Herbs have a positive impact on neighboring plants when planned as companion plants. These herb plants can do more than flavor dishes, they can repel deer and insects.
Companion planting provides the gardener a “natural” method for control of garden pests and plant diseases, including repelling deer. Whether the gardener is looking for organic gardening practices for healthy flower and garden beds or just hoping to minimize the chore and expense of using insecticides, using herbs is a beneficial choice for deterring pests.
In addition to deterring unwanted pests, companion plants can attract beneficial insects that will spread pollen and attack undesired insects. There are many common herbs that are more frequently used and referenced in the articles, “Companion Planting Offers Pest Control.”
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More Companion Herbs Used as Repellents
This annual herb has a licorice scent and flavor that attracts wasps, and in turn, the wasps eat aphids that host off nearby plants.
While not a widely thought of annual herb, Borage is a great deterrent for the vegetable garden. Borage will help the tomato garden by repelling tomato hornworms and cabbageworms.
This aromatic perennial and cat pleaser is not a favorite of ants, aphids, flea beetles, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, and weevils. After performing guard duty, Catnip can be used to make a calming and tasty tea.
A natural deterrent when planted among lettuce and radishes to minimize aphids and slugs.
This large perennial herb accumulates calcium, phosphorous and potassium. Comfrey is beneficial to avocado and most fruit trees.
The potato beetle is not a fan of the perennial flax plant. Inter-plant Flax and get healthier potatoes.
An easily grown perennial herb, Hyssop is effective in deterring pest from cabbages and grapes.
#8. Mole Plant
This plant is also known as the Castor Bean plant, is highly toxic, and when place throughout garden areas will repel moles and mice. This is also the plant responsible for Castor Oil.
This pretty and delicate looking plant can provide garden protection and chase away the squash bug and whitefly.
An herb that is not as well known as some of the other plants on the list but a great repellent for fleas, chiggers, flies and gnats.
To be most effective the crushed leaves can be rubbed on your skin and a tea of Pennyroyal can be made to apply to your pet’s coat.
This bushy perennial herb will repel a variety of common pests including aphids, flies, slugs, snails, flea beetles, and Japanese beetles.
The savory herb will assist in keeping bean beetles, cabbage moths, and aphids away. Just as the name implies, beneficial insects such as honeybees find this plant tasty and will improve other plants.
A feathery, perennial herb, Tansy is also a gangly looking garden plant, but it will keep aphids, ants, and other insects at bay. While Tansy isn’t necessarily attractive, it will keep bugs from damaging neighboring plants, keeping them healthy and pretty.
#14. Wormwood/Silver Mound
Great border plants for keeping animals out of the garden area, but when made into a “tea” for applying to other plants, wormwood will repel cabbage moths, slugs, snails, black flea beetles and fleas.
When making a tea the gardener should avoid applying to vegetable plants due the toxic nature of this plant.
Powders and Plant Teas
Many of the herbs listed here can be made into powders that can be dusted on plants or garden teas that can be soaked into the soil or sprayed on plants. There are many garden guides and information from local Extension Agencies on making plant teas.
It is important to consider the plants receiving the treatment and how hardy they are, as well as potential contamination of pets and children. Some herbs can be toxic and should be stored in secure locations and properly labeled.
Despite the warning of potential toxic nature of some herbs, these teas and powders are a natural, safe and inexpensive alternative to potent insecticides.