Getting Buggy in Your Garden Patch? – See Herb Garden Plants That Double As Natural Bug Repellents
One of the major concerns for the herb gardener is how to protect plants from insects, plant diseases, and even animals such as deer from nibbling away at their prize herbs.
Companion plants are the natural bug repellents for the home herb garden. They not only aid other plants to grow better, but they deter insects, disease, and animals from eating anything in close proximity. In so doing, they protect your plants without you having to use expensive insecticides which enable you to stay organic. This is particularly important since much of what you grow you probably intend to eat.
There are many herbs and flowers that act as companion plants. While you can certainly experiment, start with plants that are native to your area that insects already recognize.
Some of the more popular companion plants used as natural bug repellents are:
Anise – attracts wasps that will devour aphids that attack nearby plants.
Basil – repels flies and mosquitoes.
Borage — repels tomato hornworms, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and cabbageworms, but attracts bees and wasps.
Catnip – repels mice, ants, aphids, flea beetles, and weevils.
Chives – drives away Japanese beetles and carrot rust fly.
Chyrsanthemums – kills root nematodes, and when flowering, repels Japanese beetles.
Coriander – repels aphids, spider mites, and potato beetle.
Dill – repels aphids and spider mites.
Elderberry – when made into a spray from the leaves, will kill aphids, carrot root fly, cucumber beetles, and peach tree borers.
Garlic – repels aphids.
Geranium – repels cabbage worms and Japanese beetles.
Hyssop – deters garden pests from cabbage and grapes.
Lavender – repels fleas and moths.
Mint – deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, and aphids.
Mole Plant – repels moles and mice.
Nasturtium – chases away the squash bug and whitefly.
Peppermint – repels white cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles.
Petunias – repels the asparagus beetle, leafhoppers, tomato worms, and Mexican bean beetles.
Radishes – deters cucumber beetles and rust flies.
Rue – will repel aphids, flies, slugs, snails, flea beetles, and Japanese beetles.
Soybeans – repels chinch bugs and Japanese beetles.
Thyme – deters cabbage worms.
Some of the herbs listed here can be made into teas and powders that can be applied directly on herb plants or soaked into the soil. However, we suggest that you consult a garden guide on this approach as some herbs can be toxic in this form and could hurt pets and children.
And finally, companion plants are compatible with some herb and vegetable plants, but not friendly with others. Research companion plants first before you plant and you will have a healthy and bug-free garden every season.