Using plants to repel wasps is a natural and effective way to keep them out of your garden without harsh chemicals. All the plants listed below are beautiful and provide flowers, lovely fragrances, and many seasons of interest. From low-growing pennyroyal to bright red geraniums, there is sure to be a plant for every gardener. You can use these plants to keep wasps away by placing flowerpots around the garden or planting them in hanging baskets, window planters, or herb gardens. You can even crush the fragrant leaves and sprinkle them around picnic areas and patio furniture to keep wasps away.
Bees and wasps dislike the bitter skin of cucumber plants. You can plant cucumbers up a trellis near seating areas to keep wasps away or place cucumber peels around your garden to deter bees and wasps. Cucumbers are hardy to USDA Zones 4-12 but are usually grown as an annual. You can buy cucumber seeds in just about any grocery or garden store.
Pennyroyal is a creeping ground cover plant with a strong minty aroma. Since it only grows about 6 inches tall, it is a great choice to flow over the side of a window basket, trail along the ground under a tree, or mix in with other bedding plants to suppress weeds. Pennyroyal has the added benefit of keeping wasps away. Pennyroyal is hardy in USDA Zones 5-10. It is sold as an ornamental plant in most commercial garden centers.
Wasps do not like the smell of eucalyptus. This plant needs a great deal of sunlight, so it is best suited to southern climates. Eucalyptus can be successfully grown in a sun porch or greenhouse and placed outside in the garden during the summer. The strongly scented leaves of eucalyptus will help keep wasps away. Plus, cutting a sprig of eucalyptus and putting it in a vase indoors is one easy way to make your whole house smell divine. Eucalyptus is hardy in USDA Zones 8-11. You can buy seedlings from plant nurseries.
Most humans love the smell of mint, but most wasps hate it. Remember that mint is a fast-growing plant and will overtake your entire garden if not kept within bounds. It is best to plant members of the mint family in containers or garden beds with brick or concrete edging. Place a container of mint near the porch or patio to keep wasps away. Mint is hardy in USDA Zones 6-12. It is sold as an ornamental plant in most commercial garden centers.
Red geraniums, in particular, are disliked by wasps; apparently, they aren’t fans of beautiful red flowers with very little pollen. Geraniums also have a scent that wasps dislike. In the spring and summer, you can find geraniums in nearly every garden center and nursery. Geraniums are very versatile plants that will help keep wasps away. Geraniums is hardy in USDA Zones 9-12 but are usually sold as annual bedding plants at nurseries.
Wormwood contains a compound called absinthe, which has a highly aromatic scent hated by wasps. Absinthe isn’t very friendly to other plants and can kill them, so wormwood is best planted alone. If you take the proper precautions, wormwood is a powerful wasp deterrent. Plant it in a large pot near an outdoor kitchen or dining table to keep wasps away. Wormwood is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9. It isn’t the easiest to find and sometimes has to be ordered from a specialty online nursery.
The delicious-smelling basil plant is not a favorite of wasps. Basil will actually help keep wasps away. Plant it near your kitchen door for easy herb picking when you need a quick pesto or pasta sauce. Basil needs eight hours of sun per day, and when temperatures start to fall, you can bring it inside to grow during winter. Basil is hardy in USDA Zones 10 and 11 but is usually grown as an annual crop. It is sold as seeds or seedlings in the spring at most commercial garden centers.
Marigolds are good at keeping many pests away, including wasps. Bees do like marigolds, but wasps do not. These easy-to-grow and inexpensive flowers come in various colors and heights and can be planted in many locations throughout the garden to keep wasps away. Marigolds are fast growers and are a good choice to grow from seed packets, which can usually be purchased for less than one dollar. Marigold is hardy in USDA Zones 2-12 but is most often grown as an annual bedding plant. They are inexpensive bedding plants sold at every garden center.
Most people know about the mosquito-repellant properties of citronella, but surprisingly, citronella will also keep wasps away. It is also easy to grow and has a lovely lemony fragrance. Citronella needs six hours of sun per day and prefers cool morning sun. It also likes to be pretty moist, so water it when only the top one inch of soil has dried. Citronella also makes an excellent houseplant, so feel free to put one inside to keep wasps away. Citronella is hardy in USDA Zones 9-11. You can find seedlings in garden centers in the spring, usually at the same time kitchen herb seedlings are sold.
10. Pitcher Plant
This plant doesn’t keep ants away with a fragrance; instead, it eats them! Pitcher plants are carnivorous and consume insects to get nutrition. Pitcher plants are not the easiest to grow, but if you live in a tropical climate with plenty of direct sun and rainfall, they can help keep wasps away. The pitcher plant is hardy in USDA Zones 6-8. You usually have to order this plant online from a specialty grower.
11. Common Thyme
The scent of thyme is a favorite of many herb gardeners, but wasps do not like it. Thyme is easy to grow in almost any climate, especially in hot, dry areas. Thyme is an excellent choice to crush and sprinkle around the garden to keep wasps away. You can also rub thyme leaves against your skin to keep wasps away from you. Thyme is hardy in USDA Zones 5-9. It is sold in the spring at nurseries with all of the other kitchen herb seedlings.
Lemongrass is an excellent choice to keep wasps away if you live in a warm area. The bright, citrus fragrance of lemongrass is lovely to have near your outdoor seating areas or planted along pathways where you can smell it as you walk through the garden. You can bring lemongrass indoors to overwinter if you live in a temperate region. Lemongrass is hardy in USDA Zones 9-10. You can find it from many online retailers.
Summary of 12 Plants that Keep Wasps Away
Any of these beautiful, fragrant plants will repel wasps naturally.
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- Pest Pointers, Available here: https://pestpointers.com/use-these-essential-oils-to-keep-bees-away-humanely
- deBugged, Available here: https://www.jcehrlich.com/blog/10-plants-that-repel-bees-and-wasps/amp/&ved=2ahUKEwiqu8iy0Ij7AhVZLkQIHTenDO0QFnoECDYQAQ&usg=AOvVaw2JRZzWjHkM17dA8xRMoYA7