get rid of wasps if there are many of them and/or they are aggressive.

Natural Pest Control with information about preventing and removing a wasp nest and making wasp traps.

Natural Pest Control Treatments


GET THE SUMMER PEST CONTROL BUNDLE NOW!

summer pest control

Sources
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/thyme.html
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266580.php
https://www.hunker.com/13427525/geraniums-as-insect-repellent

plants that keep wasps away

Elle - Outdoor Happens

Thursday 4th of June 2020

Hi there Vicki, Thanks for including Rue! It's such a useful plant for pest control :) I recently did a roundup of all the best plants to repel fleas, whilst still being safe for your pets. Rue was definitely on that list, too. Have a great day, Elle - Outdoor Happens

Brenda Skipper

Wednesday 25th of March 2020

Thank you for sharing

Dan

Saturday 4th of January 2020

What great ideas. I am in the process of getting ready to floral my front and backyard and these ideas are really what I have been looking for! In the meantime, why not check out profudit.com to see what great home decoration, yard decoration and DIY items they have. Thank you for sharing such good ideas.

Linda Posivio

Saturday 5th of October 2019

Wow! I definitely need to do some planting of these plants. Also, we have a hedge of privot bushes near our deck; wasps, hornets and all those stinging bugs cover it all summer. It’s not fun to eat or relax on the deck.

katerina stepovikov

Wednesday 19th of June 2019

wow, who knew. No wonder i had wasps and a few hornets around when i had yarrow and queen ann's lace EVERYWHERE . Since changing to a tropical style garden ,due to trees growing ( too much shade ) I have not seen any !!!